Jessica E. Rettig

Jessica E. Rettig

Associate Professor of Biology; Anderson Endowment Director
Position Type
Faculty
Service
- Present
Specialization
Aquatic Ecology
Degree(s)
B.A., Earlham College; Ph.D., Michigan State University

Learning & Teaching

Courses
  • Writing Workshop 101: Science, Society, & Infectious Disease
  • BIOL 313: Vertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 375: Population and Community Ecology
  • BIOL 230: Ecology & Evolution
  • AC 101: Advising Circle
Academic Positions
  • 2006- Associate Professor of Biology, Denison University
  • 2007- Anderson Endowment Coordinator, Denison University
  • 2000-2006 Assistant Professor of Biology, Denison University
  • 1999-2000 Assistant Professor of Biology, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO
  • 1997-1999 Instructor of Biology, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO
  • 1996-1997 Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, IN

Research

I study the ecology of small ponds, focusing on how organisms interact with each other and their environment. I often use field studies and lab experiments with fish and invertebrates as a means of understanding the basic ecology of aquatic systems.
Details

Recent lines of research include a mesocosm experiment and a multi-summer field-survey project to explore interactions between native sunfish and non-native mosquitofish. For the mesocosm experiment, I manipulated the abundance of bluegill sunfish and mosquitofish in cattletanks at the Denison BioReserve to quantify how these fishes affected the prey community and how competition between the two species influenced the growth of the fish. This mesocosm experiment was conducted in collaboration with a research student and was presented at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in August 2016. For the field-survey project (2015-2017) I was assisted by several students to track the abundance of mosquitofish and longear sunfish in Olde Minnow and Wood Duck ponds at the BioReserve. Based on the mesocosm experiment with bluegill (a close relative of the longear), I suspected that the the longear and mosquitofish might compete for prey it ems, so we also collected fish of each species to track their diets (stomach composition) across the summer during 2015 and 2016.

Works

Publications

Select Recent Publications:

  • Smith, G.R., and J.E. Rettig. 2018. Nerodia sipedon Diet. Herpetological Review In press.
  • Rettig, J.E., G.R. Smith, G. Eng-Suroweic*, D. Mirzashvili*, M. Smyk*, M. Jones*, and J. Hollis*. 2018. Consumption of invasive Western Mosquitofish fry by adult conspecifics and native crayfish. Northeastern Naturalist 25:117-122.
  • Smith, G.R., S.V. Krishnamurthy, A.C. Burger *, and J.E. Rettig. 2018. Effects of malathion and nitrate exposure on the zooplankton community in experimental mesocosms. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 25:9992-9997.
  • Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, and J.B. Iverson. 2017. Is righting response lateralized in two species of freshwater turtles? Behaviour. 154: 1069-1079.
  • *Geyer, R.L., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2016. Effects of Roundup formulations, nutrient addition, and Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) on aquatic communities. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 23:11729-11739.
  • Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, and J.B. Iverson. 2016. Melanism in the Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta) in northern Indiana, USA. Herpetological Bulletin 137: 32-33.
  • Smith, G.R., A.A. Burgett*, and J.E. Rettig. 2012. Effects of the anuran tadpole assemblage and nutrient enrichment on freshwater snail abundance (Physella sp.). American Midland Naturalist 168: 341-351.
  • *Oster, K.A., S. Kalinowski*, I. Jurewicz*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2011. Effects of ammonium nitrate, urea, and sodium nitrate on mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) survivorship. BIOS 82: 10-12.
  • Rettig, J.E., and G.R. Smith. 2009. Class research projects in ecology courses: Methods to un-“can” the experience. Journal of College Science Teaching 38(5): 38-42.
  • *Arrington, J.J., K.R.J. Thaman*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2009. Feeding harassment among male and female mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). Journal of Freshwater Ecology 24: 327-329.
  • Smith, G.R., J.B. Iverson, and J.E. Rettig. 2009. Chrysemys picta, Graptemys geographica, Trachemys scripta. Aural abscesses. Herpetological Review 40: 213-214.
  • *Russo, G., A. Chou*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2008. Foraging responses of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to items of different sizes and colors. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 23: 677-678.
Presentations

Select Recent Presentations:

  • Rettig, J.E. 2018. Invasion by a native species: Consequences for population dynamics and diet of a non-native species. Annual Meeting of the Society for Freshwater Sciences. Detroit, MI.
  • *Tristano, E.P. and J.E. Rettig. 2016. Interactions between native and non-native fishes and their impact on zooplankton in small temperate ponds. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Reding, J.A., G.R. Smith, J.E. Rettig, R.N. Homan, D.J. Spieles, T.D. Schultz, A.C. McCall, and B. Sodergren. 2016. The Granville Schools Land Lab: A K-12/college/government teaching a research collaboration. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • *Burger, A.C., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2011. Competition between invasive mosquitofish and native bluegill sunfish. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.
  • *Miller, E.Z. and J.E. Rettig. 2011. Behavior in groups: measuring aggression between bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.
  • Rettig, J.E. and J.H. Clemmer*. 2011. An experimental analysis of foraging and aggressive behavior between mosquitofish and bluegill. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.

Service

Professional Memberships
  • Ecological Society of America
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Society for Freshwater Science
  • Association for Women in Science
Professional Service (includes Denison Service)
  • Peer-Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission’s Open Pathway 2015-present
  • System Appraiser for the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) 2010-2013

Service to Denison

  • Chair- Biology Department 2010-2013
  • Anderson Endowment Director 2007-present
  • Ronneberg Lecture Series Coordinator 2007-present

Other

Honors & Awards
  • 2010 –2015 Henry Chisholm Endowed Chair in the Natural Sciences (Denison University)
Student Collaborations

Research presentations by students in the Rettig Research Group (post 2005):

  • *Baird, A. 2017. Can a native species replace an exotic species? Evidence from a small Ohio pond. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Argawal, A. 2017. Student involvement in a small liberal arts college: How does social engagement relate to indicators of stress and success? Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Rose, K. 2016. The effects of sunfish on mosquitofish populations in two Ohio ponds. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Eng-Surowiec, G. 2015. Examining Prey Preferences of Baby Mosquitofish Under Different Competitive Situations. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Mirzashvili. D. 2015. Quantifying Predator and Prey Behavior among Crayfish, Mosquitofish, and Tadpole. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Vissa, S. 2015. Analysis of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a, nutrient concentrations and zooplankton diversity in the Pacific Ocean including the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA, Republic of Kiribati). Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Johnson, M. 2014. Comparison of Plant & Fish Communities in Two Small Ponds in Central Ohio. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference.
  • *Tristano, E.P. 2013. Effects of invasive mosquitofish on native bluegill populations. Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference
  • *Brzezinski, D. 2006. Aquaculture initiative phase II: Local feeding stimulants and substitutes for freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) diets. Ohio Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, Dayton, OH.