USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Professional Pages

Blank space
Search USGS Professionals Featured Profiles Blank space Frequently Asked Questions  |  About The USGS Professional Pages
bio image of Nathaniel  Hitt

Nathaniel Hitt


Contact Info

Short Biography



Dr. Nathaniel (Than) P. Hitt is a Research Fish Biologist in the Aquatic Ecology Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Leetown Science Center in Kearneysville, West Virginia.  He holds a B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster, an M.S. in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana, and a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences from Virginia Tech.  Dr. Hitt’s research investigates freshwater fish ecology and community ecotoxicology from a landscape perspective, focusing on stream ecosystems in the Appalachian highlands.  His research includes:

  • Stream network modeling of fish habitat and population/community responses to environmental change

  • Forecasting effects of climate change for fish habitat in headwater streams

  • Ecological indicators for human epidemiology

  • Environmental controls of selenium bioaccumulation in stream communities

  • Effects of stream flow and temperature on fish communities and native brook trout population dynamics

Recent media coverage on Discovery News,, and National Geographic News Watch

Link to Google Scholar profile



Download CV


Hitt, N.P. and J.R Roberts. 2012. Hierarchical spatial structure of stream fish colonization and extinction. Oikos 121:127-137. [Link]

Iwanowicz., L.R., Blazer, V.S., Hitt, N.P., McCormick, S.D., DeVault, D., and C.A. Ottinger. 2012. Histologic, immunologic, and endrocrine biomarkers indicate contaminant effects in fishes of the Ashtabula River. Ecotoxicology 21:165-182. [Link]

Daily, J.P., Hitt, N.P., Smith, D.R., and C.D. Snyder. 2012. Experimental and environmental factors affect spurious detection of ecological thresholds. Ecology 93:17-23. [Link]

N.P. Hitt, Eyler, S., and J.E.B. Wofford. 2012. Dam removal increases American eel abundance in distant headwater streams. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141:1171-1179. [Link]

Smith, D.R., Snyder, C.D., Hitt, N.P., Young, J.A., and S.P. Faulkner. 2012. Shale gas development and brook trout: scaling best management practices to anticipate cumulative effects. Environmental Practice. 14:1-16. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and P.L. Angermeier. 2011. Fish community and bioassessment responses to stream network position. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:296-309. [Link]

Brown, B. L., Swan, C.M., Auerbach, D., Campbell Grant, E., Hitt, N.P., Maloney, K.O., and C. Patrick. 2011. Metacommunity theory as a multi-species, multi-scale framework for studying the influence of river network structure on riverine communities and ecosystems. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:310-327. [Link]

Roberts, J.R. and N.P. Hitt. 2010. Longitudinal structure in stream fish communities: evaluating conceptual models with temporal data. American Fisheries Society Symposium 73: 281-299. [Link]

Betz, R., Hitt, N.P., Dymond, R., and C. D. Heatwole. 2010. A method for delineating stream network topology over large geographic extents. Journal of Spatial Hydrology 10:15-29. [Link]

Hodson, P., Reash, R., Canton, S.P., Campbell, P., Delos, C., Fairbrother, A., Hitt, N.P., Miller, L.L., and H.S. Ohlendorf. 2010. Selenium risk characterization. In: Ecological Assessment of Selenium in the Aquatic Environment. Chapman, P.M., et al., eds. Society for Ecotoxicology and Chemistry Press. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and M. Hendryx. 2010. Ecological integrity of streams linked to human cancer mortality rates. EcoHealth 7:91-104. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and P.L. Angermeier. 2008. River-stream connectivity affects fish bioassessment performance. Environmental Management 42:132-150. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and P.L. Angermeier. 2008. Evidence for fish dispersal from spatial analysis of stream network topology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27:304-320. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and P.L. Angermeier. 2006. Effects of adjacent streams on local fish assemblage structure in western Virginia: implications for biomonitoring. American Fisheries Society Symposium 48: 75-86. [Link]

Vignieri, S.N., Hallerman, E.M., Bergstrom, B.J., Hafner, D.J., Martin, A.P., Devers, P., Grobler, P. and N.P. Hitt. 2006. Mistaken view of taxonomy undermines conservation of an evolutionarily distinct mouse: a response to Ramey et al. Journal of Animal Conservation 9: 237-243. [Link]

Allendorf, F.W., Leary, R., Hitt, N.P., Knudsen, Boyer, M., and P. Spruell. 2005. Cutthroat Trout Hybridization and the U.S. Endangered Species Act: One Species, Two Policies. Conservation Biology 19: 1326-1328. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. and C.A. Frissell. 2004. A case study of surrogate species in aquatic conservation planning. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 14: 625-633. [Link]

Allendorf, F.W., Leary, R., Hitt, N.P., Knudsen, K., Lundquist, L., and P. Spruell. 2004. Intercrosses and the U.S. Endangered Species Act: should hybridized populations be included as westslope cutthroat trout? Conservation Biology 18: 1203-1213. [Link]

Hitt, N.P., Frissell, C.A., Muhlfeld, C.C. and F.W. Allendorf. 2003. Spread of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi, and non-native rainbow trout, O. mykiss. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 60: 1440-1451. [Link]

Hitt, N.P. 2003. Immediate effects of wildfire on stream temperature. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 18(1): 171-173. [Link]


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentbenthic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentbiodiversity
Ecology and Environmentbiogeography
Ecology and Environmentecological processes
Ecology and Environmentecosystem functions
Ecology and Environmentecosystems
Ecology and Environmentenvironmental assessment
Ecology and Environmentfreshwater ecosystems

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

A Water Census of the United States

Contact Information

Nathaniel Hitt
11649 Leetown Road
Kearneysville, WV 25430
304-724-4465 - Fax
Back to top

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: January 24 2013 17:21:51.
Version: 2.6