As a child, Dr. Barnes enjoyed flipping over rocks to catch bugs in the creeks of his hometown in Plano, Texas. He later discovered a more scholarly approach to aquatic ecology and studying human interactions with their environment as an undergraduate at Southwestern University, earning a B.A. in biology with a minor in sociology. Barnes earned his PhD from The University of Notre Dame, then he returned to Texas in 2014 to begin a position within The Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University. Now an Associate Professor at Texas Tech, Barnes’ research program focuses on forecasting biological invasions and conducting research that advances methodologies for the study and management of invasive species and the communities they impact. Research projects in his lab utilize a broad set of tools to address many different types of ecological questions, and past and current research approaches include predicting species occurrence with species distribution models, detecting rare species through environmental DNA (eDNA) surveillance, and investigating species impacts through field observations and laboratory experiments. Dr. Barnes enjoys sharing these topics with students in the classroom, and his recently taught courses include Introduction to Freshwater Ecology, Quantitative Methods in Natural Resources Management, Natural Resources Policy for both undergraduate and graduate students, and the “Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences” cohort of the Texas Tech Program in Inquiry & Investigation.
Dissertation title: The island biogeography of ephemeral waters
Thesis title: Assessing environmental DNA as a detection method for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus)
Thesis title: Environmental influences on zebra mussel eDNA dispersal and particle size distribution in a reservoir
Thesis title: The impact of water management practices on reproduction and disease in Sonoran Desert anurans
Thesis title: Downstream transport of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) environmental DNA