Humans are linked to aquatic ecosystems through the range of services they provide. These include provisional (e.g., drinking water), aesthetic (e.g., the beauty of a sunrise over a lake), and recreational (e.g., angling) services. However, direct and indirect human activities such as altered water flows, invasive species introductions, angling, and climate-driven drought have affected aquatic food webs, potentially degraded the ecosystem services they provide. Our research focus is to understand the interactions among these anthropogenic effects, lakes and reservoirs, and fishes and fisheries.
The ecological principles that ground our research are habitat loss, predator-prey interactions, and community/population dynamics. While our research has focused on fisheries, fish communities, and the environments that support them, we work at the interface of fisheries and physics, climate, and human dimensions. Our research approach spans a variety of field, laboratory, and analytical techniques and methods to study real and theoretical systems. We work at scales from the individual fish to entire ecosystems, including the terrestrial context and humans using the services these ecosystems provide. Our work spans both temporal and spatial scales ranging from days or one water body to decades and the entire Intermountain West.
The majority of our research projects are based in Utah with an emphasis on Bear and Utah Lakes, but we have research projects spanning the entire Intermountain West; Pyramid Lake, NV; Wisconsin; and the Arctic Circle.