Life history shifts in an era of global change.
I’m interested in the immense variability that exists in traits related to age, growth and reproduction within and among fish populations. The plasticity of fishes can generate rapid shifts in life history tactics, which are increasingly impacted by changing human-use, climate, and trophic interactions. Maintaining this diversity is critical to stabilizing ecosystem processes and ensure the longevity of the goods and services they provide. During my MSc I examined shifts in size and age structure of commercially exploited marine fish stocks.
My doctoral research focuses on the causes and consequences of life history shifts in at-risk salmonid populations. Using a combination of experiments, field observations and modelling I will examine the maintenance of diverse life history strategies in steelhead trout and Chinook salmon. For example, examining the ecological and evolutionary processes underlying anadromy and residency in partially migratory populations and quantifying thresholds (growth, size, condition) associated with either strategy. Understanding the drivers responsible for this variability will contribute to assessing the recovery potential of threatened populations.