Ken R. Marion

Professor, Animal Natural History & Aquatic Environmental Biology


(205) 934-8309
(205) 975-6097
Ph.D. (Biology), Washington University

Research Description:

Research in my laboratory centers around two major areas:

  • animal natural history, and
  • aquatic environmental biology.


These studies are approached by myself and my students from both field and laboratory perspectives.

Natural history studies on selected animals generally emphasize reproductive cycles, life history strategies and population dynamics. Several species of reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and marine invertebrates have been objects of study. Many of these investigations have been performed to provide basic biological and/or population information on potentially threatened species or those of possible economic importance.

Studies on aquatic environmental biology involve interactions with other faculty members. Water quality evaluations by both biological and chemical means are performed. Assessments of the fish and benthic macroinvertebrate communities are made by seasonal stream sampling. Of special interest is the use of biological organisms as indicators of the health status of aquatic ecosystems. Recent studies have investigated a mine-impacted reservoir in north Alabama and the Cahaba River, which is being impacted by urbanization.


Graduated 21 Master's and Doctoral students

Representative Publications:

Viamonte, L., K.R. Marion, S. C. Hofer and R. A. Angus. 2007. Five Mile Creek bioassessment study: Baseline evaluation of stream health using fish communities. Journal of Alabama Academy of Science 78 (3,4): 231-247.

McClintock, J., P. Melvin and K. Marion. 2007. Movement of periwinkle snails on the rocky shores of San Salvador, Bahamas. Bahamas Naturalist and Journal of Science 2: 63-68.

Blackwell, E.A., G.C. Cline and K.R. Marion. 2004. Annual variation in population estimators for a southern population of Ambystoma maculatum. Herpetologica 60(3):304-311.

Rogers, S. and K. Marion. 2004 Assessment of the suitability of selected stream sites in Bankhead National Forest for occupation by populations of flattened musk turtles (Sternotherus depressus), and the potential effects of silvacultural improvements on habitat quality. Technical Report submitted to the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Alabama Power Company and The Nature Conservancy of Alabama. 170 pp.

Blackwell, E.A., R.A. Angus, G.R. Cline and K.R. Marion. 2003. Natural growth rates of Ambystoma maculatum in Alabama. Journal of Herpetology 37:608-612.

Onorato, D., R.A. Angus and K.R. Marion. 2000. Historical changes in the ichthyofaunal assemblages of the upper Cahaba River in Alabama associated with extensive urban development in the watershed. The Journal of Freshwater Ecology 15(1):47-63.

Onorato, D., R.A. Angus and K.R. Marion. 1998. Longitudinal variations in the ichthyofaunal assemblages of the upper Cahaba River: possible effects of urbanization in a watershed. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 13(2):139-154.

Marion, K.R., S.A. Watts, J.B. McClintock, G. Schinner and T.S. Hopkins. 1998. Seasonal gonad maturation in the seastar Astropecten articulatus from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Pages 279-284 in Mooi and Telford (eds.), Echinoderms, San Francisco. Balkema Press, Netherlands.

McClintock, J.B., K.R. Marion, J. Dindo, P. Hsueh and R.A. Angus. 1993. Population studies of blue crabs in soft bottom unvegetated habitats of a subestuary in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Crustacean Biology 13:551-563.

Marion, K.R., R.A. Angus and J.B. McClintock. 1992. Assessment of the water quality, biological conditions, and pollutant sources in Upper Bear Creek Reservoir, Alabama: Development of a plan for improving water quality and establishing a recreational fishery. TVA Technical Report. 95 pp.

Cox, W.A., J.B. Hazelrig, M.E. Turner, R.A. Angus and K.R. Marion. 1991. A model for growth in the musk turtle, Sternotherus minor, in a north Florida spring. Copeia 1991(4):954-968.