Wyatt Cross

Dr. Wyatt Cross

Professor of Ecology

Director, Montana Water Center

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, Research in Freshwater Ecology, Aquatic Insects, Organismal Biology, Emerging Topics in Ecology, Foundations of Ecology and Management.

I am also former director of the Montana Water Center (2014-2022)

Graduate Students 


Nate Heili, MS

Nate joined us in 2021 after receiving a BS at University of Wisconsin La Cross, and mutliple research experiences at Notre Dame, Wyoming, and Montana. He is interested in connections between ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, and social-ecological dynamics. His MS research will examine ecosystem processes in the irrigation ditch network in the Gallatin Valley, specifically energy flux to the terrestrial landscape. 

Jose 'Tosti' Sanchez-Ruiz, PhD

Jose came to us after an MS degree in Checo Colon-Gaud's lab at Georgia Southern University. Jose's PhD is focused on river food web and ecosystem responses to legacy disturbance in rivers. He is currently focused on the effects of metals and nutrient contamination the Clark Fork River, Montana.

Post Docs & Visiting Scientists

Jim Hood

Jim Hood ("Hoodie")

Jim was a post-doc in the lab until 2015. He is now a faculty member at Ohio State University in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

Website: https://hoodaquaticslab.wordpress.com/

Liliana Garcia

Liliana Lago Garcia

Lili joined our lab for a year in 2016 as a visiting post-doctoral scientist from Spain. She investigated nutrient pollution effects on stream food webs (in collaboration with John Richardson at UBC).  She is now at the Universidad de Vigo, Spain.

Website: https://lilizar.wixsite.com/lilianagarciawebsite


  • Eric Scholl, PhD 2021, Post Doc at USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center
  • Jenny McCarty, MS 2019, SWCA environmental consultant, Boulder CO
  • Jim Junker, PhD 2019, Post-Doc, Michigan Tech University
  • Niall Clancy, BS 2017, PhD student, University of Wyoming
  • Stacy Davis, MS 2013, USGS North Dakota
  • Tanner Williamson, MS 2014, Scientist, Nortwest Indian Fisheries Alliance, Olympia WA
  • Leslie Piper, co-advised with Brian McGlynn
  • Ryan McClure, BS 2015, Post-Doc, Stephanie Hampton's lab