The effects of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in lotic ecosystems
Michael's research examined the dynamics of large-scale natural and anthropogenic disturbance in aquatic ecosystems. Specifically, he examined the effects of wildfire on stream temperatures and food webs in a small California coastal watershed, flow regulation on California Central Valley rivers, and climate change on the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. He found that our ability to measure and predict the effects of disturbance on recipient ecosystems can be improved by applying quantitative tools such as information theory, model averaging, Bayesian stable isotope mixing models, and stream network models. Generally, his research has shown that disturbance can drive spatial heterogeneity in abiotic and biotic responses such as water temperature and fish distributions. By combining empirical studies and modeling he furthered our understanding of how disturbance shapes the form and function of streams and rivers.
Current Position: Senior Biologist, Cramer Fish Sciences, Oregon, USA