Staff

Gerald Dinkins

  • M.S., Ecology (1984) – University of Tennessee
  • B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Science (1980) – University of Tennessee
  • Curator of Natural History and Malacology, McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Tennessee

Mr. Dinkins is co-owner of Dinkins Biological Consulting, LLC (DBC) and is the curator of the malacological collection at the McClung Museum, University of Tennessee. He has 29 years experience initiating, designing, and conducting studies on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Mr. Dinkins has experience in the public and private sectors, as well as academia, and has assisted legal counsel with preparation of expert witness testimony regarding ecological issues. Mr. Dinkins currently holds a Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit to conduct surveys for and translocation of threatened and endangered fish, mussels and aquatic snails.

Barbara Dinkins

  • M.S., Marine Science (1987) – University of Delaware
  • B.S., Biology (1984) – University of Notre Dame
  • Expert in taxonomy of marine and estuarine macroinvertebrates from the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

For 22 years, Ms. Dinkins has owned and managed DBC. Ms. Dinkins has over 23 years experience in the identification and taxonomy of marine and estuarine benthic invertebrates, and her clients have included both public agencies and private companies. She has processed samples from numerous coastlines, bays, and estuaries on the east and west coasts, Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California, northern Mexican Pacific coast, and the Bering Sea. At DBC, she maintains an extensive reference collection of invertebrates. For five years, Ms. Dinkins was an adjunct staff member of the University of Maryland Laboratory - Chesapeake Bay.

Robert Eldridge

  • B.S., Spanish and International Studies (2008) – Western Carolina University

Robert Eldridge is a senior biological technician and a certified driver. He has participated in numerous field surveys for benthic macroinvertebrates, fish, freshwater mussels, snails, and water quality. He has also been the lead investigator in several water quality studies. In the DBC office, Mr. Eldridge is the principal sorter of marine macroinvertebrate samples and assists in data preparation and analysis.

Bill Harris

Bill Harris is a biological technician, certified diver, and equipment manager. In the field, he assists in field work and performs a variety of tasks, including tending divers, collecting water quality and benthic macroinvertebrate samples, and assisting with fish and mussel surveys.

Hugh Faust

  • B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management, Minor in Entomology. (2006) University of Wyoming

Hugh Faust is a biologist with ten years of professional experience. Hugh has worked in 18 states and four continents providing expertise on surveys for, big cats, ungulates, insects, trees, birds, mussels, and fish. At DBC Hugh is a biologist and certified diver and works in concert with the team to complete mussel, fish, and snail surveys across the Eastern US. He is happy to be back in Tennessee.

Matthew Reed

  • M.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Science. University of Tennessee 2014.
  • B.A. Communications Studies, Wildlife and Fisheries Science minor. University of Tennessee 2012.
  • Thesis topic: Freshwater mussels of the Buffalo River system, Tennessee.

Biological Technician.

Research Associates

Over the last 20 years we have established a strong working relationship with numerous people in the natural resource field. A few of the people who have teamed up with Dinkins Biological Consulting to conduct aquatic and terrestrial studies are listed below.

Steve Ahlstedt

  • M.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Science (1984) – University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • B.A. Biology, Geology, Environmental Studies (1973) – Alfred University, NY

Steve Ahlstedt is a retired biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and for many years was a malacologist for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Mr. Ahlstedt is a certified SCUBA diver and frequently assists DBC on endangered freshwater mussel projects in the southeastern U.S. Mr. Ahlstedt has worked extensively with DBC as a Senior Ecologist for the past six years on a wide range of projects.

James D. Williams

  • Ph.D. Biology – University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • M.S. – Biology – University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • M.A. – Education, B.S., Secondary Education – University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Jim Williams is a well known aquatic biologist who is retired from the U.S. Geological Survey. He is currently on part-time employment with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is a research associate for the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr. Williams works as a Senior Ecologist for DBC as needed. Currently Dr. Williams along with Robert Butler of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working on a book on the freshwater mussels of Florida.

Wendell Pennington

  • M.S. Biology – Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN
  • B.S. Biology – Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN

Mr. Pennington is the President and Senior Environmental Scientist/Principal Taxonomist for Pennington and Associates Inc. (PAI) in Cookeville, Tennessee. Mr. Pennington has extensive experience in environmental consulting and his firm Pennington and Associates Inc. is well known and widely recognized for processing and indentifying macrobenthic samples. DBC and PAI frequently team on projects involving aquatic surveys and benthic macroinvertebrate studies.

Allan Michael

  • Post–Doctoral Fellow, Yale
  • Ph.D., Dalhousie University
  • M.Sc. (Honors), Auckland University
  • B.Sc., Auckland University

Dr. Michael is the head of ADM Associates, a small consulting firm providing services to the City of Gloucester, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Northeast Consortium, City of Portsmouth, and a variety of consulting firms. Dr. Michael has many years of experience supervising the collection of biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic samples. He is an expert in the statistical analysis of marine benthic macroinvertebrate data.

Mark Hughes

  • Ph.D., Zoology (1994) - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
  • B.S.c, Zoology (1971) - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Dr. Hughes is a retired biologist with International Paper and a widely recognized expert on freshwater mussels in the southeast U.S. He has extensive experience in private environmental consulting. DBC and Dr. Hughes have teamed on several projects involving mussel surveys in Georgia.