Dr. Lusardi is an aquatic research ecologist and applied conservation biologist at the Center for Watershed Sciences and is the California Trout-UC Davis Wild and Coldwater Fish Scientist. Rob is broadly interested in stream ecology and food web dynamics of rivers throughout California and their role in shaping salmonid response. He uses a combination of field and manipulation experiments to address the mechanisms underpinning field observations. Specifically, his research examines interactions between water temperature and food availability on the growth and survival of juvenile salmon, how different habitat types influence the costs and benefits of juvenile salmonid rearing, the conservation implications of different salmonid reintroduction strategies, and the status and conservation of salmonids throughout California.
Current projects include (i) understanding how food webs and other environmental factors interact to affect juvenile salmonid growth in different river systems, (ii) quantitatively isolating key hydrograph attributes that enhance biological diversity in regulated rivers, and (iii) determining viable reintroduction strategies for Klamath River and Central Valley Chinook salmon species. Dr. Lusardi was a recent co-author on State of the Salmonids: Status of California’s Emblematic Fishes 2017.