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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: 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 http://www.lsc.usgs.gov/?q=cafb-population-dynamics-personnel for more details

Current Projects

  • Development of an integrated modelling platform to aid natural resource management
  • 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

Growth and survival of brook trout in the Delaware water gap.Erin Rodgers, PhD

Selected Recent Publications

Refereed :

Kanno, Y, J.C. Vokoun, K. Holsinger, and B. H. Letcher, in Press, Estimating size-specific brook trout abundance in continuously-sampled headwater streams using Bayesian mixed models with zero-inflation and over-dispersion, Ecol Freshw Fish

Steinschneider, S, A. Polebitski, C. Brown­, and B. H. Letcher, in Press, A statistical framework to test the significance of hydrologic alteration under future climate scenarios. Water Resources Research

Whiteley, A.R., Coombs, J.A., Hudy, M, Robinson, Z., Nislow, K.H., Letcher, B.H., in Press.  Sampling Strategies for Estimating Brook Trout Effective Population Size. Cons. Gen.

Kanno, Y, J.C. Vokoun, and B. H. Letcher, 2011. Fine-scale population structure and riverscape genetics of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) distributed along headwater channel networks, Mol. Ecol. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05210.x

Coombs, J., B. H. Letcher, and K. H. Nislow, 2011. GONe: Software for estimating effective population size in species with generational overlap, Mol. Ecol Resources

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

Nislow, K.H., M. Hudy, and Letcher, B.H., in Press, Variation in local abundance and species richness of stream fishes in relation to dispersal barriers: implications for management and conservation. Freshw. Ecol.

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

Bailey, M. M., M. T. Kinnison, Horton G E., B.H. Letcher, 2011. Seasonal density-dependence in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) over varying spatial scales, Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 139: 1642-1656.

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

Xu, C., B. H. Letcher, and K. H. Nislow, 2010. Size-dependent survival of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in summer: effects of water temperature and stream flow, Journal of Fish Biology, 76: 2342-2369. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02619.x

Xu, C., B. H. Letcher, and K. H. Nislow, 2010. Context-specific effects of water temperature on brook trout growth rates in the field, Freshwater Biology. 55: 2253-2264. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02430.x

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.

Letcher, B.H., G.E. Horton, T. Dubreuil, M.J. O’Donnell. 2005. A field test of the extent of bias in selection estimates after accounting for emigration, Evol. Ecol. Res. 7:643-650.

Updated: January 5, 2012