David Beauchamp

  • Professor, SAFS
  • Acting Unit Leader, Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Geological Survey

Research areas

My research program focuses on tactical-level food web ecology of large lake, reservoirs and their tributaries, estuarine, and marine systems in temperate and sub-Arctic latitudes. We generally address  questions regarding processes that limit or promote production of salmonids or other key species and include topics involving: predator-prey interactions, bioenergetics modeling, behavioral ecology, distribution, growth, population dynamics, environmental stressors, and food web dynamics. Our investigations cover resident and anadromous salmon and trout (e.g., bull trout, salmon, kokanee), sport fishes, and native fish communities, and examine the effects of environmental or anthropogenic change on focal species and the associated food webs. Our approach combines fisheries–limnological and oceanographic sampling, lab/field experiments, and modeling within a spatial, temporal and life-stage-specific framework. We use this framework to address basic questions in aquatic ecology and critical issues relating to management and conservation of sensitive species, harvestable species, hatchery–wild species interactions, impacts of non-native species, climate change, and ecosystem function in response to natural or human-induced environmental change.

Some current investigations include: an examination of energetics, trophic interactions, growth and survival of salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound (Salish Sea); Climate change and food web dynamics of resident and anadromous fish in large lakes; hydro-ecology of storage reservoirs and feasibility of re-introducing anadromous salmonids above previously impassible dams; development and application of visual foraging models for piscivorous and planktivorous fishes.


Areas of Expertise

  • Aquatic Food Web Ecology
  • Bioenergetics
  • Climate Change
  • Invasive/ Non-native Species Impacts
  • Predator-Prey Interactions
  • Salmonid Ecology
  • Visual Foraging Models

Community Engagement and Awards

Advisory Boards

  • Salish Sea Marine Survival Program-Technical Work Group, and Coordinating Committee
  • Lake Washington Sockeye Hatchery Adaptive Management-Technical Work Group
  • Science Advisory Committee, Alaska SeaLife Center
  • Independent Science Advisory Board, Northwest Power and Conservation Council, ad hoc member for Columbia River Basin Food Web Review. 2009–2011.


  • 2009 Fulbright Scholar-Argentina
  • 2008–2013 Worthington Endowed Professorship in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Selected publications

  • 2015. Hansen*, A.G., and D.A. Beauchamp. Latitudinal and photic effects on diel foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:532-544. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12295.

    * denotes student author

  • Lawrence*, D.J., D.A. Beauchamp, and J.D. Olden. 2015. Life-stage specific physiology defines invasion extent of a riverine fish. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:879-888. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12332.

    * denotes student author

  • 2015. Schoen*, E.R., D.A. Beauchamp, A. Buettner*, and N.C. Overman. Temperature and depth mediate resource competition and apparent competition between Mysis diluviana and kokanee. Ecological Applications 25:1962-1975.

    * denotes student author

  • 2012. Naiman, R.J., J.R. Alldredge, D.A. Beauchamp, P.A. Bisson, J. Congleton, C.J. Henny, N. Huntly, R. Lamberson, C. Levings, E. Merrill, W. Pearcy, B. Rieman, G. Ruggerone, D. Scarnecchia, P.E. Smouse, and C.C. Wood. Developing a broader scientific foundation for river restoration: Columbia River food webs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109(52):21202-21207.

  • 2011. Duffy*, E.J., and D.A. Beauchamp. Rapid growth in the early marine period improves marine survival of Puget Sound Chinook salmon. Canadian Journal of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences 68:232-240.

    * denotes student author

  • 2011. Ellis, B.K., J.A. Stanford, D.G. Goodman, C.P. Stafford, D.L. Gustafson, D.A. Beauchamp, D.W. Chess, J.A. Craft, M.A. Deleray, and B.S. Hansen. Long-term effects of a trophic cascade in a large lake ecosystem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 108:1070-1075.

  • 2009. Beauchamp, D. A.  Bioenergetic Ontogeny: Linking climate and mass-specific feeding to life-cycle growth and survival of salmon. Pages 53-72 In C. Zimmerman and C. C. Krueger, editors. Pacific Salmon: Ecology and Management of Western Alaska’s Populations. American Fisheries Society Symposium 70. Bethesda, Maryland.