Charles van Rees

Charles van Rees

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Charles van Rees

Phone: (406) 872-4500

I'm a conservation biologist and naturalist specializing in freshwater ecology, ornithology, and human-wildlife water conflict. Freshwater ecosystems are a primary focus of my work because of their extremely high levels of threat, important ecosystem services, and multifarious interactions with water resources management for societies. 


My research at FLBS is funded by a NASA Biodiversity and Ecoforecasting grant led by Brian Hand and Gordon Luikart. Our work focuses on developing improved and effective predictions of spread for aquatic invasive species (AIS) under future climate change. Among other tasks, we are integrating occurrence data into national databases, developing workflows to guide predictive AIS management to address Sustainable Development Goal 15.8, and investigating the temporal dynamics of invasion by introduced trout in Northwest Montana.

Before my work at FLBS, I was a Fulbright Scholar at La Estación Biológica de Doñana in Seville, Spain where I studied the space use of waterbirds in agricultural wetlands, and identified policy and research priorities for freshwater biodiversity to guide the Convention on Biological Diversity's post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. I received my Ph.D in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from Tufts University, where I studied the behavior and conservation of endangered Hawaiian waterbirds and was a doctoral fellow in the NSF IGERT Program in Water Diplomacy. 

If you'd like to learn more about me and my work, please see my website and Twitter

Selected Publications


van Rees,  C.B., et al. 2021. Safeguarding freshwater life beyond 2020: Recommendations for the new global biodiversity framework from the European experience." Conservation Letters: e12771.

van Rees, C.B., Surya, G., and Reed, J.M. 2020. Multiple Sources of Evidence for density dependence in the endangered Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudsenii). Population Ecology.

van Rees, C.B., Rozek, J.C., Garcia, G., and J.M. Reed 2019. Ecological Stakeholder Analogs as intermediaries between freshwater biodiversity conservation and sustainable water management. Environmental Policy and Governance 29.4: 303-312.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J.G., and S.A. Sonsthagen 2018. Landscape genetics implicates stream and drainage infrastructure as corridors in the dispersal of an endangered wetland bird. Ecology and Evolution 8: 8328-8343

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed. 2018. The potential effects of habitat connectivity, management and sea level rise on the extinction risk of an endangered waterbird in a fragmented island landscape. PeerJ 6: e4990.