Jerry V. Mead, PhD

Assistant Research Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science; Assistant Scientist and Section leader, Watershed and Systems Ecology Section, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Jerry Mead

Office: Patrick Center, Academy of Natural Sciences
Phone: 215.405.5091


  • BS, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), Syracuse, NY. 2000. Senior project: "Aquatic Invertebrate Community Structure in Response to a 1 and 100 Year Frequency Flood in the Catskill mountains, NY".
  • PhD, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY. 2007. Dissertation: "An Empirical and Modeling Analysis of the Spatial Structure and Trophic Energy Flow through A Small Temperate Stream."
  • Post Doctoral Studies. Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. 2007-2008.

Research Interests

I study the development, disruption, and dynamics of ecosystems typically using simulation models. My research and teaching program provides the knowledge and tools (i.e., spatial models and geo-databases) for managing landscapes at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Aquatic Ecology is my focus with extensions to ecological and biophysical economics.

I earned my doctorate from Charles Hall, PhD at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York. His academic roots stems back to his advisor the great systems ecologist Howard T. Odum, PhD. I developed the first spatial model of energy flow through a small temperate stream foodweb for my dissertation.

Examples of my current projects range from mapping terrestrial snails for the entire island of Jamaica (in collaboration with Academy’s Malacology department), modeling growth potential of stream fishes in the Delaware River Basin, studying the structure of stream channels in old growth temperate forests in the U.S. and Chile, developing models of northern pike reproduction in the St. Lawrence River (currently used by Canadian and U.S. government to develop new water level management plans), climate change and impacts on salmonids of Mongolia, and lastly impacts of mining Marcellus Shale on stream ecosystems.


Jerry Mead, PhD is currently an Assistant Scientist of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER) of the Academy of Natural Sciences. He leads the Watershed and System’s Ecology section of PCER, which includes Michelle Brannin (MS, Staff Scientist II), Frank Anderson (MS, Staff Scientist II), Paulina Rojas (BS, Chilean Forest Engineer and Research Associate), and Brian Reid (PhD, Research Associate). Before coming to the Academy in 2006, he worked at the University of Pennsylvania as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. His doctoral advisor was Charles Hall, SUNY ESF. Mead’s PhD research was combining literature values and field studies to develop the first spatial model of energy flow through the foodweb of a temperate, stream. His research section uses Odum’s “systems ecology approach” to study the development, dynamics, and disruption of ecosystems. He is currently on the Society for Freshwater Sciences Science and Policy group, and was past president of the Wildlife Societies working group fro the Stready State Economy. Often, Mead’s team study ecosystems by combining simulation modeling with field and laboratory studies. Ultimately, their research section develops tools and knowledge that allows managers to best minimize human impacts on ecosystems. Our research section features six primary branches of research, each branch is supported by and often linked to one another using “Systems Ecology”, the trunk of our science. These six branches of researches his sections works on are spatial modeling of ecosystems, spatial analyses (ex., evolution, aquatic habitats, biodiversity), stream geomorphology, bioenergetics, watershed ecology, and biophysical economics.

Selected Publications

  • Mead, J.V., J.M. Farrell, and Brent Murray. (In review). A Spatially-explicit Model of Northern pike Reproductive Outcomes under Proposed Upper St. Lawrence River Water Level Management Scenarios. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Mead, J.V. (In review). Has the U.S. economy bagged the American Sportsperson? Ecological Economics.
  • Mead, J.V. F.N. Scatena, Y. Pan, R.Horwitz, and R. Birdsey. (In review). A spatial simulation of water temperature and fish growth potential for streams within the Delaware River Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
  • Mead, J.V. F.N. Scatena, Y. Pan, and R. Birdsey. (In review). Riparian forests, channel erosion, and litter based carbon inputs across the Delaware River Basin. Landscape Ecology.
  • Livshultz, T., J.V. Mead, and M.T. Brannin. (Accepted). Climatic factors correlated to niche divergence in African milkweeds. Journal of Biogeography.
  • Bedison, J., F.N. Scatena, J.V. Mead, R. Birdsey, and A. Johnson. (In press). Factors influence soil chemistry in stream riparian zones of the coastal plain. J. Soil and Forest management.

Courses Taught

  • Principals of Genetics
  • Systems Ecology
  • Geographic modeling
  • Terrestrial Community Ecology
  • Urban Ecology
  • Aquatic Entomology
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • The Delaware River Basin
  • Energy and the Green City

Post Doctorate and Graduate Students

  • Stephanie Leach, Energy return on investment in mining gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.