Curriculum Vitae

Professional Experience : Education : Grants Awarded : Awards and Honors : Courses Taught : Highlighted Synergistic Activities


Professor of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, July 2007 – present.
Distinguished Professorial Chair of Riverine Ecology & Environmental Flows (partial appointment), Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra, Australia, July 2016 – present.
Director, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, August 2008 – July 2016 (retired).
Associate Professor of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, July 2002 – 2007.
Assistant Professor of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, July 1997 – 2002.
Research Scientist, University of Maryland, College Park, 1992-1997.
Senior Scientist, Trout Unlimited, Arlington, VA, 1996-1997.


University of Maryland, College Park (Post-doc), 1990-1992.
Colorado State University, Ft. Collins (Ph.D. in Biology), 1984-1989.
Indiana University, Bloomington (M.S. in Environmental Science), 1980-1983.
Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas (B.A. in Biology, with Distinction), 1973-1978.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany — year abroad 1976-1977.


U.S. Geological Survey, $49,600. September 2018 – August 2019. Effects of water management and climate change on the dynamics of native and invasive wetland and riparian plants in Western USA. (continuation of previous grant)

U.S. Geological Survey, $48,800. September 2018 – August 2019. Analyzing effects of biological control of invasive tamarisk on the Virgin and Colorado River (support for Dr. Laura Perry, Research Tech). (continuation of previous grant) 

* Australian Research Council, LP170100598, AUS$578,000, July 2018 – June 2021. Vulnerability of environmental water management to a variable and changing climate. M.D. Stewardson (Chief Investigator, University of Melbourne) + 8 others including N.L. Poff (Participating Investigator) 

* Australian Research Council, DP180102016, AUS$663, March 2018 – February 2021.  Does climatic thermal variability matter for biodiversity, thermal tolerance and dispersal? B. Kefford (Chief Investigator, University of Canberra) + 3 others including N.L. Poff (Participating Investigator) 

National Science Foundation, RAPID (DEB-1434782), $200,000. May 2014 – April 2015. “Effects of an Extreme Disturbance Event on Genomic Variation and Community Organization of Stream Insects.” N.L. Poff (PI), with co-PIs Chris Funk (CSU), Boris Kondratieff (CSU), and Alex Flecker (Cornell University). 

National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), award #2013T5-008, June 2013 – September 2014, “Climate Change and Water Resources Adaptation: Decision Scaling and Integrated Eco-Engineering Resilience”. Travel and group funding for 4 on-site workshops.  NL Poff and JH Matthews (Conservation International), PIs 

National Science Foundation, Dimensions of Biodiversity (DEB-1046408), $2,999,320. April 2011 – March 2016. “An Integrative Traits-Based Approach to Predicting Variation in Vulnerability of Tropical and Temperate Stream Biodiversity to Climate Change.” N.L. Poff (PI), with co-PIs Cameron Ghalambor, Chris Fund and Boris Kondratieff at CSU ($1,357,218) and collaborative co-PIS at Cornell (Alex Flecker, Kelly Zamudio) and Univ. Nebraska (Steve Thomas). Cooperating Senior Scientists in Ecuador: Andrea Encalada (Universidad San Francisco de Quito) and
Juan M. Guayasamin (Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica). 

Australian Research Council. Aus$634,641. March 2011 – February 2014. “How effective are environmental flows? Novel approaches for monitoring and assessing ecological responses to large-scale flow alteration.” M. Stewardson, University of Melbourne (PI), co-PIs N.L. Poff, Ian Rutherfurd, A. Sharpe. 

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Science, US Agency for International Development: “Ecuador – Project 108: Long-term sustainability of water resources and biodiversity under scenarios of climate change in the Napo watershed, Ecuador.” Juan M. Guayasamin (Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica), Andrea Encalada (Universidad San Francisco de Quito) co-PIs with US Partner, N.L. Poff (Colorado State University) $150,000, June 2012 – May 2015. 

National Science Foundation. (IGERT, DEG-0966346) $2,728,060. July 2010 – June 2015. “IGERT: I-WATER – Integrated Water Atmosphere and Ecosystem Education and Research.” Jorge Ramirez (PI) with co-PIs N.L. Poff, Scott Denning, and Neil Grigg. 

Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, DC) (R833833), $599,745. August 2008 – July 2013. “Predicting relative risk of invasion by saltcedar and mud snails in river networks under different scenarios of climate change and dam operations in the western United States.” N.L. Poff (PI) with co-PIs B. Bledsoe, (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and collaborators from US Geological Survey (Greg
Auble, Jonathan Friedman, Pat Shafroth), US Forest Service (David Merritt), US Bureau of Reclamation (David Raff), the Stockholm Environmental Institute (David Purkey), and Oregon State University. 

Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, DC) (RD-83418701), $799,554. October 2009 – September 2013. “Impact of Climate Change and Variability on the Nation’s Water Quality and Ecosystem State and EPA Star proposal.”  Charles J. Vörösmarty (PI) with co-PIs N.L.Poff, Wilfred Wollheim; Co-Principal Investigators: Balazs Fekete, Will Clements, Mark Green, Gretchen Gettel. (Poff’s share of this is $129,999.) 

US Department of Interior, US Geological Survey, $245,844. July 2010 – June 2014. “Effects of Water Management and Climate Change on the Dynamics of Native and Invasive Wetland and Riparian Plants.” 

