Eric Hallerman

Eric Hallerman, Professor


B.S., University of Illinois (1977) 
M.S., University of Illinois (1980) 
Ph.D., Auburn University (1984)

Lab Website

Overview of past work



Office: 114 Cheatham Hall
Lab: 1021 ILSB
Phone: (540) 231-3257

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
310 West Campus Drive
Virginia Tech,Cheatham Hall, Room 106 (MC 0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Genetics of fish and wildlife species; Genetic improvement of aquaculture stocks; Aquaculture biotechnology and related public policy; Genetics education

Courses Taught:

  • FiW 4324 - Genetics of Natural and Managed Populations
  • FiW 5114 - Conservation Genetics
  • FiW 6114 - Applied Conservation Genetics

Current Research Projects:

Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) research and monitoring program

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Horseshoe crab is an ecologically and economically important species on the Atlantic coast. This trawl survey quantifies its relative abundance from Virginia to New Jersey and in the Delaware Bay. This information is critical for parameterizing the Adaptive Resource Management model used to set its harvest while fostering recovery of the threatened rufa population of red knot, a migratory shorebird that feeds on its eggs. 

Genetic marker-assisted management of Virginia sportfishes 

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This project is assessing genetic differentiation among walleye and striped bass populations in the southeastern region. The aim is to provide information needed for genetically cognizant fishery management. The project includes ongoing marker-assisted selection of broodstock for hatchery-based augmentation of the native New River walleye population.

Demographic status and population genetic differentiation of candy darter populations in Virginia (with P. Angermeier and A. Dolloff)

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The candy darter is an imperiled species found in but four stream systems in the Virginia portion of the New River watershed. This study will help define genetically-based management of these critically imperiled populations.

Population genetic analysis of “look-alike” freshwater mussel species belonging to the Genera Fusconaia and Pleurobema in the Green River, Kentucky (with J. Jones)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Kentucky Waterways Alliance. This project seeks to test the validity of these named species and to identify morphological or molecular traits that can be used to reliably identify them. Findings will be used to manage these critically endangered species.

Animal Biotechnology Regulatory Workshop - U.S.D.A.

Foreign Agriculture Service. Government regulatory agency officials need to be well informed of the science and best oversight practices in order to effective regulate animal biotechnology. A workshop involving 150 academics, regulators, and company representatives from 38 countries was held in June 2017. A website with their presentations is under construction. Population genetic differentiation of Clinch Dace and barriers to suitable habitats (with D. Orth) - Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Clinch dace is a minnow endemic to 12 streams on the north side of the upper Clinch River in southwest Virginia. To promote their demographic recovery, we are identifying genetically differentiation units for management and barriers to migration of dace to suitable habitats.

Select Recent Publications:


  • Hilsdorf, A.W.S., and E.M. Hallerman. 2017. Genetic Resources of Neotropical Fishes. Springer, Berlin. In press, ISBN 978-3-319-55836-3 (hard copy), 978-3-319-55838-7 (e-book).
  • Book chapters

  • Printz, J.E., J. Williams, and E.M. Hallerman. In press. Genetic characterization of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) populations at the zone of contact between southern and northern Appalachian lineages. In Y. Bozkurt, ed. Freshwater Fish - Biology and Conservation. InTech Publishing, Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN 978-953-51-5600-0.
  • Holliday, J.A., E. Hallerman, and D. Haak. 2017. Genotyping  and sequencing technologies in population genomics. In: O.M. Rajora, ed. Population Genomics Concepts, Strategies, and Approaches. Springer, Berlin, in press.
  • Michalak, P., L. Kang, S. Ciparis, W. Henley, J. Jones, A. Phipps, and E. Hallerman. 2017. Freshwater mussels exposed to arsenic and sulfate show contrasting patterns of gene expression. Pages 99-117 in: S. Ray, ed., Organismal and Molecular Malacology, InTech Publishing, Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN 978-953-3305-6.
  • Papers in refereed journals

  • Moncrief, N.D., J.H. Roberts, E.M. Hallerman, R.A. Van Den Bussche, and R.D. Dueser. 2017. Genetics of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in a naturally fragmented coastal landscape: evidence from mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA markers. Journal of Mammalogy, in press.
  • Okazaki, T.I., E. Hallerman, E. Kawakami de Resende, and A.W.S. Hilsdorf. 2017. Genetic characterization of Brycon hilarii (Characiformes) populations within the Pantanal, upper Paraguay River basin, Brazil using microsatellite markers. Journal of Ichthyology 57(3):434-444.
  • Moore, M.J., D.J. Orth, and E.M. Hallerman. 2017. Densities and population sizes of Clinch Dace, Chrosomus sp. cf. saylori in the Upper Clinch River Basin in Virginia. Copeia 105:92-99.
  • Schmitt, J.D., A. Bunch, Z. Moran, J.A. Emmel, E.M. Hallerman, and D.J. Orth. 2017. Predation and prey selectivity by non-native catfish on migrating alosines in an Atlantic Slope Estuary. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 9:108-125.
  • Peoples, B.K., P. Cooper, E. Hallerman, and E.A. Frimpong. 2017. DNA barcoding elucidates cyprinid reproductive interactions in a southwest Virginia stream. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 146:84-91.
  • Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I., A. Abdoli, S. Eagderi, H.R. Esmaeili, L. Bernatchez, E. Hallerman, M.F. Geiger, M. Özulug, and J. Freyhof. 2017. Dressing down: Convergent reduction of the mental disc in Garra (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Middle East. Hydrobiologia 785:47-59.
  • Schilling, D.E., J.W. Jones, E.M. Hallerman, and A.T. Phipps. 2017. A survey of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) in Little River, Blount County, Tennessee. Southeastern Naturalist 16:105-116.


Last updated March, 2018