FLBS research continues a legacy of discovery in ecology with a specialty in freshwater. Research is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, research scientists, students, and affiliates. This team investigates ecological systems and their interactions with society at multiple scales, from genes to ecosystems.
FLBS scientists work diligently to engage and educate the community by
translating our science to the general public. Our research covers a variety of themes, including Water Quality, Lake Ecology, Stream & River Ecology, Floodplain Ecology, Conservation Genetics, Salmonid Ecology, Climate Science, and Remote Sensing, among others.
Salmon Run on Kodiak Island
FLBS Research and Discoveries
Kodiak Brown Bears and Salmon Abundance
The FLBS Kodiak brown bear project is focused on understanding how Kodiak brown bears behave in response to changing sockeye salmon abundance. Although the refuge has protected Kodiak’s famous large bears and robust salmon runs, both species' numbers have been declining in recent years.
Read more on the FLBS Science page.
Conservation Genetics: Aquatic Invasive Species
Since their discovery in North American waters around 1988, zebra and quagga mussels have spread rapidly across the United States, infecting one water body after another. The devastating ecological and economic consequences of the ingress of invasive mussels are well-documented, including negative effects on property values, utility costs, and public enjoyment of public lakes and beaches. There are currently only a handful of states in which invasive mussels have not yet taken hold, of which Montana is one. And there is currently no known method of eradication once a zebra/quagga mussel population has become established in a water body.
However, research has shown that early detection of the mussels as well as a rapid, coordinated response effort may prevent a population from becoming established. FLBS researchers have developed a set of environmental DNA (eDNA) early-detection tests for aquatic invasive species, including zebra and quagga mussels.
For more information about FLBS efforts to monitor for Aquatic Invasive Species, visit our
Research & Discovery page