Research Overview

I believe human societies must strive to leave healthier aquatic ecosystems to future generations. To this end, I became an applied fish and aquatic ecologist with the goal of pursuing conservation management solutions to modern issues that imperil aquatic habitats, fisheries and the ecological services they deliver to humans. I have been involved on a range of basic and applied research questions, but most of my efforts center on developing actionable science-based solutions, and assisting conservation professionals, on problems commonly encountered in freshwater fish and mussel populations. I rely on a four-legged approach to understanding ecology that incorporates theory, manipulation, observation (especially long-term ecological research), and quantitative models and endeavor to use all of these perspectives in my work.

Freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem function are in a state of massive global decline. One of the central challenges to freshwater conservation management is that knowledge is simply lacking on ecological relationships between many species and their environments. Meanwhile, considerable attempts are made to improve ecological services with incomplete information and high uncertainty. I work at the science-policy nexus together with other ecologists, agencies, conservation practitioners, and the public, to identify critical knowledge gaps
, and ensure my research is useful for serious conservation needs. I am particularly attracted to applications of ecological theory, especially when it generates bridges towards better conservation policies and ecological resilience. I am increasingly engaged in long-term ecological research, importantly because we are living through an era of rapid environmental change, but also because slow change tends to elude our senses which can lead to blocked understanding.

Update (August 2017): I am transitioning to a faculty role at UC Davis in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology. There, I will be Associate Professor and the Peter Moyle and California Trout Chair in Coldwater Fish Ecology.

Quick Links:
For the past five years, I have been a Co-PI on the North Temperate Lakes, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) grant from NSF. Read more on the scope and history behind this amazing project, and download project data here:

Two NCEAS Working Groups I am a current member of:

Synchrony (LTER Synthesis Working Group):

Community Dynamics