Pedro J. Torres (PJ)




Assistant Professor 
Ph.D., University of Georgia
Fields: Ecology, Freshwater and Tropical Biology
Office: O'Neil 207 Phone: (508) 793-3416



  •  Ecology (BIOL 280)
  •  Biostatistics (BIOL 275)
  •  Environmental Science (BIOL 117)


My undergraduate Lab research group is interested in multiple aspects of ecology including: organic matter dynamics, ecosystem metabolism, food webs, disturbance, nutrient dynamics, invasive species, and tropical conservation. Our current focus projects are:

1. How large disturbance events and consumer assemblage extirpations shape tropical island stream ecosystems (Puerto Rico)

Our Lab is currently involved in two projects in Puerto Rico. (1) We are collaborating with the Luquillo-LTER on the streamFRE project at El Yunque National Forest. Our Lab is assessing the role of aquatic hyphomycetes (fungi) on leaf decomposition and stream microbial respiration. (2) Additionally, we work all around the island looking at how large dams and native shrimp extirpation affect headwater stream structure and function. For this second project, we are evaluating the role of introduced species (crayfish and pet-trade fishes) in streams above where native shrimps have been completely extirpated.

2. Blackstone River and New England

We are currently developing projects to assess the urbanization and climate change effects on the stream community structure and ecosystem processes in the Blackstone River and other watersheds near Worcester.