Rylee Murray

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Understanding how human impacts on ecosystems affect species performance and metapopulation dynamics is essential to strategically plan conservation in freshwater systems. For my thesis, I want to know how changes in natural flow regimes of headwater streams due to river diversion hydropower impact habitat availability and quality for riverine species, and how the widespread adoption of this technology combines with climate change to increase species vulnerability to extinction at range-wide scales. To do this, I am focusing on the tadpole of the Coastal Tailed frog, which integrate conditions over multiple years spent in their natal streams as larvae into growth and survival. By coupling habitat requirements, thermal physiology, and modeling changes to water temperature, I hope to better understand how to target the conservation of riverine species that have evolved in such dynamic environments.

I also continue to work on modeling wetland invasive species to identify where mitigation efforts might be most effective, and to compare the efficacy of less resource intensive sampling for the same purposes.

Since finishing my bachelor degree in microbiology at Thompson Rivers University in 2011, I have been working in the Palen Lab and with government ministries, environmental NGO’s, community groups, and First Nations as a research assistant on several projects including: American bullfrog invasion dynamics and Oregon spotted frog recovery efforts.

Check out this blog on science and issues in the Pacific Northwest.

Follow me on Twitter @ryleega

email: ryleem[at]sfu.ca

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