Stream Ecologist

Dr. Kurt Fausch is a stream ecologist and Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (FWCB) where he taught and conducted research for 35 years. He was also a charter member and Acting Director of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) and active in the Water Center. He currently serves on the Independent Scientific Review Panel which evaluates projects to restore native salmon and trout in the Columbia River basin for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and speaks about why rivers are essential for fish and people.


Research Focus

Research with graduate students and collaborators worldwide has focused on how humans affect habitats that are essential for stream fish, which are often dispersed throughout riverscapes, and the linkages between streams and their riparian zones. Key topics include:

  • Effects of non-native trout on native trout and stream-riparian linkages
  • Effects of livestock grazing on food webs that support trout
  • Effects of climate change on native and non-native trout populations over large regions throughout the western U.S.
  • Effects of groundwater pumping for agriculture on habitat for fish in Great Plains streams

A note to prospective students and postdocs

I am retired and no longer mentoring graduate students or postdocs in research. I encourage those seeking positions to contact others in the Fisheries and Aquatic Science program at Colorado State University, including Drs. Johnson, Myrick, Kanno, Clements, Bestgen, Winkelman, and Bailey.


I most recently taught courses in Conservation of Fish in Aquatic Ecosystems (Upper Division undergraduates) and Sustaining River Hydroecosystems for Aquatic and Riparian Biota (graduate students). Over 35 years, I taught many other courses and graduate seminars, including Ichthyology, Fishery Science, and Fish Ecology for undergraduates in FWCB, and graduate courses in Organism and Population Ecology, Population and Community Ecology, and Community Ecology in GDPE.