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Kimberly Dibble's main area of expertise pertains to fish physiology and the use of biochemical indicators to assess the condition of fish, and she also uses quantitative methods to examine environmental drivers that influence trout recruitment and adult size in tailwaters across the Intermountain West.
Kim quantifies fish lipid reserves in the laboratory to answer questions pertaining to the health of non-native and native fish residing downriver of Glen Canyon dam. Currently, she is using lipids to examine temporal patterns of fish energy acquisition and tradeoffs between energy storage, growth, and reproduction in fishes inhabiting five reaches of the Colorado River. She is also interested in the short and long-term population-level effects of fall-timed experimental floods on the growth and condition of age-0 trout. To that end, she uses lipid classes (triacylglycerides, free fatty acids, phospholipids, etc.) combined with recent daily growth rate from otoliths to compare pre- and post-flood indices to overwinter survival and recruitment rates the following spring. In addition, she works with colleagues in the laboratory to develop a non-lethal tool to more accurately measure the condition of native, endangered fishes captured in the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers.