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Matthew White

Matt White, portrait in specimen lab
Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
Wilson West 201

Recent News


Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Courses Taught

  • BIOS 3100 General Genetics
  • BIOS 4650 Ichthyology

Research Interests

  • Lab: Wilson West 206

Patterns of genetic variation within and among natural populations reflect the contributions of historical and contemporary processes. In an area of study called phylogeography, my laboratory uses molecular markers to evaluate the distribution of variation among populations of freshwater fishes and assesses the relative roles of vicariance, dispersal, and gene flow in that distribution. In cooperation with the states of Kentucky and West Virginia, we are using mitochondrial DNA sequence variation and microsatellite DNA variation to study differentiation among native and introduced walleye populations. Several native populations have been identified and we are examining the magnitude of introgression with introduced populations. One goal is to identify populations that could be used to reestablish other native populations. A parallel study of sauger allows us to examine differentiation in a closely-related species much less influenced by hatchery introductions. Studies of populations of a freshwater lamprey (genus Lampetra) using mtDNA sequence variation have demonstrated highly significant differentiation among populations. Our data suggest that many of these populations have been isolated since the Miocene. We hope to use this data to identify undescribed forms of this widespread species. We are further clarifying patterns of differentiation in these lampreys by examining the distribution of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region. Ongoing collaborations include a study of differentiation in the Stonecat madtom, and in the Ouachita map turtle.


I was raised in Connecticut and completed my undergraduate studies at Tufts University. A master's degree at St. Louis University in 1979 was followed by a Ph.D. in Biology at Virginia Tech in 1983. Prior to coming to Ohio University, I did post-doctoral work at Indiana University. I joined the faculty at Ohio University in 1985.

H. Bartels, M. F. Docker, M. Krappe, M.M. White, C. Wred, I. C. Potter. 2015. Variations in the presence of chloride cells in the gills of lampreys and their evolutionary implications. Journal of Fish Biology 86: 1421-1428.

White, M.M. 2014. Intraspecific phylogeography of the American brook lamprey (Lethenteron appendix). Copeia 2104: 513-518.

Smith, A.D., K. Temple-Miller,W.M. Roosenburg, and M.M. White. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA variation in the Ouachita Map turtle, Graptemys ouachitensis. Copeia 2012: 301-306.

White, M.M., J.E. Faber, and K. Zipfel. 2012. Genetic identity of walleye in the Cumberland River. American Midland Naturalist 167:373-383.

White, M.M. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA variation in sauger. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:795-801.