Alexander Haro

Dr. Haro’s work involves migratory fish behavior, design, engineering, and evaluation of fish passage structures, biotic and abiotic influences on fish migration, behavior of upstream and downstream migrant diadromous fishes, and ecology and management of American eels.


His research focuses on restoration and sustainability of migratory (diadromous and riverine) fish populations, and supports effective conservation and enhancement of populations of fish species throughout the northeastern United States, as well as nationally and internationally.  Much of the research is applied, involving design, evaluation, and engineering of specific passage structures, but also has strong basic science components of fish behavior, fish locomotion, and energetics, as well as hydraulics, fluid mechanics, structural, civil, and mechanical engineering, and hydrology.  Dr. Haro provides extensive basic and applied research and advice to state, national, and international agencies, NGOs, and the private sector on fish passage technology and operations.  Dr. Haro received his B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Michigan in 1981, a M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island in 1985, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1989.  His graduate work involved migration and behavior of American eels.

Current Projects 

  • Evaluation and improvement of existing and novel passage structures based on integrating engineering design and hydraulics with behavioral experimentation to develop passage structures with known, measurable performance that have high effectiveness and reliability in field applications
  • Physical and numeric hydraulic modeling to refine and optimize initial designs to establish criteria such as water velocity, turbulence, and air entrainment that are favorable for passage
  • Evaluation of fish behavior and passage performance in full-scale structures constructed in the unique large hydraulic CAFRL Flume Facility at using actively migrating fish species and novel biotelemetry technologies
  • Development of advanced telemetry systems for monitoring fish migration and movements
  • Movement, behavior, and passage of American eels