I am an incoming graduate student at Utah State University with focuses on native species conservation, multi-species management, and applied ecology. I work on a variety of research projects as highlighted here:
–Algal Bloom Impacts on British Columbia Fisheries–
I am currently working with biologists in the Kootenay River watershed where large algal blooms (Didymosphenia geminata) have raised concerns about impacts on local salmonid fisheries. I will be examining fish diets, growth, and abundance, as well as macroinvertebrate production, in bloom-affected reaches of the White and Lardeau River basins and comparing to control reaches. We aim to provide biologists with practical management recommendations to address any negative impacts of these algal blooms on fish food resources.
–Factors Leading to Illegal Fish Introductions–
Illegal introductions (bucket biology) of game fishes is an ever present problem in Montana and beyond. Along with collaborators at Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks, I am conducting an analysis to determine what characteristics may make certain waterbodies more susceptible to bucket biology. Depending on our results in Montana, we may expand our scope to include Idaho and Wyoming or even all western U.S. states.
Related Pubs: Bourret, S.L. and N.G. Clancy. In prep. A multi-scale approach for analyzing illegal fish introductions in Montana. For submission to Fisheries.
Collaborators: Sam Bourret (MFWP)
–Multi-Species Management in Freshwater Fisheries–
As freshwater fish populations continue to decline worldwide, new management approaches are needed to compliment the old. Multi-species management (MSM) is an approach that expands the scope of fisheries conservation to include non-game fishes and even non-fish aquatic animals (i.e. larval amphibians, mussels, beavers, turtles, etc.) due to the many impacts these species have on fisheries (fish, habitats, and humans). MSM can be viewed as a practical, on-the-ground alternative to the more nebulous and policy-focused ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM).
–Pallid Sturgeon Food Webs–
From 2015-2017, I worked on a project headed by Eric Scholl on the Missouri River. I used GIS maps to quantify areas of backwater habitat at different distances from Fort Peck Dam. I paired these maps with invertebrate samples from three study sites below the dam to determine how invertebrate communities change due to impoundment. This is part of a larger study on the food resources of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus).
Collaborators: Eric Scholl (MSU), Nate Beckman (MSU), Hailey Gelzer (MSU), and Wyatt Cross (MSU)
–Salmonfly Emergence Variability–
I worked with Heidi Anderson at MSU in the Summer of 2016 to assess the population viability of salmonflies (Pteronarcys californica) in the Gallatin and Madison Rivers of southwestern Montana. The large hatches of salmonflies are an important food source for trout and as such bring many anglers to the state. However, some anglers believe hatches are smaller than in the past and it is our mission with this study to find out if that is true or not. We are conducting field work to assess the size of current hatches and stonefly health and comparing these to records from state agencies, private corporations, and individual anglers, guides, and fly shops.
Collaborators: Heidi Anderson (MSU) and Lindsey Albertson (MSU)