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Morgan L. Vis

Morgan Vis, portrait
Porter 400
Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies (OCEES)

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Ph.D., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1995


  • Freshwater Algal Systematics, Ecology and Evolution

The two primary research foci of this laboratory are systematics of freshwater red algae and algal communities in streams as bioindicators of water quality. In our studies of freshwater red algae, we employ a combination of field research and DNA sequencing (both Sanger and HTS) for systematic and phylogeographic research. At present, we are concentrating our efforts on revisionary systematics as well as HTS of organellar genomes to better understand evolutionary relationships. Our studies of stream algal biofilm communities have focused on the effectiveness of acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation. Currently, we are using multi-marker metabarcoding to examine the biodiversity of remediated streams that have shown recovery and those that have not. We collaborate with other researchers at Ohio University who study impacts of AMD on other aquatic life and hydrogeology of these streams in order to contribute to a more complete understanding of this pollution on the ecosystem.

Current and Recent Student Research Projects

  • Systematics and Biogeography of Freshwater Red Algae
  • Organellar Genomes of Freshwater Red Algae
  • Multi-Marker Metabarcoding of Epiphytic Communities of Freshwater Red Algae
  • Multi-Marker Metabarcoding of Stream Biofilm Communities as Bioindicators
  • Structure and Function of Stream Biofilms for Understanding AMD Remediation
  • Algae as Bioindicators

Faculty Research Focus Areas: Systematics & Evolution


  • PBIO 1030 (Plants and People)
  • PBIO 4200/5200 Phycology: The Study of Algae
  • PBIO 4170/5170 (Biological Research and Science Ethics)

Departmental Service

  • Evaluation Committee Chair
  • Promotion and Tenure Committee Member

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Phycology
  • Phycological Society of America Board of Trustee Chair
  • International Phycological Society VP/President Elect

Selected References

Drerup, S.A. & Vis, M.L. 2018. Seasonality of Total Fatty Acid Profiles in Acid Mine Drainage Impaired Streams. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190:467

Necchi, O. Jr., Agostinho, D.C. & Vis, M.L. 2018. Establishment of the genus, Virescentia stat. nov., from Batrachospermum section Virescentia and revision of species (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta). Cryptogamie Algologie 39: 1-36.

Johnston, E.J., Dixon, K.R., West, J.A., Buhari, N. & Vis, M.L. 2018. Three gene phylogeny of the Thoreales (Rhodophyta) reveals high species diversity. Journal of Phycology

Entwisle, T.J., Evans, J.R., Vis, M.L. & Saunders, G.W. 2017. Ottia meiospora (Ottiaceae, Rhodophyta), a new genus and family endophytic within the thallus of Nothocladus (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology

Wolf, D.I., Evans, J.R. & Vis, M.L. 2017. Complete mitochondrial genome of the freshwater red alga Lympha mucosa (Rhodophyta). Mitochondrial DNA Part B

Evans, J.R., Chapuis, I.A. & Vis, M.L. 2017. Adding to the freshwater red algal diversity in North America: Lympha mucosa gen. et sp. nov. (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta). Algae 32: 171-179.

Chapuis, I.S., Necchi, O. Jr., Zuccarello, G.C., Xie, S.-L., Aboal, M., Sanchez Castillo, P.M. & Vis, M.L. 2017. A new genus, Volatus and four new species of Batrachospermum sensu stricto (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 56: 454-468.

Vis, M.L. 2016. Biogeography of River Algae, in River Algae, ed. Necchi, O. Jr. Springer Nature, pgs.219-244.

Saber, A.A., Cantonati, M., Vis, M.L., Anesi, A. & Guella, G. 2016. Multifaceted characterization of a Lemanea fluviatilis (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) population from a glacial stream in the south-eastern Alps. Fottea 16: 234-243.

Drerup, S.D. & Vis, M.L. 2016. Extracellular enzyme activity suggests phosphorus limitation of biofilm productivity in acid mine drainage remediated streams. Hydrobiologia DOI 10.1007/s10750-016-2877-5.

Drerup, S.D. & Vis, M.L. 2016. Responses of stream biofilm phospholipid fatty acid profiles to acid mine drainage impairment and remediation. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 227:159. DOI 10.1007/s10750-016-2877-5.

DeForest, J.L, Drerup, S.D. & Vis, M.L. 2016. Using fatty acids to fingerprint biofilm communities: A means to quickly and accurately assess stream quality. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment 188:277 DOI 10.1007/s10661-016-5290-7.

Entwisle, T.J., Johnston, E.T., Lam, D.W., Stewart, S.A. & Vis, M.L. 2016. Nocturama gen. nov, Nothocladus s. lat. and other taxonomic novelties resulting fro the further resolution of paraphyly in Australasian members of Batrachospermum (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology 52: 384-396. DOI: 10.1111/jpy.12401.

Lam, D.W., Verbruggen, H., Saunders, G.W. & Vis, M.L. 2016. Multigene phylogeny of the red algal subclass Nemaliophycidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 94: 730-736. (DOI 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.10.015).

Sheath, R.G. & Vis, M.L. 2015. Red Algae, Book Chapter for 2nd edition of Freshwater Algae of North America, edited by Wehr & Sheath.

Keil, E.J., Macy, T.R., Kwandrans, J., Eloranta, P. Tomas, P., Aboal, M. & Vis, M.L. 2015. Phylogeography of Batrachospermum gelatinosum (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) shows post-glacial expansion in Europe. Phycologia 53: 176-182.

Abdelahad, N., Bolpangi, R., Lasinio, G.J., Vis, M.L., Amadio, C., Laini, A. & Keil, E.J. 2015. Distribution, morphology and ecological niche of Batrachospermum and Sheathia species (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) in the fontanili of the Po plain (northern Italy). European Journal of Phycology 50: 318-329.

Chiasson, W.B., Salomaki, E.D. & Vis, M.L. 2014. New collections of freshwater red algae (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) from historically important areas in France. Cryptogamie Algologie 35: 303–316.

Smucker, N.J., Drerup, S.A. & Vis, M.L. 2014. REVIEW: Roles of benthic algae in the structure, function, and assessment of stream ecosystems affected by acid mine drainage. Journal of Phycology 50: 425-436.

Johnston, E.T., Lim, P.-E., Buhari, N., Keil, E.J., Djawad, M.I. & Vis, M.L. 2014. Diversity of freshwater red algae (Rhodophyta) in Malaysia and Indonesia from morphological and molecular data. Phycologia 53: 329-341.

Salomaki, E.D., J. Kwandrans, P. Eloranta & Vis, M.L. 2014. Molecular and morphological evidence for Sheathia gen. nov. (Batrachospermales, Rhodophyta) and three new species. Journal of Phycology 50: 526-542.