Kids at sturgeon release

What We Do

We work every day to better understand our aquatic surroundings so that they can continue to be enjoyed by all.

Protecting Native Animals

The rivers of the Southeastern United States harbor some of the highest freshwater diversity on the planet. TNACI works to restore and protect Southeastern aquatic ecosystems and the animals that live here.


The research we conduct revolves around answering three questions:

  1. What animals live here?   We are particularly focused on these animals.
  2. Why are they found here?  In particular, an animal’s genetics, morphology and the surrounding ecology contribute to their ability to thrive in a certain habitat. 
  3. How are these animals impacted by a changing environment?

TNACI Curriculum Vitae

Conservation Planning

TNACI conducts research to identify which southeastern waters have the greatest biodiversity. This knowledge is vital for conservation planning in the Southeast because it can be used to identify hotspots of diversity that need protection.

Education and Outreach

As part of the Tennessee Aquarium, TNACI educates the general public on freshwater issues, helps to train the next generation of freshwater scientists and advocates for freshwater conservation in our community and beyond.


TNACI infographic