We study the ecology and conservation biology of stream ecosystems using benthic organisms as models. Much of our recent work focuses on freshwater mussels, a group where 70% of the North American species are considered threatened. Mussels are keystone species in many rivers and their catastrophic decline may lead to the decline of other faunas and the alteration of other river ecosystem processes.

We combine experimental and comparative approaches at multiple scales to examine the functional role of organisms in rivers, to determine the mechanisms underlying their distribution and abundance, to quantify the ecosystem services they provide, and to inform environmental management and conservation.