I am currently a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow. For my Smith research, I study floodplain wetlands along the Chehalis River in southwest Washington State. The Chehalis River Basin is experiencing increased flooding and degraded aquatic habitat, which has spurred Washington State to explore options to mitigate flood damage and improve aquatic habitat. I am partnering with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to inform aquatic habitat restoration efforts.
Specifically, I study how floodplain wetlands are affected by three major threats: non-native fish and bullfrogs, altered river connectivity, and land use. I’m exploring how these wetland threats affect native species assemblages (particularly amphibians), food web structure, and ecosystem productivity. The results of my work will directly inform conservation efforts by identifying priority sites for conservation and restoration, while also providing tangible restoration action plans. More broadly, this whole-system approach to restoration will lead to more effective floodplain management globally.