Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas F. Laughlin

Committee Members

John H. Kalbfleisch, Lev Yampolsky


Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is commonly thought to be a predictor of environmental stress. However, the relationship between FA and established indicators for environmental stress has received little attention. In this study, 10-38 specimens of the freshwater fish Rhinichthys atratulus were collected from 15 natural populations under varying amounts of environmental stress. Asymmetry measurements in three bilateral characters of the specimens were used to investigate the relationship between FA and established indicators of environmental stress. Significant differences in the magnitude of FA were observed between sampling locations. However, the relationship between estimates of FA and established indicators produced varying results. The present study concludes with a discussion on the usefulness of FA as a bioindicator for environmental stress and implications for future studies.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.