Dr. Ruhl is a broadly trained environmental biologist with interests in behavioral ecology, limnology and environmental science. Much of his research is focused on how intraspecific variation in sex, phenotype, and personality influences social behavior of small fish, especially zebrafish (Danio rerio).
In addition to laboratory-based behavioral studies, Dr. Ruhl also studies human-environment interactions via the study of the biological limnology of reservoirs. Reservoirs are artificial aquatic habitats made and maintained by humans, but within which natural processes take place, making reservoirs a crucible for understanding the direct and indirect effects humans have on both ecosystem function and the biological community. Dr. Ruhl’s reservoir research has thus far focused on understanding how the aquatic community (plankton, fish, and turtles) responds to gradients in resources and conditions along the lotic-lentic transition of reservoirs.
Continuing work in the lab is focused on Cyanobacteria ecology in reservoirs and terrestrial-aquatic linkages in reservoirs.