Ph.D. Ecology. 2010. University of Montana, Missoula, MT
M.S. Science Education. 2004. Teton Science School, Kelly, WY
B.A. Environmental Biology and English. 2002. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
I am an aquatic ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, MT. My specific research focuses on understanding the ecosystem and community-level consequences of aquatic invasive species and testing new tools for the early detection of aquatic invasive species. My research program consists of a combination of field and laboratory studies.
Science and Products
Developing a mechanistic understanding between recent climate patterns and Aquatic Vital Signs in the Greater Yellowstone Network
The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring program was established to provide park managers with a broad understanding of the status of park resources using the best available science. This program acknowledges that NPS managers are confronted with complex challenges associated with the management of dynamic landscapes responding to multiple, interacting drivers of change. To provide...
The American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) has recently invaded backwater and side-channel habitats of the Yellowstone River, near Billings, Montana. In other regions, bullfrog invasions have been linked to numerous amphibian declines (e.g., Adams and Pearl 2007). Immediate management actions may be able to suppress or eradicate localized populations of bullfrogs because they are present at low...
The proliferation of introduced northern pike in Southcentral Alaska is an urgent fishery management concern because pike are voracious predators that prey heavily on juvenile salmonids. Eradication of pike is not possible in connected freshwater networks, so managers must develop control methods that reduce pike populations to less destructive numbers. We are using field and bioenergetics...
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are aquatic organisms that move into ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range and cause severe and irreversible damage to the habitats they invade. Most AIS arrive as a direct result of human activity, such as boating and angling. The threat of AIS introduction is especially high in the Greater Yellowstone Area, as humans from all over the world come to...
Trophic plasticity and the invasion of a renowned piscivore: A diet synthesis of northern pike (Esox lucius) from the native and introduced ranges in Alaska, U.S.A.
The invasion of non-native fishes is a leading cause of extinction and imperilment of native freshwater fishes. Evidence suggests that introduced species with generalist diets have the potential for greatest impacts through competition and predation even though populations are often comprised of specialist individuals. The northern pike (Esox...Cathcart, C. Nathan; Dunker, Kristine J.; Quinn, Thomas P.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; von Hippel, Frank A.; Wizik, Andrew; Young, Daniel B.; Westley, Peter A.H.
Impacts of nonnative Brown Trout on Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in a tributary stream
Nonnative trout are a considerable threat to native salmonids, yet our understanding of the mechanisms behind interspecific interactions remains limited. We evaluated the impacts of nonnative Brown Trout Salmo salar on a population of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri in Montana. We contrasted diets,...Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Sepulveda, Adam J.
Tradeoffs of a portable, field-based environmental DNA platform for detecting invasive northern pike (Esox lucius) in Alaska
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has improved detection probabilities of aquatic invasive species but lab-based analyticalplatforms for eDNA analyses slow opportunities for rapid response. Effective approaches that address this analyticalbottleneck and improve capacity for rapid response are urgently needed. We tested the sensitivity of a portable, field-...Sepulveda, Adam J.; Hutchins, Patrick R.; Massengill, Robert L.; Dunker, Kristine J.
Improved conventional PCR assay for detecting Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae DNA in fish tissues
Conventional PCR is an established method to detect Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonaeDNA in fish tissues and to confirm diagnosis of proliferative kidney disease (PKD) caused by T. bryosalmonae. However, the commonly used PKX5f‐6r primers were designed with the intention of obtaining sequence information and are suboptimal for determining...Hutchins, Patrick R.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Martin, Renee M.; Hopper, Lacey R.
The northern pike, a prized native but disastrous invasive: Chapter 14
As the chapters in this book describe, the northern pike Esox lucius Linneaus, 1758 is a fascinating fish that plays an important ecological role in structuring aquatic communities (chapter 8), has the capacity to aid lake restoration efforts (chapter 11), and contributes substantially to local economies, both as a highlysought after sport fish (...Rutz, David; Massengill, Robert L.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Dunker, Kristine J.
A probe-based quantitative PCR assay for detecting Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae in fish tissue and environmental DNA water samples
A probe-based quantitative real-time PCR assay was developed to detect Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, which causes proliferative kidney disease in salmonid fish, in kidney tissue and environmental DNA (eDNA) water samples. The limits of detection and quantification were 7 and 100 DNA copies for calibration standards and T. bryosalmonae...Hutchins, Patrick R.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Martin, Renee; Hopper, Lacey
Novel application of explicit dynamics occupancy models to ongoing aquatic invasions
Identification of suitable habitats, where invasive species can establish, is an important step towards controlling their spread. Accurate identification is difficult for new or slow invaders because unoccupied habitats may be suitable, given enough time for dispersal, while occupied habitats may prove to be unsuitable for establishment.To...Sepulveda, Adam J.
Guest editorial: Aquatic science in the Northwest
In recent years, Northwest Science has seen a significant increase in the number of submissions representing aquatic science. Our region is punctuated by aquatic systems. The current issue in particular, presents a number of new aquatic science contributions. Accordingly, Northwest Science invited the authors of this guest editorial to...Sepulveda, Adam J.; Ray, Andrew M.
Introduced American Bullfrog distribution and diets in Grand Teton National Park
Introduced American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) have been present in Grand Teton National Park since approximately the 1950s, but little is known about their distribution and potential impacts. In this study, we surveyed the current bullfrog distribution and spatial overlap with sympatric native amphibians in the park, and characterized...Flynn, Lauren M; Kreofsky, Tess Marie; Sepulveda, Adam J.
Evaluating species-specific changes in hydrologic regimes: an iterative approach for salmonids in the Greater Yellowstone Area (USA)
Despite the importance of hydrologic regimes to the phenology, demography, and abundance of fishes such as salmonids, there have been surprisingly few syntheses that holistically assess regional, species-specific trends in hydrologic regimes within a framework of climate change. Here, we consider hydrologic regimes within the Greater Yellowstone...Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Ray, Andrew M.; Thoma, David P.; Tercek, Michael T.
Terrestrial–aquatic linkages in spring-fed and snowmelt-dominated streams
The importance of trophic linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is predicted to vary as a function of subsidy quantity and quality relative to in situ resources. To test this prediction, I used multi-year diet data from Bonneville cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki Utah in spring-fed and snowmelt-driven streams in the high desert of...Sepulveda, Adam J.
Potential of environmental DNA to evaluate Northern pike (Esox lucius) eradication efforts: An experimental test and case study
Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted...Dunker, Kristine J.; Sepulveda, Adam J.; Massengill, Robert L.; Olsen, Jeffrey B.; Russ, Ora L.; Wenburg, John K.; Antonovich, Anton
Bozeman - A new U.S. Geological Survey study illustrates the usefulness of genetic approaches to track invasive bullfrog introductions. Results will inform management actions for identifying and controlling importation and secondary spread of invasive bullfrogs in Montana.
Invasive northern pike in southcentral Alaska are opportunistic and adaptable predators that feed on multiple native fish species when their preferred prey, native salmonids, are no longer abundant, according to a new study released in Ecology of Freshwater Fish.