Understanding anglers’ adaptive behavior

I investigate human behavior as a key feedback in social and ecological change of fisheries. The success of fisheries management pivots on the responses of human resource users to both ecological and regulatory change. By effectively monitoring fishing effort across fishery landscapes and anticipating adaptive responses of anglers to regulatory, social, and ecological change, managers can proactively manage fisheries for social-ecological resilience.

I use stated and revealed preference methods to investigate changes in angler behavior. These analyses include discrete choice experiments and time series analysis of vessel trip report data. Further research will investigate changes in freshwater fishign effort associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and tradeoffs in species composition related to climate change.

Trophic and behavioral ecology of fishes and parasites

While I mainly study humans these days, my first science love is the trophic and behavioral ecology of fishes and their parasites. Eurasian and yellow perch are one useful model species for studying the ecology of generalist predators. I used stable isotope methods to investigate how littoral structure (submerged vegetation and woody structure) and primary productivity influenced the trajectory of ontogenetic niche shifts of perch in 12 gravel pit lakes. Perch that grow large enough to prey on other fish tend to be the larger individuals targeted by anglers. This relationship between littoral structure, productivity, and ontogenetic niche shifts therefore has implications for the use of habitat enhancement in fisheries management.

More recently, I was lucky enough to travel to Mongolia to investigate differences in parasite load among different morphotypes of Hovsgol grayling, an endemic species to Lake Hovsgol.

Systems thinking in science education

As a former middle and high school science teacher, I remain passionate about outdoor and interdisciplinary learning as a vital component of science education.

Artificial boundaries between scientific disciplines inhibit student understanding of our planet and societies as an integrated system. Interdisciplinary learning allows students to make mental connections across scales and disciplines. Recreational fisheries are excellent model systems for demonstrating the connections between physical, chemical, biological, and social components of a system with which they can directly interact.