US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Brooke Penaluna

Research Fisheries Biologist
3200 SW Jefferson Way
United States

Phone: 541-758-8783
Contact Brooke Penaluna

Current Research

My research focuses on understanding the effects of climate change, contemporary forest harvest and disturbances on fish in both riparian and aquatic habitats, and more generally on the ecological linkages among water, land, and people. My goals are to use multiple lines of inquiry from various approaches to understand the complexities of fish and other species in the aquatic and riparian world that have implications for management and policy planning.

Among my current projects, I am working to develop and apply novel tools and approaches using metabarcoding of environmental DNA in water to evaluate the presence of multiple species in streams throughout Oregon, Washington, and northern California. Many aquatic species in streams are cryptic or found in low numbers, making them difficult to detect. This method is a potentially low cost, rapid assessment tool for monitoring aquatic species of concern and invasive species that would aid managers and landowners in planning for multiple management objectives. Learn more about this project here.

Research Interests

  • Aquatic and riparian ecology
  • Aquatic biodiversity
  • Fisheries science
  • Pacific trout conservation
  • Salmonid population dynamics
  • Environmental DNA (eDNA)
  • Metagenomics, next-generation DNA sequencing tools

Past Research

My recent research includes work on the diversity and conservation of Pacific trout throughout western North America, the population dynamics of salmonids, how disturbance regimes in stream systems of the Pacific Northwest impact salmonids, and how stream habitat variability can shield some fish from the effects of forest harvest and climate change. In addition to my research in aquatic and riparian systems, I have also investigated the diversity inequities in the field of fisheries science with regard to gender and race/ethnicity disparities.

For more information on these projects, check out the links below:
Local habitat conditions can safeguard cutthroat trout against forest harvest, climate change
Native Pacific Trout: Swimming Into the Future?
Brooke Penaluna: Projects and Activities


Research Highlights


A New Tool Manages Salmonid Response to Climate Change

Salmonids, like endangered Coho salmon in Washington and Oregon, have a complex life history that is tied to environmental cues such as river te ...


Invisible eDNA Reveals Stream and Riparian Ecosystem Biodiversity

Environmental DNA is a powerful new approach that, with a single water sample, can detect a host of stream and riparian species—from pathogens ...


New Study Finds a Surprising Lack of Diversity Among Fisheries Scientists

Women and minorities are a small portion of tenure-track faculty and federal-government professionals in fisheries sciences, likely because of s ...


Last updated on : 06/03/2021