Andrew L. Rypel - PI

Degrees: B.A. Saint Louis University; M.S. Auburn University; Ph.D. University of Alabama

Research Interests:  Fish Ecology; Conservation Science; Ecosystem Ecology; Global Change; Macroecology; Fisheries Management; Freshwater Mussels 

I am a Professor and the Peter B. Moyle and California Trout Chair in Coldwater Fish Ecology at University of California, Davis in the Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology. I am also the Director for the Center for Watershed Sciences. I believe human societies must strive to leave healthier ecosystems and fisheries to future generations. Over time, I have been involved on a wide range of basic and applied research, but most of my efforts center on creating actionable science-based solutions, and assisting conservation professionals, on problems commonly encountered in freshwater ecosystems and fisheries.

My general approach to science is four-legged; incorporating theory, manipulation, empirical observation (especially long-term ecological research and large data synthesis), and quantitative models. I am also passionate about transfer and translation of ecological research to the broader public, and in training the next generation of scientists to be leaders in this art.

Contact Information; Email:; Office: 1369 Academic Surge; Phone: 530.752.9567; Mailing address: Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA USA 95616

Google Scholar:

Twitter: @andrewrypel

NCEAS working groups:

LTER Synchrony:

Community Dynamics:

Graduate Students and Post Docs

Emily Mensch - Ph.D. Student

Degrees: B.S. Colorado State University; M.S. Michigan State University 

Research Interests: Aquatic Ecology, Fish Ecology, Conservation Science, Behavioral Ecology, Reconciliation Ecology, Community Engagement & Outreach

I am interested in studying creative solutions to large ecological problems. During my masters, I studied chemical ecology of sea lamprey with implications for invasive species management and native species conservation. At UC Davis, I am using cooperative ecological methods to investigate interactions between waterbirds and fish in flooded rice field systems within California’s agricultural basin. Specifically, I am experimentally excluding waterbirds from plots with and without introduced fish to quantify predation, competition, and/or facilitation between waterbirds and introduced fish. This research will aid in understanding boosting ecosystem services from floodplains in the face of climate change. I also aim to use ecological theory and community engagement to dually inform wildlife managers and farmers on best ways to use limited water resources for support of agricultural yields and biodiversity.

Twitter: @MenschEmily


Erin Tracy - Ph.D. Student

Degrees: B.S. Guilford College; M.S. Michigan State University

Research Interests: Fisheries Management, Aquatic Ecology, Social Ecological Systems Response to Climate Change, Effective Teaching Strategies in Ecology

I am broadly interested in the study of both social and ecological aspects of aquatic conservation and in effectively communicating this research to natural resource managers, students, and the public. At Davis I will be working with telemetry data from a variety of fish species to inform management and conservation. My masters research explored how social and ecological systems change under a changing climate. This research included a qualitative study on climate change perceptions in natural resource management organizations and a quantitative study on the influence of landscape features and climate change on aquatic habitats and fisheries.


Rachelle Tallman - Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees: B.S. University of California, Santa Cruz

Research Interests: Fisheries Management; Conservation Science; Fisheries Policy; Fish Ecology 

I’m interested in collaborative and innovative approaches to improving fisheries conservation and management. My current research is focused on exploring the potential for agricultural rice fields to be used in the conservation of native fishes in the Central Valley. Juvenile Chinook salmon once reared on vast floodplains throughout the Central Valley during their out-migration to the Pacific Ocean. While most of these natural floodplains are now gone, flooded agricultural fields exist that could function as surrogate floodplains for salmon. This work is forging unique collaborations between agricultural and conservation groups in California to find solutions for declining fishes, especially salmon.


