James H. Thorp

Senior Scientist

Kansas Biological Survey


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Contact Information

Phone 785-864-1532
Fax 785-864-1534
Office 104A Higuchi

Unit Affiliations


Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae



Aquatic community and ecosystem ecology


Dr. Thorp earned his Ph.D. in Zoology/Ecology from North Carolina State University in 1975.

Research Interests

Dr. Jim Thorp's research interests focus on the ecology of rivers (primarily), smaller streams, and other aquatic ecosystems where he works mostly at the community through landscape levels. He enjoys using diverse research approaches (conceptual, field experimental, and descriptive techniques) to answer fundamental and applied environmental questions. Within the fundamental research area, he is most interested in food web ecology and the effects of hydrogeomorphic fluctuations on the structure and functioning of riverine landscapes from the community to the full landscape level (e.g., see The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis, Thorp et al. 2008). Within the applied research area, he has always been most intrigued by how human interactions with the natural environment have altered basic ecosystem structure and functioning. At present, he is working closely with colleagues in several universities in the USA and overseas, federal agencies (primarily the EPA), state environmental agencies, and non-government agencies (especially the Nature Conservancy) on two primary topics: ecosystem services and a national classification system for rivers. As part of those endeavors, he currently has an appointment as a national EPA expert.


KUERG logo

Landscape Legacies in Rivers: Retrospective Analyses of Changes in Ecosystem Function across Two Centuries

Jan. 2010 - present Kansas and Missouri
Don Huggins boldly takes his 100th macroinvertebrate kick sample as Geoff Warlick cheers him on, near Atchison, KS.

EMAP-Great Rivers Reference Condition Research on the Missouri River in Kansas

Jan. 2006 - Dec. 2008 Missouri River along the Kansas border

Determination of Ecological Thresholds through an Historical Perspective of Trophic Dynamics

Jan. 2005 - Dec. 2007 Nationwide

Watershed Classification System for Tiered Diagnosis of Biological Impairments: A Scalable, Central Plains Focus with National Applicability

March 2003 - March 2007 EPA Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)

Published Works

Thorp, J. H., D. C. Rogers. 2010. Field Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates of North America.
Thorp, J. H., J.E. Flotemersch, M.D. Delong, A.F. Casper, M.C. Thoms, F. Ballantyne, B. O'Neill, C.S. Haase. 2010. Linking ecosystem services, rehabilitation, and river hydrogeomorphology. Bioscience 60(1):67-74.
Thorp, J. H., A.P. Covich, W.W. Dimmick. 2010. Introduction to invertebrates of inland waters. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Burlington, MA:Academic Press (Elsevier). 1-23.
Thorp, J. H., A.P. Covich. 2010. An overview of inland aquatic habitats. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Chapter Chapter 2. Burlington, MA:Academic Press (Elsevier). 25-47.
Thorp, J. H., A.P. Covich. 2010. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Burlington, MA:Academic Press (Elsevier).
Thorp, J. H., G.A. Lamberti, A.F. Casper. 2010. St. Lawrence River. Field Guide to Rivers of North America. Chapter Chapter 22. Academic Press (Elsevier). 418-435.
Covich, A.P., J. H. Thorp, D. C. Rogers. 2010. Introduction to the subphylum Crustacea. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Chapter 19. Burlington, MA:Academic Press (Elsevier). 695-723.
Thorp, J. H. 2009. Arthropoda and related groups. Encyclopedia of Insects:2nd edition Edition. San Diego, CA:Academic Press (Elsevier). 50-56.
Thorp, J. H. 2009. Models of ecological processes in riverine ecosystems. Encyclopedia of Inland Waters. Chapter Vol. 1. San Diego, CA:Academic Press (Elsevier). 448-455.
Roach, K.A., J. H. Thorp, M.D. Delong. 2009. Influence of lateral gradients of hydrologic connectivity on trophic positions of fishes in the Upper Mississippi River. Freshwater Biology 54:607-620.
Delong, M.D., J. H. Thorp. 2009. Mollusc shell periostracum as an alternative to tissue in isotopic studies. Limnology and Oceanography Methods 7:436-441. http://www.aslo.org/lomethods/locke...
Thorp, J. H., M.C. Thoms, M.D. Delong. 2008. The Riverine Ecosystem Synthesis. http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bo...
Sluss, T.D., G.A. Cobbs, J. H. Thorp. 2008. Impact of turbulence on riverine zooplankton: A mesocosm experiment. Freshwater Biology 53:1999-2010. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Moore, S.L., J. H. Thorp. 2008. Coping with hydrogeomorphic variations in a prairie river: Resiliency in young-of-the-year fishes. River Research and Applications 24:267-278. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Thorp, J. H., J.A. Stanford, M.C. Thoms, G.E. Petts. 2007. Editorial: Global partnerships and the International Society for River Science (ISRS). River Research and Applications 23:1-5. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Casper, A.F., J. H. Thorp. 2007. Diel and lateral patterns of zooplankton distribution in the St. Lawrence River. River Research and Applications 23(1):73-86. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Casper, A.F., J. H. Thorp, S.P. Davies, D.L. Courtemanch. 2006. Ecological responses of zoobenthos to dam removal on the Kennebec River, Maine, USA. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie Large Rivers 16(4):541-555.
Jack, J.D., W. Fang, J. H. Thorp. 2006. Vertical, lateral, and longitudinal movement of zooplankton in a large river. Freshwater Biology 51(9):1646-1654. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Thorp, J. H., M.C. Thoms, M.D. Delong. 2006. The riverine ecosystem synthesis: Biocomplexity in river networks across space and time. River Research and Applications 22(2):123-147. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Delong, M.D., J. H. Thorp. 2006. Significance of instream autotrophs in trophic dynamics of the Upper Mississippi River. Oecologia 147(1):76-85. http://www.springerlink.com/content...
Buijse, A.D., F. Klijn, R.S.E.W. Leuven, H. Middlekoop, F. Scheimer, J. H. Thorp, H.P. Wolfert. 2005. Rehabilitation of large rivers: References, achievements and integration into river management. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie Suppl. Vol 155 (Large Rivers Vol. 15):715-738.
Hein, T., W. Reckendorfer, J. H. Thorp, F. Schiemer. 2005. The role of slackwater areas and the hydrologic exchange for biogeochemical processes in river corridors: Examples from the Austrian Danube. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie Suppl. Vol. 155 (Large Rivers Vol. 15):425-442.
Thorp, J. H., S. Mantovani. 2005. Zooplankton in turbid and hydrologically dynamic, prairie rivers. Freshwater Biology 50(9):1474-1491. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/...
Thorp, J. H., A.F. Casper. 2003. Importance of biotic interactions in large rivers: An experiment with planktivorous fish, dreissenid mussels, and zooplankton in the St. Lawrence. River Research and Applications 19:265-279.
Jack, J.D., J. H. Thorp. 2002. Impacts of fish predation on an Ohio river zooplankton community. Journal of Plankton Research 24(2):119-127.
Greenwood, K.S., J. H. Thorp, R.B. Summers, D.L. Guelda. 2001. Effects of an exotic bivalve mollusk on benthic invertebrates and food quality in the Ohio River. Hydrobiologia 462:169-172.
Greenwood, K.S., J. H. Thorp. 2001. Aspects of ecology and conservation of sympatric, prosobranch snails in a large river. Hydrobiologia 455:229-236.
Delong, M.D., J. H. Thorp, K.S. Greenwood, M.C. Miller. 2001. Responses of consumers and food resources to a high magnitude, unpredicted flood in the upper Mississippi river basin. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 17(3):217-232.