Associate Professor of Biology

B.S. - Pomona College
M.S. - Cornell University
Ph.D. - Rutgers University

Phone - 540-568-6566
Fax - 540-568-3333
Office - Bioscience 1028F

Office hours

Courses:   Ecology and Evolution (BIO 124), Basic Ecology (BIO 353), Landscape Ecology (BIO 456), Scientific Perspectives (GSCI 104).


Research Interests:  Landscape and community ecology;  mercury as an ecosystem contaminant.

Currently my research interests are centered on questions involving the uptake of mercury by plants and animals from terrestrial ecosystems. Much of my work has been in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate students at James Madison University. We have been looking at field situations associated with contamination of the South River floodplain at Waynesboro, VA, as well as laboratory models of bioaccumulation in plants and earthworms. We have looked at translocation of Hg within plant tissues, and most recently, the role of atmospheric dust deposition as contaminant source.

Cocking, W.D., R. Hayes, M.L. King, M.J. Rohrer, R. Thomas, and D. Ward, 1991, Compartmentalization of mercury in biotic components of terrestrial flood plain ecosystems adjacent to the South River at Waynesboro, VA. in Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 57-58:159-170, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands

Cocking, D, M. L. King, L. Ritchie and R. Hayes, 1994, Earthworm bioaccumulation of mercury from contaminated flood plain soils, in Mercury Pollution : Integration and Synthesis J. Huckabee and K. Watras, ed. Lewis Publishers (CRC Press) Boca Raton, FL. Chapt. IV.2;381-395.

Cocking, Dean, Mary Jane Rohrer, Ron Thomas, Jane Walker, and Deanna Ward. 1995 Effects of root morphology and Hg concentration in soil on uptake by terrestrial vascular plants. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, (special publication in press) Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

Back to Top