As a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center, Ryan has been working on developing geospatial tools for predicting water availability in streams, and building models for assessing water use associated with energy development.
Ryan's research interests include: 1) understanding how scale modifies the influence of physiography and climate on the hydrologic and geomorphic processes that drive spatial and temporal patterns of high and low flow in streams; 2) understanding how changes in climate and water use for food and energy could affect water availability in streams; 3) understanding how water resources management influences the distribution and abundance of aquatic and riparian species; and 4) understanding how alterations to the management of water supply from streams might help sustain aquatic animals and riparian plants while still maintaining human demands for water. For his dissertation research, Ryan has been studying how changes in climate might affect water availability and use in the upper Green River basin in Wyoming, and how modifying streamflow regulation could influence the distribution and abundance of native and non-native aquatic and riparian species.
For his master’s research in New Mexico, Ryan studied how invasive fishes affected native aquatic organisms in streams during drought. After college, Ryan worked as a fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey Western Fisheries Research Center in Nevada, studying the effects of invasive species and hydrologic and geomorphic alteration on threatened and endangered aquatic species in the Basin and Range and Sierra Nevada.
Education and Certifications
PhD in ecology at Colorado State University (in progress)
MS in fisheries and wildlife science from New Mexico State University
BS in natural resources and environmental science from University of Michigan
Science and Products
Science and Products
Pre-USGS PublicationsMcShane, R.R., Auerbach, D.A., Friedman, J.M., Auble, G.T., Shafroth, P.B., Merigliano, M.F., Scott, M.L., and Poff, N.L., 2015, Distribution of invasive and native riparian woody plants across the western USA in relation to climate, river flow, floodplain geometry and patterns of introduction: Ecography, v. 38, no. 12, p. 1254-1265.Auerbach, D.A., Deisenroth, D.B., McShane, R.R., McCluney, K.E., and Poff, N.L., 2014, Beyond the concrete: Accounting for ecosystem services from free-flowing rivers: Ecosystem Services, v. 10, p. 1-5.Auerbach, D.A., Poff, N.L., McShane, R.R., Merritt, D.M., Pyne, M.I., and Wilding, T.K., 2012, Streams past and future: Fluvial responses to rapid environmental change in the context of historical variation, in Wiens, J.A., Hayward, G.D., Safford, H.D., and Giffen, C., eds., Historical environmental variation in conservation and natural resource management: Chichester, United Kingdom, John Wiley & Sons, p. 232-245.