Dev grew up in East Tennessee between the Great Smoky Mountains and
Cumberland Mountains. He has always appreciated nature having spent
much of his youth in the woods of Tennessee and the national parks of the West. His interest in aquatic sciences led to work at a marine biology lab
for three years, followed by many years of graduate school in Colorado, where he earned a Ph.D. studying the effects of mine drainage on mountain streams.
He next spent two years in New Zealand studying streams affected by pastoral agriculture.
In 2002, Dev interviewed for a faculty position at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (then the University of Missouri-Rolla). During his interview, he visited Phelps County’s Mill Creek and the springs of its watershed. This visit convinced Dev to accept a job offer and move to Rolla from the other side of the planet. He is based in the Biological Sciences Department on campus and teaches classes in ecology and environmental science.
Dev and his students have conducted research in the Mill Creek watershed. Some student projects have examined water quality in the watershed, while others have focused on aquatic life. One of Dev’s research specialties is the process of leaf decomposition in streams and the biota that control that process, including macroinvertebrates and aquatic microbes such as fungi. Dev has used sites in upper parts of Mill Creek (above Wilkens Spring) as part of an international project on carbon cycling in intermittent streams (those that dry up every so often).
Dev is married to Dr. Ann West, and they have two children: Samuel and Rayhana. In addition to family activities, Dev spends free time playing soccer and running when his aging body allows it.