Research Scientist/Postdoctoral Scholar
Rachel Malison grew up in northern Idaho. After completing her MS in Ecology at Idaho State University and her PhD in Systems Ecology at the University of Montana, Rachel lived overseas in Norway for a Marie Curie Fellowship before returning back to Montana. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the FLBS on a project funded by the National Science Foundation's Dimensions of Biodiversity program that is studying the biodiversity vulnerability of stonefly (Plecoptera) species in river floodplains. This project focuses on benthic and aquifer stoneflies in floodplains of the main Flathead River, as well as the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
Rachel’s research interests focus on freshwater systems and span from investigating the genetics and physiology of individual macroinvertebrates to studying population and community ecology of large river floodplains. She is interested in how aquatic and terrestrial habitats are connected by the flow of energy and organisms (e.g., emerging insects) and has studied the effect of wildfire on linked stream and riparian (areas between waterways and land) systems. She is also passionate about salmon conservation and has studied both juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon populations. More recently, her work has focused on the ecology, physiology and genetics of river and aquifer stonefly populations in western Montana, and how certain species are adapted to live in extreme underground environments. See her personal website for more information on past research.