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Corey Phillis

Dam Anadromy: The ecology and evolution of a migratory life history


Every year millions of salmon return to our rivers, supporting fisheries and controlling ecosystems. The productive populations and iconic red flesh rich in essential fatty acids make salmon desirable fish for human harvest and terrestrial predators alike. Their large bodies mobilize sediment during nest digging and upon death provide nutrients that fuel everything from bugs to bears. In fact, these various ecosystem services are all linked by a single important life history: Anadromy. Migration to the productive marine environment enables individuals to quickly reach sizes (and thus fecundities) larger than they could achieve in freshwater. But migration is an inherently difficult behavior that is only becoming more so with ongoing global change, including warming river temperatures, non-native predators, and physical barriers that impede migration. Thus, long term security of the important ecosystem services salmon deliver to aquatic, terrestrial, and human systems depends on the resilience of anadromy to increasing selection against migration. Corey's work used case studies, common garden experiments, and modeling exercises to explore how anadromous salmonid populations adapt to migration barriers on timescales relevant to conservation and management.

Current Position: Research Specialist (Data Analyst), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, USA


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