Associate Professor of Biology
Dr. Carroll earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas where she trained as an aquatic invertebrate community and food web ecologist. Dr. Carroll teaches and conducts research in the areas of general ecology, zoology, limnology, biodiversity, advanced ecology, and marine biology.
Dr. Carroll has maintained an active research program which explores the community and ecosystem dynamics of small streams, karst springs and submerged karst cave systems in the Ozarks Region of Southwest Missouri. Questions her research addresses include: regulation of benthic food webs; community dynamics; ecology of freshwater invertebrates; organic constituency of benthic sediments; carbon cycling in aquatic food webs; cross ecosystem exchanges; stable isotope & stoichiometric analyses of organic source-consumer pathways and food web complexity and linkage strength among systems. Additionally, Dr. Carroll travels internationally with dozens of students to Roatan, Honduras and Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles to study coral reef ecosystems. Dr. Carroll enjoys using field, experimental, and descriptive techniques to answer primary and applied ecological questions.
Dr. Carroll is also interested in how human interactions with the natural environment alter basic aquatic community and ecosystem structure and function. Hence, her most recent student research projects include studies on the effects of estrogen and the feminization of freshwater fishes, effects of fish stocking on macroinvertebrate populations in Ozark streams, the effects of organic dumping on invertebrate communities in karst springs. In marine systems she has directed student research in the incidence of coral disease, and spatial changes in sessile benthic life forms of the Mesoamerican Reef near Roatan, Honduras. Among her students’ accomplishments are presentations of their work at conferences, earning REU positions at Duke University while completing their undergraduate degrees at Drury, and graduate school appointments in both freshwater and marine areas of study.
"Rainboots for Roatan" - Study Abroad Service at Drury University
During winter intersessions, Dr. Carroll leads groups of students on coral reef ecosystem research study abroad trips to Roatan, Honduras. Prior to each trip, students raise money to purchase rainboots for the children of Roatan, which they distribute while there.
During a previous assignment, Dr. Carroll served as the Director of Drury’s Environmental Programs. During her tenure, the programs saw a ten-fold increase in Environmental Programs due in large measure to the offering of three new interdisciplinary environmental majors, a new environmental management major-designed for the evening college that incorporated enhanced offerings for retired military, and extensive recruiting efforts. At that time, the Environmental Program included area high school outreach through the offering of environmental science fairs, and regional collaborative learning opportunities with Missouri State University to provide an accelerated Master in Public Health to Drury students, and community outreach with the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks that established the Valley Water Mill Center as the Drury University Field Station for biological and environmental research. Building from these past activities, today the new Environmental Biology degree provides students with collaborative education, research and outreach opportunities that focus on complex environmental questions.
While at Drury Dr. Carroll has earned the Drury University Faculty Award for Teaching, the Drury University President’s Council for Sustainability--Green Panther Award, and has been recognized as an honored faculty member for outstanding contribution to the Drury Community and student Enrichment. She served on the most recent Drury University Presidential Search Committee, and Drury students have recognized her contributions through numerous awards including Faculty Awards for Excellence by Judge Warren L. White Scholars, and Outstanding Drury Faculty Nominations from the Greek Associations.
B.S., Southwest Missouri State University, 1981
M.S., Southwest Missouri State University, 1986
M.S., University of Kansas, 2005
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2001, 2009
Drury University faculty member since 1998
Associate Professor since 2011