Dr. James Thorp, III

James Thorp
  • Professor
  • Senior Scientist

Contact Info

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Dr. James Thorp's research centers on the community through macrosystem ecology of freshwater systems.


My research focuses on the ecology of freshwater systems (lotic and lentic) at levels from macrosystems to communities. I work on a variety of topics associated with both invertebrates and fish, and I emphasize conceptual theories. My recent work has emphasized both food web studies using both CSIA-AA and bulk tissue techniques, and theoretical studies of ecological functioning.

Research interests:

  • macroecology and community ecology of aquatic systems
  • river management theory (including ecosystem services and rehabilitation)
  • ecology and diversity of aquatic organisms, especially inland water invertebrates


Teaching interests:

  • Marine Biology
  • Freshwater Ecology

Selected Publications

Recent Books:

Thorp, J.H. and A.P. Covich (eds.). Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Academic Press, Elsevier. I have edited and published 8 volumes, and I have 3 in development, with the volumes focused on the fauna of different continents. I also have a separate volume on Mediterranean fauna that is In Press (Maasri and Thorp, eds.).

Thorp, J.H., M.C. Thoms, and M.D. Delong. 2008. The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis. Academic Press, Boston, MA, USA. 208 p. [ISBN: 978-0-12-370612-6]

Representative Journal Articles:

Thorp, J.H., W.K. Dodds, C.J. Robbins, A. Maasri, E.R. Arsenault, J.A. Lutchen, G.S. Mathews, F. Tromboni, M. Pyron, B. Hayford, A. Schechner, and S. Chandra. 2021. A framework for lotic macrosystem research. Ecosphere 12(2): article e03342.

Bowes, R.E., J.H. Thorp, and M.D. Delong. 2020. Reweaving river food webs through time. Freshwater Biology 65(3): 390-402, DOI: 10.1111

Maasri, A., J.H. Thorp, N. Kotlinski, J. Kiesel, B. Erdenee, and S. Jähnig. 2021. Variation in macroinvertebrate community structure of Functional Process Zones along the river continuum: new elements for the interpretation of the River Ecosystem Synthesis. River Research and Application 37: 665-674.

Delong, M.D., J.H. Thorp, and J.E. Anderson. 2021. Ecological thresholds and regime shifts within hydrologically modified rivers: a 75+ retrospective analysis. River Research and Applications. 37: 54-63.

Bowes, R.E., J.H. Thorp, and M.D. Delong. 2020. Reweaving river food webs through time. Freshwater Biology 65(3): 390-402.

Thorp, J.H. and R.E. Bowes. 2017. Carbon sources in riverine food webs: new evidence from amino acid techniques. Ecosystems 20(5): 1029-1041.

Thorp, J.H. 2014. Metamorphosis in river ecology: from reaches to macrosystems. Freshwater Biology 59: 200-210.

Thorp, J.H., M.C. Thoms, and M.D. Delong. 2006. The riverine ecosystem synthesis: biocomplexity in river networks across space and time. River Research and Applications 22(2):123-147.