Understanding agents of stability in dendritic networks during periods of disturbance and developing tools to exploit these inherent properties to better manage freshwater stream resources
I am a quantitative ecologist interested in how aquatic ecosystems respond to global change. My PhD thesis has been broadly focused on how river networks respond to climate change and the implications of that change on salmon. I'm particularly interested in the dendritic or arborescent bifurcation architecture of rivers and how this structure controls the vulnerability of the river system and their fish to the changing climate.
Initially my PhD focused on the possibility that river networks buffer against climate change locally by aggregating over varied climate signals across the basin. Using river flow data, we calculated hydrological change over four decades in the Fraser River basin and discovered striking patterns of climate change attenuation. Read more here.
My subsequent work has been aimed at understanding spatial disparities
between salmon populations residing on the same river network. Specifically, I'm working to understand if migration distance from natal
streams to the estuary impacts the likelihood of match-mismatch with the
zooplankton bloom. I'm also interested in cumulative thermal risk among
adult migrants homebound to different natal streams throughout the basin. Ultimately, I would like to know if river networks act as diverse portfolios of climate and life history robust to disturbance and what attributes of the network and landscape confer portfolio properties.