Dominic Chaloner Research Associate Professor

Influence of Pacific Salmon on Stream Ecosystems
Dominic Chaloner

Research Interests:

The focus of my research is to understand the ecological consequences of ecological linkages provided by Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), especially when they return to spawn in streams of Southeast Alaska and tributaries of the Upper Great Lakes. Those salmon-mediated linkages represent not only a potentially important resource subsidy, through provision of nutrients in their carcasses and eggs, but also ecosystem engineering, through disturbance that salmon spawners impart during nest building.  Most recently, salmon have been recognized, by virtue of the large biomass they deliver to streams and rivers, as an important mechanism of contaminant biotransport, including persistent organic pollutants, such as PCBs, and heavy metals, such as mercury. We use a combination of experimentation, large-scale sampling, and modeling to better understand these processes and make better predictions of their effects on recipient ecosystems. Overall, the research in which I’m involved has important implications for both fisheries and contaminant management.



  • Research Associate Professor, Coordinator of Undergraduate Research, College of Science
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Notre Dame 2000-2004
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Michigan State University 1997-2000
  • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University College London, University of London, UK 1995-1996
  • Ph.D. Zoology, University College London (University of London), UK 1995
  • B.S. (Hons.) Zoology, University College London (University of London), UK 1991


Recent Papers:

  • Janetski, D.J., D.T. Chaloner, A.H. Moerke, P. Levi, E.M. Kratschmer, and G.A. Lamberti. 2014. Pacific salmon introduced to the Great Lakes have modified ecological effects on stream ecosystems. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 71:502-513.
  • Janetski, D.J., D.T. Chaloner, A.H. Moerke, R.R. Rediske, J.P. O’Keefe and G.A. Lamberti. 2012. Resident fishes display elevated organic pollutants in salmon spawning streams of the Great Lakes. Environmental Science and Technology 46:8035-8043.
  • Rüegg, J., D.T. Chaloner, P. Levi, S.D. Tiegs, J.L. Tank, and G.A. Lamberti. 2012. Environmental variability and the ecological effects of spawning Pacific salmon on stream biofilm. Freshwater Biology 57:129-142. Chaloner, D.T., and R.S. Wotton. 2011. Overview: the links that bind aquatic ecosystems. Journal of North American Benthological Society 30:751-761.
  • Janetski, D.J, D.T. Chaloner, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2009. Pacific salmon effects on stream ecosystems: a quantitative synthesis. Oecologia 159:583-595.
  • Tiegs, S.D., D.T. Chaloner, P. Levi, J. Rüegg, and G.A. Lamberti. 2008. Timber harvest transforms ecological roles of salmon in southeast Alaska rain forest streams. Ecological Applications 18:4-11.
  • Chaloner, D.T., G.A. Lamberti, A.D. Cak, N.L. Blair, and R.T. Edwards. 2007. Inter-annual variation in the water chemistry and epilithon responses to Pacific salmon spawners in an Alaskan stream. Freshwater Biology 52:478-490.
  • Chaloner, D.T., K.M. Martin, M.S. Wipfli, P.H. Ostrom, and G.A. Lamberti. 2002. Marine carbon and nitrogen isotopes in southeastern Alaska stream food webs: evidence from artificial and natural streams. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59:1257-1265.