Research Projects

Current Projects

MILES.jpg Managing Idaho's Landscapes for Ecosystem Services ("MILES"). This project is part of a statewide program involving dozens of scientists aimed at advancing Idaho's capacity to resolve the complex social-ecological processes associated with urban growth-influenced changes to ecosystem services. This knowledge will improve the ability to provide science-based decision support needed to sustainably manage Idaho's resources. Collaborators at Idaho State University include Drs. David Rodgers (administrative lead), Kathleen Lohse, Danelle Larson (postdoc), Jade Ortiz (graduate student), Rebecca Hale, Antonio Castro, Donna Delparte, Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak, Rosemary Smith, & Sarah Godsey (Biology & Geology), Donna Lybecker, Jim Stoutenborough & Mark McBeth (Political Science), Yolonda Youngs, Rob Edsall and Kevin Marsh (History) and Katrina Running (Sociology). Integrated efforts at Boise State University and University of Idaho are led by Drs. Shawn Benner and John Anderson, respectively. Funded by the National Science Foundation-EPSCoR Program. For details, see project web page


Effects of wildfire on linked stream-riparian food webs in central Idaho watersheds. Graduate Students: Rachel Malison (2005-2009), Hannah Harris (2010-2013), Matthew Schenk (2013-present), Miriam Schaerer (2014-2015). Undergraduate researchers: Patrick Della Croce (2005), Matthew Schenk (2010), Tessica Gardner (2011), Matthew Lyon (2012) & Adam Eckersell (2014). Collaborators: John Davis, Ben Crosby and G. Wayne Minshall (Idaho State U.), Jeff Braatne, Breanne Jackson, Mazeika Sullivan & Kerri Vierling (U. of Idaho), Taylor Wilderness Research Station (U. of Idaho), Emily Davis and Daniel Schindler (U. Washington), and Roger Nelson and Caleb Zurstadt (Payette National Forest). Funded by the DeVlieg Foundation, NSF EPSCoR, US Forest Service Payette National Forest, the Joint Fire Science Program and the James Morris Stream Ecology Endowment.


Long Term Monitoring of Effects of Wildfire on Streams. Collaborators: Taylor Wilderness Research Station, Chris Robinson (ISU, EAWAG), Amanda Rugenski (Arizona State U.), Tim Mihuc (SUNY Plattsburg), current student Matthew Schenk, former postdoc John Davis, and former students Hannah Harris, Rachel Malison, Todd Royer, Christina Relyea, Sarah Owen, Kate Bowman, Cary Myler, Jim Brock, Doug Andrews, and Deron Lawrence. Funding from the U.S. Forest Service-Payette National Forest, National Park Service, ISU, Yellowstone Foundation, DeVlieg Foundation, the James Morris Stream Ecology Endowment, National Science Foundation, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The floodplain foodweb mosaic: ecology and management of river-floodplain systems in the Columbia River basin. Graduate Students: Ryan Bellmore (2006-2011), James Paris (2015-present), Jade Ortiz (2015-present). Collaborators on Yankee Fork Salmon River project (funded by the Shoshone Bannock Tribes): Andy Ray, Evelyn Galloway, Lytle Denny, Kurt Tardy (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes). Collaborators on Methow River project (funded by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation): Ryan Bellmore, Joe Benjamin, Pat Connolly (U.S. Geological Survey), Alex Fremier (Washington State U.), Francine Mejia (U. Idaho), Michael Newsom (US Bureau of Reclamation). Collaborators on Snake River (Fort Hall Bottoms) project (funded by the Shoshone Bannock Tribes and NSF-EPSCoR MILES): Hunter Osborne, Preston Buckskin, Zach Wadsworth.

planet.jpg Water resources in a changing climate: Ecological change in the Salmon Basin of central Idaho. This project is part of a broad, statewide program involving over 30 scientists. Principal collaborators include Drs. John Davis (postdoc), Ben Crosby, Wayne Minshall, Sarah Godsey, Glenn Thackray, & Bruce Finney (Idaho State U.), Jen Pierce (Boise State U.), Brian Kennedy, Elowyn Yager, Alex Fremier & Von Walden (U. Idaho) and Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies). Graduate students: Chris Tennant, Hannah Harris, Ryan Blackadar & Matthew Schenk. Funded by the National Science Foundation-EPSCoR Program.


Contributions of marine-derived nutrients via salmon carcasses to aquatic and terrestrial productivity in the Snake River basin, Idaho. Graduate Student: Scott Collins. Collaborators: Drs. Amy Marcarelli (Michigan Tech U.), Mark Wipfli (U. Alaska-Fairbanks), Katy Kavanagh (U. Idaho), Charlie Robbins & Laura Felicetti (Washington State U.), Gregg Servheen (Idaho Fish and Game), and Jim Chandler (Idaho Power). Funded by Bonneville Power Administration, Idaho Fish and Game, & Idaho Power.


