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Scientists & Staff

Keith Nislow

Team Leader / Research Fisheries Biologist
Urban Forests, Human Health, and Environmental Quality
201 Holdsworth NRC, Univ. of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-9285
Phone: 413-545-1765

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Current Research

My research deals with the relationship between land use, aquatic habitat, and the distribution and abundance of fish and aquatic invertebrates. Specializing in establishing explicit, mechanistic links between environmental variation with behavior, growth, and survival, I am particularly interested in using basic science to assist restoration, conservation, and management.

  • Bioenergetics approaches to habitat suitability modeling for juvenile salmonids
  • Effects of forest change on aquatic habitats, invertebrates, and fishes
  • Using genetic and stable isotope markers to understand Atlantic salmon movement and dispersal between habitats
  • Role of biotic interactions at local spatial scales in determining growth and survival of juvenile salmonids
  • Role of anadromous fish in the transport of nutrients and materials to and from freshwater ecosystems
  • Effects of hydrologic alteration on river and floodplain ecosystems
  • Effects of acidification on Atlantic salmon

Research Interests

  • Develop and apply new techniques and technologies to determine the effects of fragmentation associated with dams and roads on brook trout and other native species.
  • Develop an adaptive management framework to implement and assess ecologically sustainable flow regimes for notheastern river systems.
  • Determine the relationship between long-term changes in forest structure and atmospheric emissions and aquatic ecosystems and communities.
  • Understand the role of habitat-dependent interactions between invasive and native species in structuring aquatic communities.

Why This Research is Important

Freshwater ecosystems in New England and the northeastern US are strongly influenced by past and present anthropogenic change. In order for managers and stakeholders to make decisions based on sound science, we need to understand the links between land use change, freshwater ecosystems and sustainable fish populations, and effectively communicate this knowledge.


  • Dartmouth College, Ph.D. , 1997
  • University of New Mexico, M.S. , 1989
  • University of New Mexico, B.S. , 1987

Professional Organizations

  • American Fisheries Society, Associate Editor
  • North American Benthological Society
  • Fisheries Society of the British Isles
  • Ecological Society of America
  • The Nature Conservancy, Technical Advisor
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Technical Advisor
  • Maine Atlantic Salmon Recovery Team, Technical Advisor
  • Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission, Technical Advisor

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Scientist Refines Models Relating River Flows to Fish Habitat and Population Dynamics (2012)
To generate robust preductions, models need to acknowledge the complex life histories of riverine and diadromous fishes

Last updated on : 21-Jan-2016