I am interested in all aspects of aquatic insect biology, especially the resolution of species using genetics, reproductive biology, and life history data. I have also combined my interests in entomology and photography to produce a large collection of images of aquatic insects in their native habitat.
I have been taking pictures of insects for more than 30 years and have developed special equipment such as a shallow underwater rig (pictured below) for taking in-stream photos aquatic insects. My photographs have appeared in numerous books and magazines, including Natural History, Scientific American, Ranger Rick, National Wildlife, Wings (Xerces Society), BBC Wildlife, and Nature Australia.
Ameletus ludens mayfly larva photographed in White Clay Creek, Pennsylvania.
David Funk using his shallow underwater photography rig.
Special rig for taking pictures of living insects on stream bottoms.
Epeorus pleuralis mayfly larva nestled among aquatic mosses in Rondout Creek, New York.
Brachycentrus caddisfly larva in Neversink River, New York.
Blepharicerid fly larvae crawling across the face of a waterfall in the Bear Kill, New York.
Two Epeorus mayfly larvae in the Beaverkill River, New York. The upper specimen has recently molted.
Tallaperla maria stonefly adult emerged from Spring Creek, Pennsylvania.
Ephemerella dorothea mayfly, adult male emerged from White Clay Creek, Pennsylvania
Eurylophella oviruptis mayfly, a recently-described species from swamp streams in North Carolina (female sub-adult).
In this project, we test the hypothesis that temperature limits the distributions of aquatic insects through its effect on resource allocation, and that warming decreases reproduction by shunting energy away from egg production to other metabolic processes.
Stroud Center entomologist David Funk documented the unusual behavior of an orthoclad midge species at Lake Umbagog on the Maine/New Hampshire border: Adult females fly over the lake and extrude long strings of eggs which they eventually drop into the water.
Low Levels of Fracking Wastewater Highly Toxic to Mayflies: Stroud Center scientists find mayflies, whose presence indicates good water quality, are significantly affected by low levels of produced water.
Where the Wells Run Dry: To predict the potential impact of climate variability, climate change, land use, and human activity on water resources in the Central Great Plains, Melinda Daniels, Ph.D., is leading a three-year research project recently funded by the National Science Foundation.