Rachel is studying the influence of beavers (Castor canadensis) on habitat complexity and juvenile salmon production in Alaska under the mentorship of Dr. Jack Stanfod. She grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho and first became interested in stream ecology during a high school Ecology class where they took field trips and studied the habitat, water chemistry and biota of North Idaho Streams.
After receiving her Bachelor's degree from the University of Montana she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Jack Stanford's Salmonid Rivers Observatory Network project in the Kitlope Heritage Preserve, British Columbia. Rachel completed her M.S. in spring 2008, working with Dr. Colden Baxter at Idaho State University. Her Master's research focused on the effects of wildfire on linked stream-riparian food webs in the Big Creek watershed, located in the Frank Church Wilderness of central Idaho.
Rachel is a Graduate Fellow of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems and is now completing her PhD at the University of Montana where she has split her time between Flathead Lake Biological Station in the winter and the Kwethluk River in western Alaska in the Spring-Fall. Her research asks how beavers may influence habitat composition of the floodplain and habitat use, growth and production of juvenile salmon in a complex large alluvial river floodplain. The Kwethluk River flows through the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge and her work is being conducted in partnership with the refuge.
Check out the links to pictures and her research blog below.
- Aquatic-terrestrial linkages
- Ecosystem Engineering
- Stream Ecology
- Systems Ecology
- Ph.D. Candidate in Systems Ecology. 2008-Present. The University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Expected Completion, 2012.
- M.S. Ecology. 2005-2008. Idaho State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Pocatello, ID.
- B.A. Biology. 2004. The University of Montana, Department of Biological Sciences, Missoula, Montana.
Publications and Presentations
Available on Rachel's C.V.
Field Weblog - https://web2.flbs.umt.edu/KwethlukResearchBlog/default.aspx
Research Images - link
Website - Montana Institute on Ecosystems