Stephanie M. Carlson

Associate Professor

Image of Stephanie Carlson


  • Ph.D. Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, 2006
  • M.S. Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2002
  • B.S. Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, 1999

Research Interests

Freshwater fish ecology, evolutionary ecology, conservation of freshwaters

Research Description

We study the evolution, ecology, and conservation of freshwater fishes. We aim to do research that illuminates how evolution and ecology interact to shape wild populations and influence their persistence, particularly those exposed to anthropogenic (human) influences.

Some topics that we investigate include:

  • Evolution (and loss) of biodiversity among salmon populations
  • Ecology of intermittent streams
  • Ecology and conservation planning of urban streams
  • Bio-physical coupling in coastal estuaries
  • Ecological impacts of large-scale water management
  • Evolutionary enlightened management

Much of our research is field-based and incorporates elements of behavioral, population, and community ecology. Our research combines various techniques including the tagging and tracking of individually-marked fish, experimental manipulations in the field, direct observations, comparative studies, and modeling. Recent work has been done in California, Alaska, and Norway.

Read more about our research on the Carlson Lab website.

Selected Publications

Resh, V.H., Bêche, L., Lawrence, J., Mazor, R., McElravy, E.P., Purcell, A.P., and Carlson, S.M. 2013. Long-term population and community patterns of benthic macroinvertebrates and fishes in northern California Mediterranean-climate streams. Hydrobiologia 719: 93-118.

Leidy, R.A., Cervantes-Yoshida, K., and Carlson, S.M. 2011. Persistence of native fishes in small streams of the urbanized San Francisco Estuary, California: acknowledging the role of urban streams in native fish conservation. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 21: 472-483.

Carlson, S.M., and Satterthwaite, W.H. 2011. Weakened portfolio effect in a collapsed salmon population complex. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68: 1579-1589.

Carlson, S.M., Quinn, T.P., and Hendry, A.P. 2011. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in Pacific salmon. Heredity 106: 438-447.

Darimont, C.T., Bryan, H.M., Carlson, S.M., Hocking, M.D., MacDuffee, M., Paquet, P.C., Price, M.H.H., Reimchen, T.E., Reynolds, J.D., and Wilmers, C.C. 2010. Salmon for terrestrial protected areas. Conservation Letters 3: 379-389.

Siepielski, A.M., DiBattista, J.D., and Carlson, S.M. 2009. It’s about time: the temporal dynamics of phenotypic selection in the wild. Ecology Letters 12: 1261-1276.

Darimont, C.T., Carlson, S.M., Kinnison, M.T., Paquet, P.C., Reimchen, T.E., and Wilmers, C.C. 2009. Human predators outpace other agents of trait change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 952-954.

McClure, M.M., Carlson, S.M., Beechie, T.J., Pess, G.R., Jorgenson, J.C., Sogard, S.M., Sultan, S.E., Holzer, D.M., Travis, J., Sanderson, B.L., Power, M.E., and Carmichael, R.W. 2008. Evolutionary consequences of habitat loss for Pacific anadromous salmonids. Evolutionary Applications 1: 300-318.

Carlson, S.M., and Quinn, T.P. 2007. Ten years of varying lake level and selection on size-at-maturity in sockeye salmon. Ecology 88: 2620-2629.

Edeline, E., Carlson, S.M., Stige, L.C., Winfield, I.J., Fletcher, J.M., James, J.B., Haugen, T.O., Vøllestad, L.A., and Stenseth, N.C. 2007. Trait changes in a harvested population are driven by a dynamic tug-of-war between natural and harvest selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 15799-15804.

Carlson, S.M., Edeline, E., Vøllestad, L.A., Haugen, T.O., Winfield, I.J., Fletcher, J.M., James, J.B., and Stenseth, N.C. 2007. Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius). Ecology Letters 10: 512-521.

Honors and Awards

  • Young Faculty/CE Specialist Award - College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley - 2013.
  • Rising Star Distinguished Ecologist - Colorado State University, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology - 2011.
  • Young Investigator Prize - American Society of Naturalists - 2010
  • J. Frances Allen Scholarship - American Fisheries Society - 2005

Recent Teaching

  • Fish Ecology (Spring Semesters)
  • Freshwater Ecology (Spring Semesters, co-taught with Mary Power)
  • Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands (Fall Semesters,  co-taught with Mishler, Resh, Roderick, and Stillman)
  • Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology Seminar (Fall and Spring Semesters, shared responsibility with Beissinger and Brashares)

Contact Information


Office: 33 Mulford

Office Phone: 510-643-9704

Lab Phone: 510-643-9688


Office Hours

Thursday, 11am - 12 pm, or by appointment,
Updated 2014/02/02

Research Group(s)

Mailing Address

Dept of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
UC Berkeley
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720