Christine Parisek - Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees: B.S. Saint Mary's College; M.S. California State University Stanislaus

Research Interests:  Alpine Ecosystems; Freshwater Science; Ecology; Landscape Ecology

I am interested in the mechanisms that govern lake food web structure and function across heterogeneous mountain landscapes, and in understanding limnology patterns occurring across scales. My early research at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab sparked my interest in mountain freshwater systems, and I have since been increasingly focused on high alpine freshwater ecosystems more broadly as a potential model for testing deeper ecological questions. My work spans the gamut from local-scale trophic dynamics to global-scale patterns in lake distributions. Currently, I am exploring the abundance, distribution, vulnerability, and food web ecology of California mountain lake ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada. I am also investigating the effects of mega-wildfire on lake communities and their food webs.

Twitter: @caparisek; #sierrafishes project 



Mattea Berglund - Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees: B.S. Brown University

Research Interests:  Aquatic Ecology; Fish Ecology; Global Change; Conservation Science; Fisheries Management; Disease Ecology

I am interested in how human drivers impact the health, distribution, and composition of aquatic communities, and how these changes impact resource users. My past research has spanned New England salt marshes, New Jersey artificial reefs, and Alaska salmon hatcheries. Through collaborations with policy makers, managers, and stakeholders, I aim to inform more equitable and effective management and restoration strategies. I am also passionate about communicating science and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM.


David Ayers - Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees: B.S. Fishery Resources, Wildlife Resources; University of Idaho

Research Interests: Fish Ecology; Fisheries Conservation and Management; Behavioral Ecology; Animal Bioacoustics; Habitat Restoration; Hydrodynamics

I am interested in understanding how aquatic habitats structure ecological processes and influence fish distribution. I am currently investigating how hydrodynamic, biogeochemical, and diel factors affect fish movement and habitat use in tidal wetlands. To accomplish this, I employ non-invasive imaging sonars to examine how fishes respond to environmental factors across spatiotemporal scales. This approach is intended to contextualize habitat use patterns, elucidate ecological processes, and facilitate effective restoration of tidal wetland habitats for native and imperiled fishes of the Sacramento San-Joaquin River Delta.


Alexandra Wampler - Ph.D. Student

Degrees: B.S. University of California, Davis Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology

Research Interests: Fish ecology; population genetics; reconciliation ecology; Chinook Salmon conservation and management


Miranda Bell-Tilcock - Lab Coordinator

Current Position: Lab Coordinator and Assistant Specialist at Center For Watershed Sciences at UC Davis

Twitter: @eyeballMir

Undergraduate Students

Alexandria GinezUndergraduate Student

Research Interests:  Fish Ecology, Fisheries Management, Science Communication, Data-Poor Fishes

I am currently an undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology with a specialization in Fish Biology. As a lover of "monster fish", I am interested in researching underappreciated fish species (especially gar!). As part of the Rypel Lab, I am assisting with developing approaches to utilizing life-history characteristics to explore sustainable harvest practices for native freshwater fishes. I also help out with research examining interactions between waterbirds and Chinook salmon raised on flooded rice fields.


Sophie Sanchez – Undergraduate Student

Research Interests:  Aquatic Ecology; Fish Ecology; Fisheries Management 

I am currently a 4th year UC Davis undergraduate completing a degree in Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology. Over these last 4 years, I’ve become extremely interested in applied aquatic ecology, especially management-related topics. Previously, I conducted independent undergraduate research in the Eadie Lab where I compared diet content of harvested dabbling ducks against diet content of scientifically-collected individuals. As an intern in the Rypel Lab, I assist the Sierra Fishes project in sorting zooplankton morphospecies for isotope work. I hope to be pursuing a graduate degree in applied aquatic ecology in the near future. 



Kaylee Pebelier  – Undergraduate Student

Research Interests:  Freshwater Ecosystems; Aquatic Species Interactions; Spatial Variability of Food Webs 

I am most interested in the interaction between freshwater ecosystems, and aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates living within them. In the Rypel Lab, I am currently working on digitizing legacy reservoir fisheries data collected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Reservoir Research Program (NRRP). My work is supported by the WFCB Lloyd W. Swift Fund to support Experiential Learning, and these legacy data are unique because fish biomass values were empirically gathered using rotenone (poisoning) surveys from 1925–1976; collection of empirical fish biomass data like these are simply no longer feasible. In summer 2023, I will be working as a scientific aid with the CDFW office in Bishop, CA on their Lahontan Cutthroat trout recovery project.


