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Brooke Penaluna

Brooke Penaluna
Research Fisheries Biologist
Land and Watershed Management
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States
Current Research
My research focuses on understanding the effects of climate change, contemporary forest harvest and disturbances on fish in both riparian and aquatic habitats, and more generally on the ecological linkages among water, land, and people. My goals are to use multiple lines of inquiry from various approaches to understand the complexities of fish and aquatic species, which have implications for management and policy planning.

I am also the lead scientist at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Penaluna named lead scientist at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

Among my current projects, I am co-developing novel tools using metabarcoding of environmental DNA(eDNA) in water to evaluate the presence of multiple species in streams throughout Oregon, Washington, and northern California. We are revealing the hidden biodiversity in streams, including crypticand rare species. With this tool, we can also detect common and invasive species allowing managers, landowners, and policy makers to make data-informed decisions for multiple management objectives. 
Learn more about this project here.
Researchers demonstrate new method to track genetic diversity of salmon, trout
Invisible eDNA reveals stream and riparian ecosystem biodiversity
Tiny scoops of water are unlocking worlds of information about Oregon watersheds
Past Research
My past research includes work on the diversity and conservation of aquatic biodiversity, especially Pacific trout, throughout western North America, the population dynamics of salmonids, how disturbance regimes in stream systems of the Pacific Northwest impact salmonids, and how stream habitat variability can shield some fish from the effects of forest harvest and climate change. 
Native Pacific Trout: Swimming Into the Future?
Streams that protect trout
Local habitat conditions can safeguard cutthroat trout against forest harvest, climate change
Joining portfolio and disturbance concepts for managing aquatic-riparian ecosystems
Scaling up from streams to watersheds
Diverse, valuable, and at risk
A new tool for managing salmon as the climate changes
Thought to be extinct for nearly a century, Umpqua Chub "rediscovered"
Understanding the upper extent of fish (interview with Penaluna begins after minute 29)
eDNA detection method extends fish further upstream than electrofishing

I have also investigated diversity inequities in science, and the fisheries science workforce with regard to gender and race/ethnicity disparities.
New study finds lack of diversity among fisheries scientists
Study finds lack of diversity among fisheries scientists

For more information on these projects and others, check out the link below:
Brooke Penaluna: Projects and Activities
Research Interest
  • Aquatic and riparian ecology
  • Aquatic biodiversity
  • Fisheries science
  • Pacific trout conservation
  • Salmonid population dynamics
  • Environmental DNA (eDNA)
  • Metagenomics, next-generation DNA sequencing tools
Other Publications
Research Highlights

New Study Finds a Surprising Lack of Diversity Among Fisheries Scientists

Year: 2016
Women and minorities are a small portion of tenure-track faculty and federal-government professionals in fisheries sciences, likely because of systemic biases and cultural barriers. This research has become a starting point for conversations about workforce diversity at national and local levels.

A New Tool Manages Salmonid Response to Climate Change

Year: 2019
Salmonids, like endangered Coho salmon in Washington and Oregon, have a complex life history that is tied to environmental cues such as river temperature and flow. As human development and climate change lead to altered river conditions, salmonids may find themselves in unsuitable conditions. The ic...

Invisible eDNA Reveals Stream and Riparian Ecosystem Biodiversity

Year: 2019
Environmental DNA is a powerful new approach that, with a single water sample, can detect a host of stream and riparian species—from pathogens to fish to terrestrial animals. It may be able to provide land managers with the data they need to effectively manage freshwater and riparian ecosystems in a...