Donna Nemeth




St. Thomas


College of Science and Mathematics

Area: Ichthyology, aquatic animal husbandry, functional morphology

Abstract of Research: Abstract of Research: My academic interests center on animal design and how that influences function in the environment. Current research projects include:

  • A survey of biodiversity and water quality of freshwater habitats in St. Thomas, and how that varies with levels of human development in different watersheds. This USGS-WRRI funded project includes Renata Platenberg, Ph.D. (USVI Division of Fish & Wildlife) as a co-PI.
  • A study of monogenean parasite loads in two sympatric surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) in the Virgin Islands, and how that is influenced by habitat characteristics and habitat use. Our finding of variation in parasite loads in blue tang and ocean surgeonfish has led our research team (Paul Sikkel, Ph.D., currently at Murray State University; and Amber McCammon, B.S. Marine Biology, UVI) to further investigate differential susceptibility to parasite infection.

As the former Curator of Exhibits at Coral World Ocean Park (1997-2003), I still have a great interest in recreating appropriate natural habitats for aquatic organisms. I am currently working with Coral World on designing a new public exhibit that focuses on freshwater fishes and crustaceans in Virgin Islands watersheds. I am also designing an aquarium science curriculum for K-12 and undergraduate students, which will use a closed-system marine aquarium in the UVI MacLean Marine Science Center to investigate the integration of biology, math, chemistry, and other disciplines in the captive care of marine life.


  • Nemeth, D., McCammon, A., Sikkel, P.C., and Williams Jr., E. H. (submitted 2006) Habitat/species differences in monogenean loads of free-living sympatric surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) in the Virgin Islands, and a Redefinition of Neobenedenia melleni (MacCallum, 1927), Resurrecting Neobenedenia pargueraensis Dyer et al., 1992
  • Nemeth, D. 2001. Champsodontidae. p. 3496-3497 In: FAO Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The living marine resources of theWestern Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, and marine mammals. FAO, Rome.
  • Nemeth, D.H. 1997. Modulation of buccal pressure during prey capture in Hexagrammos decagrammus (Teleostei: Hexagrammidae). J. exp. Biol. 200 (15): 2145-2154.
  • Nemeth, D.H.1997. Modulation of attack behavior and its effect on feeding performance in a tropic generalist fish, Hexagrammos decagrammus. J. exp. Biol. 200 (15): 2155-2164.
  • Nemeth, D. 1994. Systematics and Distribution of fishes of the family Champsodontidae (Teleostei, Perciformes), with descriptions of three new species. Copeia 1994(2): 347-371.