James Anderson

  • Research Professor, SAFS
  • Co-Director, Columbia Basin Research (CBR)

Research areas

I am a Research Professor at SAFS and Co-Director of Columbia Basin Research, a UW center providing interactive real-time analysis on salmon in the Columbia Basin. My research focuses on modeling ecological and biological processes. Currently, the work divides into three general but overlapping areas: (1) migration of organisms, (2) decision processes, and (3) mortality processes.

The work is wide ranging and has both applied and basic relevance to environmental and human health. In the applied realm, for two decades we have studied and tracked in real-time the effects of hydrosystem operations on salmon in the Columbia River and are now expanding the work to track the effects of California water management on Central Valley salmon. In the basic realm, we developed and are applying new mechanistic models of survival to identify processes shaping survival patterns in human populations and the effects of senescence on degenerative and cancer-linked diseases.

Other appointments:

Faculty Member, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology
Affiliate Faculty Member, Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management Program
Affiliate Faculty Member, Center For Statistics & the Social Sciences and Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology

Prospective students may email me if they are interested in working with me.

Areas of Expertise

  • Salmon ecology
  • Hydrosystem-fisheries management
  • Climate change
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Biodemography
  • Decision process

Community Engagement and Awards

Review Panels

  • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service/ US Fish Wildlife Service review pane on the Central Valley Project Biological Opinion
  • Biodemography of National Institute of Health Science Panel


Selected publications

  • 2015. T. Li; J.J. Anderson. The Strehler-Mildvan Correlation from the Perspective of a Two-process Vitality Model. Population Studies. 2015;1-14;  10.1080/00324728.2014.992358.

  • 2014. R.A. Goodwin; M. Politano, J. W. Garvin; J.M. Nestler; D. Hay, J. J. Anderson; L. J. Weber; E. Dimperio; D. L. Smith; M. Timko. 2014. Fish navigation of large dams emerges from their modulation of flow field experience.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(14):5277-5282. 10.1073/pnas.1311874111.

  • 2014. B. J. Burke; J. J. Anderson; A. Baptista. Evidence for multiple navigational sensory capabilities of Chinook salmon. Aquatic Biology, 2014;20, 77-90. 10.3354/ab00541.

  • 2013. W. N. Beer; J. J. Anderson. Sensitivity of salmonid freshwater life history in western US streams to future climate conditions. Global Change Biology, 2013;19:2547-2556. 10.1111/gcb.12242.

  • 2013. J. J. Anderson; E. Gurarie; C. Bracis; B.J. Burke; K. L. Laidre. Modeling climate change impacts on phenology and population dynamics of migratory marine species. Ecological Modelling, 2013;264, 83-97. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.03.009.