Martha Mather, Professor

Martha Mather

Assistant Unit Leader, Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
*Federal employee

Contact information

204B Leasure Hall
(785) 532-6522

Lab website:


Ph.D., 1990, The Ohio State University. Zoology.

Area(s) of Specialization

Fish ecology, aquatic community ecology

Research Focus

I work at the interface of basic and applied ecology and seek to understand how mobile consumers function within and consequently impact aquatic communities and ecosystems. My research has four facets: (1) Using science to address applied conservation problems; (2) Patterns, drivers and consequences of consumer (fish) movements; (3) How environmental heterogeneity, especially fragmentation, alters spatial patterns of biodiversity; (4) Integrated bio-social approaches to sustainable natural resource conservation.

Recent Publications

Mather, M. E., G. Granco, J. Bergtold, M. Caldas, J. Heier-Stamm, M. Sanderson, A. Sheshukov, M. Daniels. 2023. RISE to interdisciplinary success: a widely-implementable, iterative, multi-step structured process for mastering team skills. BioScience (published online), biad097,

Mather, M. E., and J. M. Dettmers. 2022. Adaptive problem maps (APM): Connecting data dots to build increasingly informed and defensible environmental conservation decisions. Journal of Environmental Management 312 (2022) 114826

Bergtold, J. S., M. M. Caldas, S. R. Ramsey, M. R. Sanderson, G. Granco, and M. E. Mather. 2022. The gap between experts, farmers and non-farmers on perceived environmental vulnerability and the influence of values and beliefs. Journal of Environmental Management 316 (2022) 115186

Granco, G., M. M. Caldas, J. Bergtold, J. Heier-Stamm, M. E. Mather, M. R. Sanderson, M. D. Daniels, A. Y. Sheshukov, D. A. Haukos, and S. M. Ramsey. 2022. Local environment and individuals’ beliefs: the dynamics shaping public support for sustainability policy in an agricultural landscape. Journal of Environmental Management 301 (1) 113776.

Chestnut, K., M. E. Mather, Q. Phelps, D. Shoup. 2022. A review of empirical evidence related to the effectiveness of harvest regulation evaluations: a more systematic, standardized collaborative approach to data collection. Fisheries 47 (10): 417-456,

Hitchman, S.M, M.E. Mather, J.M. Smith. 2021. Does type, quantity, and location of habitat matter for fish diversity in a Great Plains riverscape? Fisheries (Published Online, July, 2021).

Mather, M.E., J.M. Smith, K.M. Gerber, R.B Taylor, C.G. Kennedy, S.M. Hitchman, J.S. Fencl, and H.M. Frank. 2021. Solving persistent fisheries and aquatic conservation problems by quantifying the spatial distribution of mobile organisms within aquatic landscapes. Fisheries (Published Online, August, 2021).

Marschall, E.A., D.C. Glover, M.E. Mather, and D.L. Parrish. 2020. Modeling larval American shad recruitment in a large river. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 41(4):939-954.

Gerber, K.M., M.E. Mather, J.M. Smith. 2019. Multiple metrics provide context for the distribution of a highly mobile fish predator, the blue catfish. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 128:141-155

Gerber, K.M., M.E. Mather, J.M. Smith, Z. Peterson. 2019. Evaluation of a field protocol for internally-tagging fish predators using difficult-to-tag ictalurid catfish as examples. Fisheries Research Fisheries Research 209:58-66.

Caldas, M., M. Mather, J. Bergtold, M. Daniels, G. Granco, J.A. Aistrup, D. Haukos, A.Y. Sheshukov, M.R. Sanderson, and J.L. Heier Stamm. 2019. Understanding the Central Great Plains as a coupled climatic-hydrological-human system: Lessons learned in operationalizing interdisciplinary collaboration. Pages 265-294 in Collaboration Across Boundaries for Social-Ecological Systems Science - Experiences Around the World, editor: Dr. Stephen Perz, University of Florida. Palgrave MacMillan

Taylor, R.B., M.E. Mather, J.M. Smith, and K.M. Gerber 2019. Confluences function as ecological hotspots: geomorphic and regional drivers can identify patterns of fish predator distribution within a seascape. Marine Ecology Progress Series 629:133-148.

Granco. G., J. Heier Stamm, J. Bergtold, M. Daniels, M. Sanderson, A. Sheshukov, M. Mather, M. Caldas, S. Ramsey, R. Lehrter, D. Haukos, J. Gao, S. Chatterjee, J. Nifong, J. Aistrup. 2019. Evaluating environmental change and behavioral decision-making for sustainability policy using an agent-based model: a case study for the Smoky Hill River Watershed, Kansas. Science of the Total Environment 695, 133769.