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John Darling

John Darling’s research focuses primarily on applying genetic methods to understand the spread of aquatic invasive species in order to better inform risk analysis and the design of effective policy and management strategies. His work ranges from utilization of population genetic and phylogeographic approaches for reconstructing invasion histories to the development of genetic tools for early detection and monitoring. He is also interested in the problem of translating scientific knowledge into appropriate management action.

Biographical Information

Name: John Darling
Title: Senior Research Biologist

Contact Info:

Ecological Exposure Research Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park NC 27711, MD-D305-01

Phone: 919-541-1912


  • Ph.D. in Biology, 1999, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A. in Environmental and Ecological Ethics, 2004, Boston University
  • B.A. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 1993, Wesleyan University

Professional Experience:

  • Senior Research Biologist, Molecular Ecology Research Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2013 to Present
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Cincinnati, 2007-Present
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 2010 to Present
  • Assistant Laboratory Director (acting), Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program, National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency 2011 to 2012
  • Research Biologist, Molecular Ecology Research Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2009 to 2013
  • National Exposure Research Laboratory Postdoctoral Researcher, Molecular Ecology Research Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007 to 2009
  • Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Ecology Research Branch, US Environmental Protection Agency, 2005 to 2007

Professional Societies and Affiliations:

  • US EPA representative, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force

Select Awards and Honors:

  • US EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service (October 2012)
  • National Exposure Research Laboratory Teamwork Award (April 2011)
  • US EPA Office of Research and Development Science Communications Award (July 2010)

Select Presentations:

  • International Workshop on Molecular Tools for Monitoring Marine Invasive Species, Lecce, Italy. 2012
  • Bureau of Reclamation Invasive Mussel Monitoring Workshop, Texas Christian University. 2012
  • Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor (Canada). 2010
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati. 2010
  • Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island (Canada). 2010
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Depaul University. 2009

Select Publications:

  • Pilgrim E, Blum MJ, Reusser DA, Lee H, Darling JA. 2013. Geographic range and structure of cryptic diversity among Pacific North American populations of the non-native amphipod Grandidierella japonica. Biological Invasions 15: 2415-2428.
  • Darling JA, Herborg L-M, Davidson I. 2012. Intracoastal shipping drives patterns of regional population expansion by an invasive marine invertebrate. Ecology & Evolution 2: 2557-2566.
  • Darling JA, Mahon AR. 2011. From molecules to management: Adopting DNA-based methods for monitoring biological invasions in aquatic environments. Environmental Research. 111: 978-988.
  • Darling JA. 2011. More than one way to invade: Lessons from genetic studies of Carcinus shore crabs. Invited contribution to In the Wrong Place: Alien Marine Crustaceans—Distributions, Biology and Impacts. B. Galil and P. Clark, eds. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Geller JB, Darling JA, Carlton JT. 2010. Genetic perspectives on marine invasions. Annual Review of Marine Science 2: 367-393.
  • Darling JA, Folino-Rorem NC. 2009. Genetic analysis over different spatial scales reveals multiple dispersal mechanisms for the invasive hydrozoan Cordylophora in the Great Lakes. Molecular Ecology 18: 4827-4840.
  • Darling JA, Bagley MJ, Tepolt CK*, Roman J, Geller JB. 2008. Genetic patterns across multiple independent introductions of the globally invasive crab genus Carcinus. Molecular Ecology 17: 4994-5007.
  • Darling JA, Blum MJ. 2007. DNA-based methods for monitoring invasive species: A review and prospectus. Biological Invasions 9 (7): 751-765.
  • Roman J, Darling JA. 2007. Paradox lost: Genetic diversity and the success of aquatic invasive species. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22 (9): 454-464.

Publications and Presentations

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