US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Ryan Bellmore

J. Ryan Bellmore

Research Fish Biologist
11175 Auke Lake Way
United States

Phone: 907-586-7805
Contact J. Ryan Bellmore

Current Research

"Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things?" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Freshwater ecosystems provide invaluable services to society, but are among the most imperiled environments on Earth. My research aims to illuminate the often invisible mechanisms that support freshwater ecosystem productivity and resilience, and use this knowledge to contribute to better-informed stewardship. My research employs holistic, ecosystem-based approaches that combine tools and theory from food-web ecology, ecosystem ecology, and system dynamics modeling.

Current research themes include: (1) synthesizing ecological impacts of dam removal, (2) investigating the influence of landscape complexity on river food webs, (3) quantifying the impact of ecological subsidies on rivers, (4) assessing the impacts of climate change of Pacific salmon, and (5) developing system dynamics models to inform freshwater restoration and management.

Research Interests

  • Structure and dynamics of river food webs
  • Restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • System dynamics modeling
  • Ecology and management of Pacific salmon and trout
  • Impact of Invasive species on aquatic ecosystems

Past Research

Much of my past research has focused on river-floodplain ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest and the importance of these floodplains for fish. My dissertation research at Idaho State University illustrated that floodplains support diverse food webs that are important for Pacific salmon and trout. Moreover, this reseach suggested that these complex and interconnected food webs may promote the long-term maintenance of biodiversity by stabalizing ecosystems against perterbations.

Why This Research is Important

Healthy rivers, streams and lakes directly contribute to human wellbeing. In the Pacific Northwest, for instance, forest streams support valuable commercial, recreational, and subsistence salmon fisheries. By illuminating how these ecosystem's function, my research contributes to informed management and restoration so that these freshwater resources can be enjoyed by future generations


  • Idaho State University, Ph.D. Biology 2011
  • Oregon State University, B.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Science 2004


Research Highlights


After the dam comes down

New work synthesizes knowledge about the physical and ecological responses to dam removal.


Illuminating Nature’s Invisible Fabric

Forest Service scientists conducted a series of studies to understand how river fish are connected to the broader food web. They then used this ...


Predicting Ecosystem Recovery After Dam Removal

Aquatic ecosystem recovery is a main goal of dam removal, but predicting exactly how an ecosystem will recover is complicated. New models offer ...


Restoration of freshwater biodiversity important for maintaining healthy salmon fisheries

Streams with greater biodiversity appear more resilient to environmental change compared to streams with lower biodiversity. The value of protec ...


Last updated on : 06/03/2021