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Dr. Susan Wilde

Associate Professor, Aquatic Science

Dr. Susan Wilde’s research and teaching is focused on impaired aquatic systems and challenges with invasive plants/animals, nutrient pollution, harmful algal blooms, emerging contaminants and their implications for fish, wildlife, and even humans depending on these valuable water resources. She discovered a new species of cyanobacteria growing on invasive aquatic plants producing the neurotoxin responsible for killing bald eagles and other aquatic wildlife in reservoirs across the southeastern United States.


Professional Experience:

  • August 2016 to present Associate Professor, University of Georgia
  • May 2008 to present: Assistant Professor, University of Georgia
  • 2005- 2008: Joint Position: Research Assistant Professor, USC, Baruch Institute and Assistant Marine Scientist, SCDNR, MRRI, Charleston, SC
  • 2001-2005: Research Assistant Professor, USC, Baruch Institute, Charleston, SC
  • 2000-2001: Assistant Marine Scientist, SCDNR, MRRI, Charleston, SC
  • 1998-2000: Postdoctoral Associate, Microbiology and Immunology, MUSC
  • 1997-1998: Postdoctoral Associate, Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston

Additional Academic Affiliations:

  • Adjunct Faculty, Master in Environmental Studies Program, University of Charleston
  • Adjunct Faculty, Marine Biology Graduate Program, University of Charleston
  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University
  • Adjunct Faculty, Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University
  • Associate Faculty, Marine Science Department, University of South Carolina

Professional Societies:

  • Aquatic Plant Management Society
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
  • North American Lake Management Society
  • Southeastern Estuarine Research Society
  • South Carolina Aquatic Plant Management Society (President-elect)
  • Weed Science Society of America
  • Ph.D. School of Forest Resources. University of Georgia. Major professor: Michael J. Van Den Avyle. Dissertation: Advective regulation of zooplankton assemblages in a reservoir series on the Savannah River, SC/GA. June, 1998.
  • M.S. Department of Zoology, University of Georgia. Major professor: Karen G. Porter. Thesis: Heterotrophic, autotrophic, and mixotrophic flagellates in freshwater plankton: their abundance, behavior, and grazing impact on bacteria. March, 1989.
  • B.S. Ecology, Ethology and Evolution. University of Illinois. Advisor: Michael Lynch. Senior Project: Morphological variations in clonal populations of Daphnia pulex in two eutrophic ponds in central Illinois. April, 1983
Selected Publications:

K. L. Fouts, N. C. Poudyal, R. Moore, J. Herrin, S. B. Wilde. 2017.  Informed stakeholder support for managing invasive Hydrilla verticillata linked to wildlife deaths in a Southeastern reservoir. Lake and Reservoir Management 33:260-269.

M. A. Barnard, J. W. Porter, S. B. Wilde.  2017.  Utilizing Spirogyra grevilleana as a Phytoremediatory Agent for Reduction of Limnetic Nutrients and Escherichia coli Concentrations.  American Journal of Plant Sciences 8:1148-1158.

Dodd, S. R., R. S. Haynie, S. M. Williams, and S.B. Wilde.  2016.  Alternative food-chain transfer of the toxin linked to Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM) and implications for endangered Florida snail kite, Rosthramus sociabilis.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52:335-344. 

Wilde, S.B. and S. Weber (2016). Cyanobacteria in the Georgia Piedmont. Sustainable Agriculture at UGA Extension, 2-4.

Woods, W. H III., B. N. Haram, S. B. Wilde and J. Ozier. 2016.  Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy. Wildlife Management Publication Series.  Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources WSFNR 16-08

Ghosh, S., B.Bartelme, I. S. Astuti, E.Benyshek, D. Haskett, J. He, B. Page, S. Wilde and D. Mishra. 2014. Developing a Cyanobacteria Detection Tool for Georgia Inland Waters Using NASA Landsat 8 OLI Data for Water Quality Protection and Restoration.  SEDAAG Conference Proceedings.   

Wilde, S. B., J. R. Johansen, H. D. Wilde, P. Jiang, B. A. Bartelme, and R. S. Haynie. 2014.  Aetokthonos hydrillicola gen. et sp. nov.: Epiphytic cyanobacteria associated with invasive aquatic plants and implicated in bird deaths from Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy. Phytotaxa 181:242-260. 

Research Interests:

Ecological impacts of harmful algal blooms in freshwater and marine systems on fish and wildlife. Watershed development, stormwater best management practices, and impacts on water quality. Toxic cyanobacteria, invasive plants, reservoir limnology, and Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy. Interactions between invasive and endangered species. Co-occurrence of pathogens and harmful algal blooms.

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