I am a 1st year Phd student in the Lamberti Lab at Notre Dame. Within the lab I will be researching the ecological role of introduced Pacific salmon in Great Lakes tributaries. Past research on Pacific salmon has recognized their role as a resource subsidy and ecosystem engineers. However, less research has been conducted to examine the potential for salmon to act as vectors for contaminant transport to tributary streams during spawning migrations. As part of my dissertation research, I will quantify the transport of persistent organic contaminants and mercury by Pacific salmon to stream resident fish across a large spatial extent in the Great Lakes Basin. I will also assess the pathways in which salmon materials (and contaminants) are transported through the food web. Lastly, I will use ecosystem models to assess how alternative management scenarios would influence stream community structure and stream resident fish contaminant burden. This research will be useful to both basic and applied scientists interested in the effects of introduced species on stream structure and function and watershed management.
Prior to coming to Notre Dame in 2013, I worked as a native fisheries biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources where I was responsible for research and monitoring of endangered fish throughout the Colorado and San Juan River Basins. I received my M.S. from the University of Florida and my thesis examined the effects of alternative flow policies on native and endangered fish in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon from 2009 to 2011. From 2005 to 2009 I attended Lake Superior State University. While at Lake State, I conducted research on sturgeon and salmon populations in the Great Lakes and Alaska.