Biophysical Ecology Team

The Biophysical Ecology Team conducts ecological research on anadromous fish (Pacific salmon and sturgeon) in California. Our work focuses on the interface between physics and biology, with the goal of developing a mechanistic understanding of the processes that determine how individuals respond to their environments.

We merge biophysics, ecology, and physiology by combining laboratory and field studies with mathematical models to gain a better understanding of the flow of energy and matter through systems and organisms. Our approach often take the form of linked biological and physical models, the results of which we apply to life cycle models for Pacific salmon.

The Biophysical Ecology Team focuses on science that supports the management of anadromous fish, with an emphasis on the interplay between climate, freshwater management, and fish population dynamics in California’s Central Valley.

Examples of our work include the inter-related areas of:

Team members


SWFSC Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook Life Cycle Model

The SWFSC’s Fisheries Ecology Division developed a new salmonid life cycle modeling framework that can be used to analyze water management scenarios on fish survival in the Central Valley.

Central Valley Temperature Mapping and Prediction (CVTEMP)

A website that is the public interface for modeled and observed water temperature and flow data for the Sacramento River associated with Shasta Reservoir, Shasta Dam operations, and meteorological conditions.