Advisor: Colden Baxter
Degree: PhD Biology
2015, B.A. Colgate Univeristy, Hamilton Idaho
James’s doctoral research focuses on aquatic food webs of river-floodplain ecosystems, confronting questions that are both applied and theoretical within several collaborative projects. On the Fort Hall Bottoms, located along the Snake River in Idaho, James is working with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to quantify food webs sustaining Yellowstone cutthroat trout, with the aim of informing adaptive management of the Bottoms and its resident fish in light of surface and ground water management practices. He is also working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Geological Survey in northcentral Washington to evaluate how side-channel reconstruction might alter flows of energy to juvenile anadromous fishes within a floodplain of the Methow River, using quantitative food web approaches. Finally, James is conducting a multi-floodplain comparison that encompasses the Snake River, the Methow River, and the Davies River in the Héen Latinee Experimental Forest of Alaska, where work was facilitated by the US Forest Service. The goal of this study is to address theoretical predictions regarding how incorporation of detritus may impart stability and maintain biodiversity within food webs and how such predictions play out in spatially heterogeneous river-floodplains.