UNT Aquatic Ecology Labs

Skip to content



James H. Kennedy- Director of Collections


Professor Biological Sciences

Photo: James KennedyMy research interests include the use of aquatic invertebrates in basic and applied research. After several years of temporary work with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, I began work with Ichthyological Associates. While working at Ichthyological Associates my interests in aquatic invertebrates intensified and I developed a life long interest in Chironomidae. After completing a Ph.D. and post doc at Virginia Tech in 1981, I began a career in aquatic toxicology that ultimately lead to field studies designed to evaluate the effects of pesticides on non-target organisms. In 1982 I founded Water Science Associates Inc (WSA). WSA designed and conducted field research studies throughout the southern United States that were part of the ecological risk assessment of agricultural pesticides being considered for registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 1985 WSA teamed with ZENECA agricultural chemical division, to design and perform the first mesocosm study in support of agricultural chemical registration.

I began my career at the University of North Texas in 1987, where I was part of a team that was hired to develop a mesocosm facility to research non-target effects of pesticides on aquatic organisms. In 1989 I was named director of the facility. Over the next ten years I expanded the facility and generated the funds to purchase the land on which it was built. Today the water research field station, has 46 0.1 acre ponds and 50 smaller microcosms. Originally designed to assess responses of aquatic communities to chemicals as part of the ecological risk assessment process, the field station is now used to conduct basic ecological research. These ecotoxicology studies were important to the development of my career and gave me the opportunity to work and travel throughout the United States, England, Germany, France and Australia.

In addition to being director of the UNT field station from 1989 until 2004 I became an associate professor in the department of biological sciences in 1991 and a full professor in 1998. Today the research program in my lab focuses on five areas: Stream ecology, aquatic insect biology, biodiversity studies, the use of macroinvertebrates in the ecological risk assessment process and environmental education. Most of this research involves graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Nearly all of our research involves the use of aquatic insects.

Curriculum Vitae: Word | PDF

Download the latest version of Adobe Reader

Top of the Page


We are currently seeking student lab assistants to process biological field samples.

Contact Us

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