UNT Elm Fork Natural Heritage Museum

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Allison D. Stamatis-Curator


B. A. Biology, Austin College, 2000

M. S. Biology, University of Texas at El Paso, 2003

Ph.D. student, University of North Texas, Advisor: Dr. J. H. Kennedy

Photo: Allison StamatisGrowing up in arid west Texas, I came to appreciate natural resources at an early age. I completed an undergraduate thesis by writing a taxonomic treatment for the Magnoliaceae family of Texas, which will be a contribution to the upcoming Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of East Texas. I returned to my roots in west Texas for my master’s research by undertaking a macroinvertebrate and limnology study of a freshwater stream in the Chihuahuan Desert. Once my doctoral research is completed, it is my desire to teach in a small university setting where I may continue my field work by teaching other students in an outdoor environment.

My dissertation research has taken me deep into the heart of the “biological crossroads of North America”, the Big Thicket. Consisting of almost 100,000 acres in east Texas, the Big Thicket National Preserve contains an astonishing diversity of plant and animal life, some of which is located in floodplains adjacent to the Neches River. The cypress sloughs and bottomland hardwood forests located within these flooded areas abound with sources of organic matter, which, once flushed from the forest floor, can then become available to other organisms within the river itself. Many organisms are dependent on floodplains to sustain their populations. My study focuses on the ecology of the floodplain, including the flow of carbon from the forest bottom to the Neches River, the macroinvertebrate populations, hydrology, and the role that the many trees play in the availability of carbon to begin the nutrient spiraling.

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Operation Hours

9-5 Monday-Friday


The next upcoming event will be the Museum open house in November. Details soon.

Contact Us

Phone: 940-565-2981
Email: kennedy@unt.edu

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