The research in my lab most often focuses on food webs and the connections between them, particularly across land-water ecotones. I am broadly interested in how changing patterns in resource and community composition intersect with species biology, intraguild interactions and community structure both within discrete habitats and across ecosystem boundaries. I am particularly fascinated by the complex interactions that occur between ostensibly distinct biological communities and how these are altered by larger-scale patterns, physical processes and species interactions.We use a combination of field observations and quantitative syntheses of existing datasets to generate research questions which are then amenable to both experimental manipulation and analytical modeling. Oh yeah - we also try to have some fun.
Lily Coble – MS started fall 2010
Lily was raised on the shores of Flathead Lake, the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. Rumor has it she fell into the lake as a small girl where upon the flathead lake monster rescued her. In gratitude, young Lily promised to forever work to protect and preserve our fresh water resources.
In 2003 Lily moved a whopping 63 miles south to Missoula and the University of Montana where she enjoyed a lucrative career of a student athlete as a starting forward for the Grizzly woman’s soccer team, and undergraduate student in the department of biological sciences. She earned an undergraduate degree in biology with an emphasis on botany and ecology in 2009.
After several years of working with federal land managers on fisheries and riparian conservation and monitoring, she returned to the UM in 2009 and is currently in her second year of earning a Master Science degree, in Resource Conservation. Her thesis research is titled DIRECT EFFECTS OF LIVESTOCK TRAMPLING ON WESTSLOPE CUTTHROAT TROUT, and is part of ongoing collaboration between the Northern Region USFS and the Rocky Mountain Research Station. She uses field experiments measure survival of westslope cutthroat eggs experiencing discrete livestock trampling events during progressing stages of development to estimate (a) the magnitude of trampling effects and (b) how stages vary in sensitivity to trampling. These estimates are coupled with long-term data describing trampling frequencies and the timing of spawning and benthic development to model egg-fry survival and, ultimately, to refine viability projections for westslope cutthroat populations experiencing livestock trampling.
When not begging fish eggs from hatchery across the state Lily still enjoys a good round of competitive team sports, including intramural soccer and Missoula’s own Le Kickball league. She also enjoys working with local non-profits on everything conservation and restoration minded.
Warren Hansen - MS started summer 2011 - co-supervised with Dr. Creagh Breuner
Hilary Eisen - MS started fall 2011
I am a Master’s student in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana. Since graduating from Middlebury College in 2006 I worked seasonally on wildlife research projects throughout the Northern Rockies and, more recently, as a public lands advocate for a regional conservation organization (the Greater Yellowstone Coalition).
As a graduate student I am studying how the die-off of whitebark pine forests in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (primarily driven by a mountain pine beetle infestation) is affecting high elevation streams and the invertebrates that live in them. Through my research I hope to better define how changes at the terrestrial level can affect associated aquatic systems and help to complete our understanding of the broader ecosystem-wide impacts stemming from the decline of whitebark pine throughout its range.
Eric Richins - MS started fall 2011
Currently I am working on a project with New Zealand Mudsnails, an invasive species of aquatic snail that can colonize streams at remarkable rates and dominate secondary production. We are interested in primary production as it relates to snail density. A question lingers..What happens to NZMS densities during allochthonous nutrient surges?
I am a first year Masters student originally from down south on the banks of the Snake River in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I am interested in trophic interactions and geomorphological influence on aquatic communities. Also I like to raft white water and catch trout. I received my B.S. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 2010 where I had some great opportunities for field research all over the state of Washington and Grand Canyon National Park. During that time I focused on geomorphic restoration and salmonid spawning suitability of Beatty creek where a small impoundment dam was recently removed near Olympia, WA. I've also spent some time on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon monitoring biologic and geomorphic reactions to a controlled stream discharge and reduced water temperature from Glen Canyon Dam.
Always excited to hear about new aquatic research and always willing to get my boat on the water! You can reach me at .... firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Reidl – Undergraduate, summer 2010
Supported by NSF EPSCoR and MILES grants for undergraduate research
Investigating hydrographic controls on leaf litter decomposition in headwater streams
Matthew Dunkle - Undergraduate - research in lab started summer 2011
Matt is a senior, pursing degrees in aquatic restoration ecology and community-based ecological restoration. He grew up in Blair, Nebraska, a smaller city on the Missouri River north of Omaha. Matt is currently conducting research on the affects of large-scale forest mortality on headwater ecosystem litter processing and beginning a meta-analysis study on the efficacy of wetland restoration in the US and Europe. After graduating in the fall of next year, Matt is planning on entering a graduate program in limnology.
Natalie McLenaghan - Lab Technician and Dance Commander 2010-2011. now a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Adam Sepulveda – Postdoctoral Associate 2010-2011 worked on dispersal mechanisms and ecosystem alteration of a stream invader (NZMS). Now a researcher with the USGS in Bozeman, Montana –
Mariah Kraus – Undergraduate – Debris dams as hotspots of invertebrate diversity