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Letcher, Ben

Adjunct Associate Professor
S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research CenterBrook trout size classes

Primary interests

Dr. Letcher’s area of research is population ecology. Particular interests include: decision science applications, evolutionary ecology of stream salmonids, integrated modelling of population dynamics, development of models for forecasting effects on environmental change on population persistence, application of model results to management problems.

See for more details

Current Projects

  • Development of web applications to aid natural resource management []
  • Development of integrated modeling across data types
  • Integration of survey data with capture-recapture models to characterize population trends across space
  • Estimates of lifetime fitness for stream-dwelling trout.
  • Development of PIT tag technologies.

Current Students

Modeling fish movement in stream networks, Krzysztof Sakrejda, PhD

Spatial ecology of brook trout, Paul Schueller, PhD

Selected Recent Publications

Refereed :


Kanno,Y., Letcher, B.H., Hitt, N., Boughton, D., Wofford, J., and Zipkin, E. in Press. Seasonal weather patterns drive population vital rates and persistence in a stream fish. Global change biology

Kanno,Y., Letcher, B.H., Rosner, A.L., O’Neal, K.P., and Nislow, K.H.,  2015. Environmental factors affecting brook trout occurrence in headwater streams, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 144:373-382, DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2014.991446

Kanno, Y, B. H. Letcher, J.C. Vokoun and E.F. Zipkin, 2014, Spatial variability in survival of adult brook trout within two intensively surveyed headwater stream networks, CJFAS, 71:1010-1019

Letcher, B.H., Schueller, P., Bassar, R., Nislow, K.H., Coombs, J.A., Sakrejda, K, Morrissey, M., Sigourney, S., Whiteley, A.R., O’Donnell, M. , Dubreuil, T., 2014. Robust estimates of environmental effects on population vital rates: an integrated capture-recapture model of seasonal brook trout growth, survival and movement in a stream network, Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12308

Zipkin,E., J. Thorson, K. See, H. Lynch, E. Grant, Y. Kanno, R. Chandler, B.H. Letcher, and J. Royle. 2014. Modeling structured population dynamics using data from unmarked individuals. Ecology, 95:22-29 doi:10.1890/13-1131.1

Kanno, Y, B. H. Letcher, J Coombs, and K.H. Nislow, 2014.  Linking fish movement and reproductive history to assess habitat connectivity in a heterogeneous stream network, Freshw. Biol. 59(1): 142-154 doi:10.1111/fwb.12254


Steinschneider S., Polebitski A, Brown C, Letcher BH. 2012. Towards a statistical framework to quantify the uncertainties of hydrologic response under climate change, Water Resources Journal, 48, W11525, 10.1029/2011WR011318

Sigourney, D. B., Munch, S. B., & Letcher, B. H., 2012. Combining a Bayesian nonparametric method with a hierarchical framework to estimate individual and temporal variation in growth. Ecol. Model., 247, 125–134.

Kanno, Y, J.C. Vokoun, and B. H. Letcher, 2011. Sibship reconstruction for inferring mating systems and effective population size in headwater brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) populations, Cons. Genetics. 12: 619-628. DOI 10.1007/s10592-010-0166-9

Letcher, B. H., J. Coombs, K.H. Nislow, 2011. Maintenance of phenotypic variation: repeatability, heritability and size-dependent survival in a wild brook trout population, Evol. Appl. 4, 602-615. doi:10.1111/j.1752-4571.2011.00184.x

Horton G E., B.H. Letcher, and W.L. Kendall. 2011. A multi-state capture-recapture modeling strategy to separate true survival from permanent emigration for a PIT-tagged population of stream fish. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 140: 320-333. DOI: 10.1080/00028487.2011.567861

Letcher, B.H., K.H. Nislow, J.A. Coombs, M. J. O’Donnell, T. D. Dubreuil. 2007. Population response to habitat fragmentation in a stream-dwelling brook trout population. PLoS ONE 2(11): e1139. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001139.

Aubin-Horth, N. C. Landry, B. H. Letcher, and H. A. Hofmann. 2005. Alternative life-histories shape different brain gene expression profiles in males of the same population
Proc. R. Soc. B., 272:1655-1662.

Page updated: July 17, 2015