Assistant Research Professor - Aquatic Ecology
Currently at FLBS I am working with a sophisticated computer model (ELCOM-CAEDYM) and the extensive dataset collected on Flathead Lake by researchers at FLBS over the past 35 years in order to tackle some important questions about the lake. E.g. how climate change may affect the lake's biogeochemistry and thermal dynamics. By collaborating with climatologists, we are able to use ELCOM to assess how future climate projections may alter the thermal profile and stratification regimes of Flathead Lake and what this may mean for biogeochemical processes and biota. Another important question we are exploring is how increased nutrient loading and changes in land use within the watershed may affect primary production and water clarity. We are also interested in using the food web components of the model to investigate how changes in the lake's fish community or the introduction of non-native species may reverberate throughout the food web. With invasive mussels and aquatic plants approaching, understanding the potential impacts of these threats in a realistic manner is paramount for the protection of Flathead Lake.
So far we have used the ongoing lake monitoring and the data collected with the buoy and the Flathead Lake LakeNet meteorological network to ensure that our model runs are accurate and in agreement with measured variables. I am currently compiling the vast chemical and biological data needed to begin our investigations into nutrient dynamics and trophic interactions.
Please visit http://shawnpdevlin.weebly.com/ for details regarding my research program, past experiences, and photos.