Eric R. Larson Lab

I am an ecologist and conservation scientist working primarily in freshwater ecosystems. My research focuses on the dual challenges of small populations in applied ecology: invasive and endangered species (link). I seek to understand why some organisms, when introduced to a new environment, subsequently establish populations, spread widely, and cause ecological or economic harm. On the opposite side of this coin, I ask why some formerly common species have declined to rarity and face elevated extinction risk. I address these questions using a variety of methods including trait-based risk assessment of invasion or extinction (link), species distribution modeling to define suitable habitats for invasive species surveillance or endangered species protection (link), environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring to detect rare organisms (link), and stable isotope analysis to identify the effects of species on food webs and ecosystems (link). Much of my research program relies on my taxonomic specialization in freshwater crayfish, but I work across a variety of aquatic (link) and terrestrial study systems (link) when motivated by interesting questions. For more information, contact me (link) or view my full CV as a PDF (link).