Linking whole-system carbon cycling to quantitative food webs in the Colorado River. Graduate Students: Kevin Donner (2008-2011), Kate Behn (2012- present). Collaborators: Drs. Bob Hall (U. of Wyoming), Emma Rosi-Marshall (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies), Wyatt Cross (Montana State University), Ted Kennedy & Michael Yard (USGS). Funded by USGS, Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center.

Interactive effects of multiple terrestrial and aquatic invasive species on stream-riparian ecosystems of the Intermountain West. Graduate Students: Madeleine Mineau (2006-2010), Kaleb Heinrich (2011-2015). Collaborators: Dr. Amy Marcarelli (postdoc 2006-2009), Dr. James Hood (Montana State U.). Funded by NSF-EPSCoR, Idaho State U. & US Forest Service.

Previously Researched Topics

BigCr_ice.jpg The price of ice: Ecological consequences of changing ice regimes for linked aquatic-terrestrial food webs. Graduate student: Ryan Blackadar. Principal collaborators include Drs. John Davis (postdoc) and Ben Crosby (Idaho State U.), and Jim and Holly Akenson. Funded by the the DeVlieg Foundation, the National Science Foundation-EPSCoR Program, James Morris Stream Ecology Endowment, and Idaho State University.

Terrestrial effects of an aquatic invader: Does regional context change the impact of fish invasion on energy flow to riparian predators? Graduate Student: Joe Benjamin. Collaborators: Drs. Kurt Fausch and Fabio Lepori (Colorado State U.). Funded by the National Science Foundation, Ecology Program.

Human effects on carbon export, nutrient limitation, and primary productivity in watersheds of Idaho. Graduate Students: Madeleine Mineau, Heather Bechtold & Jenny Cornell. Postdoc: Dr. Amy Marcarelli. Collaborators: Drs. Richard Inouye, Dan Ames, Rob Van Kirk (Idaho State University), Jim McNamara & Shawn Benner (Boise State University). Funded as part of The Idaho Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Grant: National Science Foundation-EPSCoR and through grants from ISU and the Inland Northwest Research Alliance.

2006_July_BigCr_Arctopsyche_small.jpg Multi-layered, interdisciplinary mapping of a wilderness watershed--"The Big Onion". Collaborators: Christian Torgersen (USGS/U. of Washington), Kate Dwire (USFS), Joe Ebersole (USEPA/Oregon State U.), Jen Pierce (Boise State U.), Joe Giersch (National Park Service), Jeremy Monroe (Freshwaters Illustrated), Jim & Holly Akenson (U. Idaho), Ben Crosby & Christopher Tennant (Idaho State University). Funded by the DeVlieg Foundation.

tailed_frog.jpg Factors influencing Rocky Mountain tailed frog (Ascaphus montanus) distribution and abundance. Graduate Student: Jason Jones. Collaborator: Dr. Chuck Peterson (Idaho State University). Funded by Montana Dept. Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

International perspectives on the ecology and conservation of bull trout, white-spotted charr, and Dolly Varden charr. Collaborators: Dr. Jason Dunham (USGS) and colleagues from Japan (K. Morita, S. Yamamoto, S. Kitano, I. Koizumi, T. Nakamura), Russia (K. Savvaitova), Canada (R. Taylor), and the U.S. (K. Fausch, B. Rieman, J. Stanford, W. Fredenberg). Funded by the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society, the US Forest Service, and the Wild Salmon Center.


Effects of nonnative stream fishes and riparian disturbances that alter flows of resources between stream and riparian food webs in northern Japan (2002-2004). Collaborators: Kurt Fausch (Colorado State University), Masashi Murakami (Hokkaido University, Japan), Phil Chapman (Colorado State University), Yoshinori Taniguchi (Yamaguchi Prefectural University, Japan), Mikio Inoue (Ehime University, Japan), and Gaku Takimoto (Yale University). Funding from the National Science Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Rapid Bioassessment Procedures for Rivers. Collaborators: Chris Robinson, Todd Royer, Christina Relyea, Terry Maret (USGS-WRD), and Bob Danehy (Weyerhauser). Funding from the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Transport Dynamics of Organic Matter in Stream Ecosystems. Collaborators: Steve Thomas, Denis Newbold (Stroud Water Research Center), Bert Cushing (Colorado State University), Michael Monaghan (EAWAG, Switzerland), Ted Georgian (Saint Bonaventure University). Funding from the National Science Foundation.