Twitter: @kayleepebelier 

April Alderete – Undergraduate Student

Research Interests:  Habitat Restoration; Songbirds; Urban Ecology 

I am currently an undergraduate pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology. In the past, I assisted in research involving invasive turtle species in Putah Creek as well as research involving cattle personalities and grazing patterns. As an intern in the Rypel Lab, I work with fish biomass data collected from reservoirs all across the United States. In the future, I hope to become more involved with local organizations and participate in restoration efforts along Putah Creek.


Visiting Scholars

2019-2020: Laura Twardochleb (PhD Student, Michigan State University)

2018-2019: Morgan Bowen (MS Student, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana)

Former Students

Derrick Alcott - Postdoctoral Scholar

Current Position: California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Lauren G. Hitt - MS Student

Current Position: PhD Student, University of Canturbury


Scott Colborne – Postdoctoral Scholar

Current Position: Research faculty, Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University

Twitter: @sfcolborne


Parsa Saffarinia – Postdoctoral Scholar

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research at UC Berkeley

Twitter: @Psaffarinia

Personal website:


Amanda PetersonMS Student (co-advised with Nann Fangue)

Current Position: Biologist, NOAA


Mackenzie Miner - MS Student (co-advised with Nann Fangue)

Current Position: Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources


Colby Hause - MS Student (co-advised with Nann Fangue)

Current Position: Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Emily Jacinto - MS Student

Current Position: Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Chris Jasper - MS Student (co-advised with John Durand)

Current Position: Biologist with Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting 


Miranda Bell-Tilcock - MS Student

Current Position: Assistant Specialist at Center For Watershed Sciences at UC Davis

Twitter: @eyeballMir

Mollie Ogaz - MS Student (co-advised with Carson Jeffres)

Current Position: Fisheries Biologist at Cramer Fish Sciences Inc.


Gabe Singer - Post Doctoral Scholar

Current Position: California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Danny O'Donnell – Postdoctoral Scholar

Current Position: California Department of Fish and Wildlife


Francine De Castro - Undergraduate Student

Research Interests: Fish Ecology; Reconciliation Ecology; Ecological Sustainability; Fish Physiology 

Current Position: Ph.D. student at UC Davis

I am currently working to complete my undergraduate studies at UCD for a Bachelor's in Environmental Toxicology with a focus in ecology. As an undergrad intern in the Rypel Lab I am working to digitize a decades-long legacy dataset detailing the standing stock fish biomass in reservoirs across the United States. I have also assisted in research rearing Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) on agricultural rice fields, and am also assisting with the rotary screw trap project on Putah Creek. 


Adrian Loera- Undergraduate Student

Research interests: Fish Ecology; Fisheries Management, Fish and Water Policy; Science Communication

Current Position: California Trout, Inc.


Sierra Mabanta - Undergraduate Student

Current Position: California Department of Water Resources

Wilson Xiong  - Junior Specialist

Current Position: Graduate student at University of Tennessee

Elias Tita - Undergraduate Student 

Current Position: Grad Student, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK 

Kiana Lindblad  - Undergraduate Student 

Current Position: Grad Student, Saint Louis University 

Twitter: @KianaLindblad 

Hailey Gleason - Undergraduate Student

Daisuke Goto (Post Doc, University of Wisconsin - Madison, co-advised with Jake Vander Zanden) - Research Scientist with the Institute of Marine Research, Norway

Bonnie Myers (MS, Virginia Tech University) - PhD Student at NC State University

Matt Weberg (MS, Virginia Tech University) - Fisheries Biologist with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources