My career has spanned a wide range of topics within the field of conservation ecology. On a broad scale, my work has focused on finding different approaches for evaluating the effects of ecological factors and management actions on the dynamics and persistence of animal populations. Past research has investigated the influence of stream structure, macroinvertebrate community composition, and forest management on demographic rates and movement in American dippers (Cinclus mexicanus); macroinvertebrate responses to prescribed and wildland fire; different forms of uncertainty in population viability models; ecology and management of small populations; and conservation genetics. I’m currently investigating the prevalence and effects of microplastics in freshwater systems and food webs.
Most of my current work advances the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) methods. By integrating eDNA detection with environmental and ecological factors such as transport and degradation, we can model occupancy and design monitoring programs for aquatic species. We’re also actively transitioning eDNA tools to practitioners via our new science communication platform www.ednaresources.com. This work allows me to follow a complete pathway of applied science: from methodological development, to applications of those methods to unique ecological questions, and finally to delivery of tools and techniques into the hands of the science practitioners who will use them to conserve and manage imperiled species and aquatic ecosystems.