Carlos graduated in December 2016 with his Masters of Science in Fisheries Biology. He is currently working with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Nampa Research.
I have always been interested wildlife but my first deer hunting experience solidified my pursuit of a career in biology. During my undergrad and early career, I transitioned from terrestrial ungulate ecology in Ohio to aquatic ecosystems in Idaho to learn about the complex life cycle of salmonids. Working for state and tribal agencies for 9 years, I was able to observe the impacts of nonnative fishes on native fish recovery. This single situation immediately directed my attention to the establishment and impacts of nonnatives in novel areas. My current graduate work focuses on Asian Carp colonization in the upper Mississippi River and what factors facilitate successful reproduction and establishment. Unwanted species, such as Asian carp, have expanded their range beyond natural barriers causing detrimental economic, societal and environmental impacts. In an ever connected world where commerce and travel over great distance is accomplished in a very short time, managers need the tools and knowledge to effectively detect, monitor, and manage nonnative invasions before they become established. My goal for my graduate work is to be able to provide fisheries managers with the current status of Asian carp establishment, a description of the suite of river habitat characteristics associated with successful reproduction and recruitment, and a map of areas with the potential for establishment. Ultimately, my career goal is to influence management and policy strategies to be more aggressive with nonnative species. However, I know I will need convincing evidence, alternative solutions, and a persuasive position of higher authority. To achieve such stature, I believe a solid foundation of scientific principles, research, and diplomacy are necessary.