My research aims to identify how to best manage fisheries to provide sustainable benefits to human society. This involves a combination of building data bases on how fisheries are managed and measures of their performance, analysis of fisheries data sets to evaluate performance, and for Pacific salmon in Alaska extensive work in the management process and field work on the biology of the salmon.
My research takes an ecosystem approach to exploring how aquatic systems are organized and respond to changes in the broader environment. In particular, I aminterested in how aquatic ecosystems respond to changing climate and land use and interact with fisheries. I pursue most of my current research in southwest Alaska as a principal investigator of the Alaska Salmon Program , which has studied Pacific salmon,their ecosystems, and their fisheries in western Alaska since the 1940s. As part of this program, my research group seeks to understand how watersheds function in terms of: 1)capturing, storing and transporting water, 2) processing nutrients and carbon, 3)providing habitat for plankton, insects, fishes, birds and large predators such as bears, 4)supporting ecosystem services to people (e.g., commercial and recreational fisheries) and 5) how geomorphic attributes of watersheds regulate these processes and services. Of particular interest is understanding how the physical and biological complexity of watersheds affects the resilience of their functions to changes in regional environmental changes, such as shifting climate or changes in fisheries.
My research addresses a wide variety of topics related to the behavior, ecology, evolution, and conservation of Pacific salmon, trout, and char, and their ecosystems.One of my long-standing interests is the patterns of migration and homing, and the mechanisms that underlie these behavior patterns. This work involves sonic and radio tracking, analysis of large data sets on tagged fish, and experiments. I am also interested in the evolutionary aspects of homing – the formation of locally adapted populations, and gene flow arising from straying. This work includes natural populations, populations transplanted to other locations, and the recolonization of habitat after dam removal or modification. Another interest is in predator-prey interactions in both juvenile salmonids and also adults, with a particular emphasis on predation by bears, including ecological and evolutionary aspects of predation on salmon. In addition, I have had a number of projects related to the ecological and evolutionary effects of human activities, such as selective fishing and artificial propagation in hatcheries on salmon and trout interactions in both juvenile salmonids and also adults, with a particular emphasis on predation by bears, including ecological and evolutionary aspects of predation on salmon. In addition, I have had a number of projects related to the ecological and evolutionary effects of human activities, such as selective fishing and artificial propagation in hatcheries on salmon and trout.
I am a quantitative ecologist with a propensity for fisheries problems. I utilize applied statistics and simulation modeling to address interesting questions about fisheries management, evolution, predator-prey interactions, and the population dynamics of aquatic species. My research generally falls in two categories: (1) applied research to enhance sustainable management of commercially harvested species, including methods for improving stock assessment and survey design through Management Strategy Evaluation, and developing statistical tools for forecasting salmon abundance, and (2) basic research to improve understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape the natural world, with projects focusing on bear and salmon predator-prey dynamics and the evolutionary implications of natural and anthropogenic selection on fish and wildlife.
Program Manager, Research Scientist
Database/Data Manager, Research Scientist