My research focuses on the ecology of Pacific salmon and the use of these species to explore hypotheses about strategies for reproduction, energy allocation, and habitat choice in fishes. The variety of life history patterns displayed by the five species of Pacific salmon endemic to North America, and the fact that each species exists as a large number of reproductively isolated populations provides a rich opportunity to explore how closely related organisms solve ecological problems. The fact that all species are anadromous also provides an opportunity to investigateboth marine and freshwater aspects of aquatic science. Pacific salmon support the most valuable commercial fisheries on the Pacific coast so that studies of their ecology have direct relevance to fisheries management. Specific problems currently under investigation by myself and my students include:
- Interpopulation and interannual variation in size at maturity, the effects of adult size on reproduction, and strategies of energy allocation among salmon populations from the Fraser River Basin.
- Aspects of habitat choice by juvenile coho and the way this is influenced by adjacent land use in tributaries of the lower Fraser River.
- The effects of open ocean currents on the oceanic migrations of sockeye salmon.