I am a 4th year student and PhD candidate in the Lamberti Lab at Notre Dame. Within the lab I study how contaminant biotransport by introduced Pacific salmon influences stream resident fish, such as brook and brown trout, in Great Lakes tributaries. As part of my dissertation research, I quantified the transport of persistent organic contaminants and mercury by Pacific salmon to stream resident fish using a variety approaches including large-scale surveys, instream manipulations, mesocosm experiments and individual-based modeling. My research highlights that salmon are a key source of pollutants to stream-resident fish. However, my research also indicates that the extent and magnitude of salmon influence on stream resident fish contaminant concentrations is dependent upon the contaminant considered, species identity, salmon spawner biomass, and lake basin. 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. Specifically, our research has implications for the emerging science of dam removal and must be considered when balancing benefits of connectivity against negatives such as invasive species and contaminant biotransport.
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.