Home » People » Matt Sloat

Matt Sloat

Headshot photo of Matt Sloat.

Research Fish Biologist
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

Contact via email
Phone: (541)-737-6963


Statement of Research:

I am an aquatic ecologist with broad research interests in the biological and physical processes that influence stream
geomorphology, hydrology, temperature, and aquatic communities. My current research is focused on (1) behavioral and
physiological ecology of fish; (2) Pacific salmon life histories and population demography; and (3) linkages between
streams and landscapes and their response to climate change.

Projects & Activities:

Juvenile steelhead in Canyon Creek, northern California.

Juvenile steelhead trout in a northern California stream. Photo: Matt Sloat.

Behavioral and Physiological Ecology of Fish
Stream-dwelling fish exhibit a wide range of behavioral and
physiological responses to their environment. I conduct research
on individual responses to factors such as stream temperature,
population density, and the distribution of food resources,
using laboratory and field experiments and individual-
based models. The goal of this research is to link individual
performance (e.g., growth, survival) to patterns of population
abundance, distribution, and phenotypic diversity.







Sockeye salmon migrating up American Creek near Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Sockeye salmon during their spawning migration near Bristol Bay, AK. Photo: Matt Sloat.

Pacific Salmon Life Histories and Population Demography
Pacific salmon possess an impressive portfolio of life histories.
My research explores the evolutionary and ecological
factors influencing life-history diversity in salmon, and
their consequences for population resilience.










Pre- and Post-flood comparison photos.

Riparian forest response to catastrophic flood disturbance in a southern California stream.

Linkages Between Streams and
Landscapes and Their Response
to Climate Change

Stream ecosystems reflect not only
processes that originate within the
stream channel, but also hillslope
and riparian processes that link
streams to their surrounding landscape.
Understanding terrestrial and aquatic
linkages is a fundamental step toward
anticipating the effects of climate
change. Much of my recent research
has focused on the influence of climate
on flood disturbance regimes and the
cascading effects on riparian forests,
stream morphology, and salmonid

Selected Publications:

Note: Most PDF files linked in the publications section of this page were not created by the USDA Forest Service, and may not be accessible to screen-reader software. Many publications are open access, and links to the html versions on the journal websites are also provided, where applicable.

Manuscripts in Review or Preparation

Bateman, D.S., M.R. Sloat, R.E. Gresswell, A.M. Berger, D.P. Hockman-Wert, D.W. Leer, and A.E. Skaugset. Downstream biological effects of stream-adjacent logging in fishless headwaters.

McDonell, T.C., T.J. Sullivan, M.R. Sloat, C.A. Dollof, K. Leftwich, B. Jackson, N.A. Povack, and P.F. Hessburg. Caught in the middle: headwater acidity and lowland warming contribute to an aquatic habitat squeeze in southern Appalachian Mountain streams. Water Resources Research.

Sloat, M.R., and G.H. Reeves. In review. Density-dependent selection on energy metabolism in juvenile steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss.

Sloat, M.R., A.M. Osterback, W. Sears, and S. Dusterhoff. In prep. Synergistic impacts of climate change: atmospheric warming, flood disturbance, and the persistence of endangered fish near their southern range limit.

Sloat, M.R., G.H. Reeves, and K. Christiansen. In prep. Potential effects of climate change on streambed scour and spawning habitat in the salmon forests of southeast Alaska.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kendall, N.W., J.R. McMillan, M.R. Sloat, T.W. Buerhens, T.P. Quinn, G.R. Pess, K.V. Kuzishchin, M.M. McClure, and R.W. Zabel. 2015. Anadromy and residency in steelhead and rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: a review of the processes and patterns. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. doi/pdf/10.1139/cjfas-2014-0192

Sloat, M.R., and G.H. Reeves. 2014. Demographic and phenotypic responses of juvenile steelhead trout to variation in the spatial predictability of food resources. Ecology 95: 2423 – 2433.

Sloat, M.R., D. Fraser, J. Dunham, J. Falke, C. Jordan, J. McMillan, and H. Ohms. 2014. Ecological and evolutionary patterns of freshwater maturation in Pacific and Atlantic salmon. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 24: 689 – 707.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11160-014-9344-z

Sloat, M.R., and G.H. Reeves. 2014. Individual condition, standard metabolic rate, and rearing temperature influence steelhead and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) life histories. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71: 491–501.

Ohms, H., M.R. Sloat, G.H. Reeves, C.E. Jordan, and J.B. Dunham. 2014. Influence of sex, migration distance, and latitude on life history expression in steelhead and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71: 70 – 80.

Sloat, M.R., and A.M. Osterback. 2013. Maximum stream temperature and the occurrence, abundance, and behavior of steelhead trout in a southern California stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70: 64–73.

Sloat, M.R., F.K. Ligon, and P.F. Baker. 2011. Estimating habitat-specific abundances of PIT-tagged juvenile salmonids using mobile antennas: a comparison with standard electrofishing techniques in a small stream. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 31: 986–993.

Saiget, D.A., M.R. Sloat, and G.H. Reeves. 2007. Spawning and movement behavior of migratory coastal cutthroat trout on the western Copper River Delta, Alaska. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 27: 1029-1040.

Sloat, M.R., B.B. Shepard, R.G. White, and S.C. Carson. 2005. Influence of stream temperature on the spatial distribution of westslope cutthroat trout growth potential within the Madison River basin, Montana. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 25: 225–237.

Sloat, M.R., B.B. Shepard, and R.G. White. 2002. Status of westslope cutthroat trout in the upper Madison River basin, Montana: the influence of stream temperature and dispersal barriers. Special Issue: Practical Approaches to Conserving Native Inland Fishes of the West. Intermountain Journal of Science 8: 1-26.