Clay Pierce, Ph.D.

Clay supervises graduate students and does aquatic ecology and fisheries research in the lakes, rivers, and streams of Iowa. Clay is a native of Minnesota. He was a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University and an assistant professor at Eastern Illinois University before assuming his present position in 1993.


Only Clay's five most recent publications are shown here. For more information about Clay, including a full publications list, visit his profile page on the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit web site. 

Clay also can be reached at his Iowa State University email address:


  • Ph D University of Maryland 1987
  • MS University of Kentucky 1982
  • BS Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University - Mankato) 1980

Research Interests

Dr. Pierce’s research interests encompass aquatic ecology, fisheries science and fisheries management. Most of his research is applied and addresses information needs of state and federal natural resource agencies. Dr. Pierce collaborates with graduate students, university staff, and agency biologists.

Teaching Interests

A ECL 418/518
Stream Ecology. This dual-listed course explores the biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes shaping the structure and function of flowing water ecosystems. Topics from basic principles to synthetic theories of stream ecosystems are covered, as well as applications for management of water quality, biological integrity, and fisheries in streams. Laboratory sessions and field trips provide hands-on experiences. Students work on term projects in small groups. Graduate students enrolling in A Ecl 518 participate in bi-weekly discussions of primary literature.

A ECL 520
Fisheries Science. This graduate-level course explores concepts, approaches and techniques for assessment of recreational and commercial fisheries. Topics range from basic principles to applications and from individual fish to entire ecosystems. Computer simulation modeling, group projects, and discussion of primary literature are emphasized.