Faculty Profile

Declan McCabe, PhD

Biology Department Chair, Associate Professor of Biology

Ph.D. Ecology; University of Vermont
M.S.,  Ecology and Evolution; University of Pittsburgh
B.S., Biology; St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia

View my Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise:

My primary area of expertise is in the community ecology of freshwater communities. My basic research is on the interactions among aquatic species, factors that affect diversity, and different ways to measure diversity.  Currently I am working on an applied project focused on the effects of land use on invertebrates in Vermont's rivers.

Courses I Teach:

  • Community Ecology
  • Evolution
  • General Biology

Selected Publications:

    Letovsky, Erin, Ian E. Myers, Alexandra Canepa, Declan J. McCabe. 2011. Differences between kick sampling techniques and short-term Hester-Dendy sampling for stream macroinvertebrates. in press Bios

     McCabe, D. J. (2010) Rivers and Streams: Life in Flowing Water. Nature Education Knowledge 1(12):4

     Coons, K., D.J. McCabe, and J.E. Marsden. 2004.  The effects of strobe lights on zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) movement and settling patterns. Journal of Aquatic Ecology, 19: 1-8

     M.A. Beekey, D.J. McCabe, and J.E. Marsden. 2004. Zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments facilitates invertebrate communities. in press. Freshwater Biology 45, 435-445.

     McCabe, D.J. and N.J. Gotelli. 2003.  Caddisfly Diapause Aggregations Facilitate Benthic Invertebrate Colonization. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72: 1015-1026.

     Toomey, M.B., D.J. McCabe, and J.E. Marsden. 2002.  Factors affecting the movement of adult zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 21: 468-475

     Gotelli, N.J. and D.J. McCabe. 2002. Species co-occurrence: a meta-analysis of J.M. Diamond's assembly rules model. Ecology.  83:2091-2096

Grants:

I am currently a Science Adviser for Vermont EPSCoR and I play two primary roles: I am a researcher in the Research on Adaptation to Climate Change project and I facilitate outreach to high schools in the Streams Project.  In 2011 the overall project was recently funded by NSF in the amount of $20 million.

We are not alone: a natural history blog 

http://wearenotalonenatural.blogspot.com/

I blog when I see something I find interesting. Then I get busy with my work and I don't blog for a long time ... until I find something else interesting and I blog once again.

Life Off Campus:

I grew up in Athlone, Ireland. I enjoy hiking with my son's Boy Scout troop. My daughter's Odyssey of the Mind team has made it to the world championships for two years running. I once was on the same plane with Gabriel Byrne; bumped into Trey Anastasio at Pizza Putt; I have seen Queen live in concert. My favorite course is Community Ecology, and particularly the laboratory portion that includes a series of hands-on research projects.

Declan McCabe, associate professor of biology, recently was co-author of two papers along with students from the EpSCOR project (a partnership with the National Science Foundation to strengthen research and education in science). Declan has worked with EpSCOR for several summers directing a stream-research project involving students from St. Mike’s, the University of Vermont, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. The two recent papers appeared in the Biological Society journal Beta Beta Beta. The first was a research article, “Differences between kick sampling techniques and short-term Hester-Dendy sampling for stream macro invertebrates,” with three student co-authors including Erin Letovsky, daughter of St. Mike’s business Professor Robert Letovsky (Erin worked for the Biology Department for a time after her master’s); and then “Measuring standardized effect size improves interpretation of biomonitoring studies and facilitates meta-analysis,” with four student researchers. Declan also wrote a humorous but informative article, “The Case of the Giant Centipede and Flat Stanley,” in VES, the newsletter of the Vermont Entomological Society, telling of an encounter with some scary bugs -- “pure fun rather than scholarship,” he says.

Declan McCabe, professor of biology, has had another paper published on a science education Web site called Scitable: Declan explains: “This one uses data gathered by the students in General Biology as well as research data collected by Vermont EPSCoR students working at Saint Michael's College. The paper uses a combination of previously published data and novel data to illustrate the principles of sampling as applied to biological communities.” Scitable is a free science library and personal learning tool by Nature Publishing Group, the world's leading publisher of science. The formal citation is: McCabe, D. J. (2011) Sampling Biological Communities. Nature Education Knowledge 2(11):13

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