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Jeff HillJeff Hill
Associate Professor

Telephone:  (813) 671-5230 x118



Ph.D., Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 2003, University of Florida

M.S., Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 1998, University of Florida

B.S., Biology, 1991, University of North Alabama

Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Ecology, life history, and effects of non-native species in aquatic systems; assessment of ecological risks associated with nonnative aquatic species in natural systems and the use of these organisms in human activities such as sport fishing, the aquarium hobby, and aquaculture

  • Tropical ornamental aquaculture, including commercial production and controlled spawning

  • Ecology, life history, and taxonomy of freshwater fishes from the southeastern USA and from tropical regions worldwide

Dr. Jeff Hill joined the FAS faculty in January 2006.  He is located at the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (TAL) in Ruskin (near Tampa) and maintains close associations with departmental and other UF programs in Gainesville.  He has been involved in research and extension activities in tropical ornamental aquaculture and in non-native aquatic species as a post-doctoral associate at the TAL since 2003.  His graduate work investigated the ecology of native and non-native predatory fishes in Florida.  Prior to graduate school, he cultured African cichlids on his tropical ornamental fish farm in south Florida.

Dr. Hill employs a combination of field sampling and experimental studies, coupled with ecological theory, to provide science-based information on non-native aquatic species to natural resource agencies, industry, and other stakeholders.  He is interested in the use of non-native species in aquaculture and in other human activities.

Recent research projects in non-native aquatic species include feeding ecology of native largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and introduced butterfly peacock bass Cichla ocellaris in southeast Florida canals and diet studies of the Asian swamp eel Monopterus albus, a potential pest species in ornamental aquaculture ponds in Florida.

Recent research in aquaculture includes topical and immersion application of hormones for induced spawning of ornamental fish, effectiveness studies of aquaculture chemicals and therapeutants for approval through the US Food and Drug Administrationís Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) approval process, and evaluation of various feeding and fertilizing regimes for pond production of tropical ornamental fishes.

Dr. Hill is a member of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Servicesí Transgenic Aquatic Species Task Force, a scientific advisory committee evaluating applications for culturing transgenic species in Florida aquaculture.  He is a member of the Monitoring and Detection Committee and the Research Committee of the federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and a member of Floridaís Risk Assessment Sub-Working Group.

Course(s) Taught

FAS 4932/6932 (Special Topics) Invasion Ecology of Aquatic Animals; 3 credits; Spring 2008 (Course Flyer, Fall 2006 Syllabus) Lecture and discussion. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the field of invasion ecology and will emphasize aspects related to aquatic animals. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and invited expert speakers, students will be presented the ecological concepts and debates underlying this developing field; the biology and life history of nonnative aquatic animals, including characteristics of successful invaders (emphasis on Florida); risk analysis methodology; and the conservation and regulatory implications of nonnative aquatic species.

Butterfly peacock bass Cichla ocellaris (Cichlidae) is an important non-native sport fish in southeastern Florida. Dr. Hill investigating dietary overlap between young-of-year of the butterfly peacock bass and another important sport fish, the native largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Centrarchidae).

Dr. Hill and farm technician Robert Leonard using a backpack electrofisher to sample Asian swamp eels Monopterus albus (Synbranchidae) in a Florida ornamental fish production pond. This non-native predator invades production ponds containing small and highly vulnerable ornamental fishes. Results of the diet analysis show a broad range of prey items but do not indicate heavy predation on the valuable cultured fishes in the ponds.

Tropical ornamental aquaculture is an important economic activity in Florida. Doctoral candidate Jon Kao maintains his experimental production system at the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. He is using stable isotopes to help evaluate feed quality and fertilizer nutrient fate to improve efficiency of feeding and fertilizing practices in the industry.


Dr. Hill teaches a group of county extension and 4-H faculty about fish identification and aquatic ecology.






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