Wyatt Cross

Dr. Wyatt Cross

Associate Professor of Ecology

Director, Montana Water Center

On sabbatical 2017-2018 academic year

Click here for Google Scholar Site

Research in our laboratory is devoted to understanding patterns and processes in freshwater ecosystems. In particular, we’re interested in the linkages between food web dynamics and ecosystem ecology, with an emphasis on bridging theory and application. We use tools from bioenergetic (e.g., growth, secondary production) and stoichiometric (i.e., content and recycling of essential elements [C:N:P]) frameworks to link species to whole-ecosystem material fluxes, and to examine effects of altered carbon and nutrient regimes on freshwater ecosystem structure and function.

I teach, or have taught, Freshwater Ecology, Aquatic Field Ecology, Organismal Biology, Emerging Topics in Ecology, Foundations of Ecology and Management.

I am also the current director of the Montana Water Center (Click here for our website)

Graduate Students 

James R. Junker

James R. Junker ("Jimenez"), PhD 

Jim joined the lab in the summer of 2008, and recently completed his MS working on food webs in Yellowstone. Jim has broad interests in stream food webs and ecosystem ecology, and is now working on his PhD in Iceland.

Click here to visit his website

Eric Scholl

Eric A. Scholl, PhD

Eric joined the lab in spring of 2013 after completing his MS in Matt Whiles' lab at Southern Illinois University. For his master's research, Eric quantified the influence of water velocity on snag dwelling macroinvertebrate structure and production in the context of a large-scale hydrologic restoration. His PhD will focus on constructing quantitative food webs in the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers as part of larger study examining factors related to carrying capacity of pallid sturgeon. Eric's research interests include restoration ecology, aquatic entomology, effects of water velocity on ecosystem structure and function, and food web ecology. Eric is especially interested in applying ecological principles to solve real-world problems.

Click here to visit Eric's website

Kate Henderson

Kate A. Henderson, PhD

Kate’s PhD research will investigate the effects of eutrophication and climate change on stream food webs and productivity in Iceland. Her research interests include community ecology and linkages between ecosystem structure and function. Kate joined the lab in the summer of 2015 after completing her M.S. with Dr. Justin Murdock at Tennessee Tech, where she studied drivers of algal productivity in agriculturally managed oxbow lakes.

Click here to visit Kate’s website

Post Docs & Visiting Scientists

Jim Hood

Jim Hood ("Hoodie")

Jim comes from U of Minnesota, where he worked with Jacques Finlay and Bob Sterner on a wide variety of questions related to consumer-resrource stoichoimetry. Jim is currently living in Iceland (come home soon!) and leading our efforts to understand effects of temperature on ecosystem metabolism, nutrient limitation, and the stoichometry of nutrient uptake. Jim is a force to be reckoned with. . . . just look at him.

NEWSFLASH!! Jim just accepted a faculty position at Ohio State University!!

Website: http://www.montana.edu/hood/hood

Liliana Garcia

Liliana Lago Garcia

Lili is joining the lab in January 2016. She is a visiting post-doctoral scientist from Spain, working on nutrient pollution effects on stream food webs. We are excited to have here!

Website: http://lilizar.wix.com/lilianagarciawebsite

Undergraduate Students 

Nate Beckman

Nate Beckman

Nate is working with us on the Yell-Mo project, investigating the diets of shovelnose sturgeon in different river habitats. He recently presented his work at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at MSU. 

Niall Clancy

Niall Clancy

Niall joined the lab in 2014 with past research experience with Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, MT. He is currently working on a literature review focused on the role of amphibians in aquatic ecosystems. His interests are in freshwater and riparian animal ecology, fisheries management, and native species conservation.

Check out his website here.

Yuka Tsutsui

Yuka Tsutsui

Yuka has been working with our group for a few years, and is becoming one of our experts on macroinvertebrates. She is largely focused on the ‘Yell-Mo’ project with Eric Scholl, working to quantify invertebrate production in large MT rivers. Yuka is from Japan, but she has a strong interest in staying in the US to pursue studies in freshwater ecology.


  • Stacy Davis, MS 2013, Extension Scientist MSU
  • Tanner Williamson, MS 2014, PhD student Miami University Ohio (w/Mike Vanni)
  • Ryan McClure, BS 2015, PhD student Virginia Tech (w/Cayelan Carey)