Timothy Counihan

Over the course of my career with the USGS I have worked on a variety of different topic areas that range from white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus embryology to the development of landscape level ecological classification schemes.



M.S. 1991. Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

B.S. 1989. Biological Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT


Research Interests:

My early-career work focused on assessing the early life history requirements of white sturgeon and assessing the effects of hydropower operations on the behavior and survival of juvenile pacific salmon and steelhead. My current research focus is on the analysis and development of long-term integrated monitoring programs. Towards this end I have been interacting with interdisciplinary teams to assess and develop aspects of monitoring programs on large river systems, focusing primarily on the mainstem Columbia River.

I have recently been working with an interdisciplinary team of USGS scientists to assess the effects of emerging and legacy contaminants on the Columbia River Estuary food web. My particular focus in this collaborative study was on using knowledge of sedimentation patterns to inform contaminant survey designs.

I am also working with scientists from around the U.S. to better understand the potential for conducting cross-basin comparisons of large river (e.g., Alabama, Colorado, Columbia, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers etc.) monitoring data. As part of this study, we are working to provide an understanding for the potential to provide assessments of trends in fish community characteristics over longitudinal gradients and through time and then to relate those trends to landscape level stressors.

Another focus area is the coordination and development of early detection monitoring programs for invasive species.  As part of this research activity I am working with biologists from multiple states, universities, and Canadian provinces to develop a framework for the development of a regional early detection monitoring program for aquatic invasive species, and quagga and zebra mussels in particular.

In addition to the topics listed above I am also very interested and have conducted research involving aquatic plants, invertebrates (benthic macroinvertebrates, crayfish, and zooplankton), and multiple introduced and native fish species.



1993 to Present - Research Fish Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research Laboratory, Cook, WA