In the Ruhi lab we study how freshwater biodiversity is responding to global change--focusing on the effects of hydrologic alteration and drought. We are especially interested in the interactive effects of local drought disturbance and landscape-level habitat fragmentation on aquatic communities. We study this question via a combination of mesocosm experiments and modeling of long-term, hydrological and ecological data. Currently-funded efforts focus on understanding the ecological effects of seasonal and supraseasonal drought in intermittent streams in California, and on the propagation of novel flow regimes (induced by dams and flow management) in dendritic river networks. Additionally, we have ongoing projects and collaborations on the topics of hydrologic regime shifts and freshwater food webs, hydrologic alteration and biological invasions, and wetland ecosystem restoration.
Research Expertise and Interest
freshwater ecology, biodiversity conservation, global change biology, Drought