Meet The Lab
Brian P. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Brian Kennedy is a professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences in the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho. He received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Colgate University and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Dartmouth College.
After finishing his dissertation work on the foraging ecology and bioenergetics of Atlantic salmon, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Michigan, where he developed approaches for reconstructing the behavior, migration and environmental history of fish using the geochemical information recorded in fish otoliths.
Dr. Kennedy joined the faculty at the University of Idaho in 2005. He was part of a core group that started the Water Resources Graduate Program through a combination of strategic funding and NSF IGERT awards. He is adjunct in the departments of Biological and Geological Sciences.
Jens Hegg, Ph.D.
Analytical Lab Manager
Jens Hegg oversees collaborations and analytical services within the Kennedy LIFE lab. He is interested in the ecology of fish movement and migration, with expertise in using biogeochemical records recovered from organism hard parts including fish otoliths to answer these questions.
He received his Bachelors of Arts in Biology from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His scientific experience is diverse, including R&D work in analytical chemistry, bioplastic production from corn biomass, and coronary stent design, resulting in several patents. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary Water Resources program at the University of Idaho.
His Ph.D. work focused on the drivers and of an evolving life-history diversity in juvenile Fall Chinook salmon. Other current research projects include uncovering detailed migration of Amazonian catfish and sawfish populations and the use of data-to-sound techniques as a data exploration tool for otolith data.
I study density dependence and foraging relationships which are changing due to warmer stream temperatures and altered flow regimes. By understanding these interactions, better management strategies can be created and implemented to preserve threatened and endangered systems.
I am a student in the Water Resource program on the Science and Management track. Currently, I am an NSF-IGERT fellow, working with an interdisciplinary team on a project entitled “Adaptation to change in water resources: science to inform decision-making across disciplines, cultures and scales.”
I believe that a love for science begins at a very young age, often through a mentor, teacher, or a sense of place that fuels interest and inquiry. Creating a connection with science and the environment is a responsibility of scientists, spreading their enthusiasm for the world and discovery. I am currently working to develop “The Sense of Place Project,” encouraging a lifetime of scientific inquiry using placed based methodology.
I am broadly interested in the ecology of freshwater and anadromous fishes, and their responses to shifting environmental conditions. My current research is focused on habitat selection and non-migratory dispersal of juvenile steelhead and how these behaviors are linked to individual growth.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent my summers in the Sierra Nevada mountains where I developed a love for wildlife and the outdoors. I attended the University of Washington and received my B.S. in Biology in 2015. During my time there I worked as a research assistant in Dr. Thomas P. Quinn's lab and upon graduation worked as a research technician for the UW's Alaska Salmon Program. I am currently an M.S. student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences.
My research is focused on juvenile migration strategies of Chinook salmon and how those strategies relate to habitat conditions. I use otolith microstructure and microchemical analysis to reconstruct early growth and movement with the intention of linking individual migration behavior to growth opportunity in rearing habitat.
I grew up in western Oregon and graduated with a BS from the Oregon State University department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. After graduating I moved around the country doing as many different kinds of fisheries-related jobs as I could find. I lived in Maine, Michigan, California, and Idaho (twice). When I'm not grad-studenting or working on leadership activities with the Palouse Unit of the American Fisheries Society I like to run, mountain bike, and backpack.
Undergraduate Lab Assistant
Undergradaute Lab Assistant
Otolith Prep Lab
Doris Duke Conservation Scholar - 2015
B.S. - 2018
Eclipse Blitz Coord.
U Mass Amherst
NSF REU - 2010
B.S. - U.Met., Puerto Rico
M.S. - U. Mich.
Biologist, USGS Lake Michigan Eco. Res. Sta.
M.S. - 2009
M.S. - 2007
We are always interested in hearing from motivated students from all backgrounds interested in ecological questions in aquatic systems.
If you are interested in joining our lab please contact Dr. Kennedy through email with a thoughtful email detailing your interests and background. Please include your broader interests in ecological questions and motivations for pursuing further study, as well as any specific interests you have in our active projects. It is also helpful to include a brief overview of your qualifications, your CV, and relevant GRE scores and GPA.
Current openings will be posted in the Lab News section of this website, but we are always open to your inquiries.