US Department of Interior, US Bureau of Reclamation (WaterSmart Program), $118,215. September 2011 – September 2013. “Developing climate analysis tools for the upper Colorado River basin.” N.L. Poff (PI), Lyndsay Reynolds (co-PI). 

USDA-USFS-Forest Research, $30,000. July 2012 – September 2013. “Development of environmental flow standards: Routt National Forest .” 
Monfort Professor, Colorado State University, $150,000. July 2005 – July 2007. 

National Science Foundation, $49,894. September 2004 – August 2006. “Proposed workshops linking river ecology with hydrologic modeling.”  N.L. Poff (PI) 

Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, DC), (R831367) $897,798. December 2003 – November 2007. “Linking watershed characteristics with flow regime and geomorphic context to diagnose water quality impairment at multiple spatiotemporal scales.” N.L. Poff (PI) with co-PIs B. Bledsoe, J. Ramirez (Civil Engineering), D. Dean (Forest Sciences) at CSU). 

U.S. Geological Survey. $126,100. January 2004 – August 2005. Compilation & Analysis of Macroinvertebrate Species Traits for the National Water Quality Assessment Program. N.L. Poff (PI) 

National Science Foundation, $26,739. January 2004 – July 2005 (DEB 0437961).  “Hydrologic Information Systems Proposal for CUAHSI (Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences). 

National Science Foundation, $369,371. August 2000 – July 2004 (DEB 0075352).  “Herbivory in Streams – Context-Dependent Species Interactions and Functional Redundancy.” N.L. Poff (PI) with co-PI Todd Wellnitz.

U.S. Forest Service. $44,953. April 2001 – 2004. Development of Protocols for Assessing Aquatic, Wetland, and Riparian Ecosystems in Region 8.  

Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, DC), (R828636) $151,000 (total award $788,144). December 2000 – November 2003. “Hierarchical Physical Classification of Western Streams: Predicting Biological Condition in Terms of Key Environmental Processes Bridging Local to Ecoregional Scales.” B. Bledsoe (PI) with co-PIs N.L. Poff and E.E. Wohl. 

National Science Foundation / Environmental Protection Agency (Water/Watersheds), $85,000 (total award $1.1 M). March 2000 – February 2003. “The spatial patterning of land use conversion: Linking economics, hydrology, and ecology to evaluate effects of alternative future growth scenarios on stream ecosystems. (with Margaret Palmer, P.I. and 5 other co-PI’s at the University of Maryland) 

Water Environment Research Foundation, $5,933 (total award $123,322). “Effects of wet weather discharges on the physical character of aquatic habitat. June 2000 – August 2001. (with Larry Roesner (PI) and 3 others in Civil Engineering at CSU) 

National Science Foundation, $100,000. July 1998 – June 2000 (DEB – 9806504). “Herbivore interactions in heterogeneous environments — role of context-dependency and functional redundancy.” 

Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, DC), $100,000 (total award $1.5M). January 1997 – 2000. “Multi-scaled Ecological Assessment Methods: Prototype Development within the Interior Columbia Basin.” (with P. Bougeron (PI) and H. Humphries, U. Colorado, B. Milne, U. New Mexico, and F. Davis, UC Santa Barbara). 

National Science Foundation, $200,000. March 1996 – March 1999. “Experimentation in Stream Restoration Ecology: The Role of Habitat Heterogeneity.” (with M.A. Palmer (PI) and K. Prestegaard at University of Maryland) 

National Science Foundation (SGER), $50,000. August 1992 – December 1994. “Towards a New Functional Basis for Comparing Stream Ecosystems.” 
Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory – Duluth, $349,000.  October 1992 – September 1995. “Utility of the Physical Habitat Template as a Predictor of Lotic Ecosystem Invasibility by Alien Aquatic Species.” (with K. Prestegaard, co-PI) 

Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Research Laboratory – Duluth, $130,086. May 1990 – July 1992. “A Streamflow Classification for U.S. Streams and Rivers, and its Relationship to Fish Distributions and Abundance.” (with J.David Allan, co-PI)


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (WaterSMART program). $104,704. September 2011 – September 2013. “Developing climate analysis tools for the upper Colorado River basin.” N.L. Poff (PI) and Lindsay Reynolds (post-doc, co-PI).

U.S. Geological Survey, $86,316. August 2010 – July 2017. Effects of Water Management and Climate Change on the Dynamics of Native and Invasive Wetland and Riparian Plants in Western USA (support for Dr. Lindsay Reynolds and Dr. Laura Perry).

Camp Dresser McKee, $14,301. October 2010 – February 2011. “Yampa Basin Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool” (Support for Thomas Wilding, PhD student)

Camp Dresser McKee, $27,280. January 2010 – October 2010.  “Colorado Basin Watershed Flow Evaluation Tool” (Support for Thomas Wilding, PhD student)

U.S. Forest Service, $23,159. August 2005 – July 2007. “Ecosystem recovery gradients below streamflow diversion structures on federal lands.” (Support for Julia McCarthy, MS student)

National Science Foundation – Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, $11,600. July 2004. “Thermal fragmentation and genetic differentiation of fish populations in a riverine landscape.”  (Support for Julian Olden, PhD student)

US Forest Service, $30,000. August 2002 – July 2005. “Ecological responses of Rocky Mountain streams to experimental diversion.” (Support for David Pepin, PhD student)

US Environmental Protection Agency — STAR fellowship, $78,000. August 2001 – July 2004. “Dispersal of benthic invertebrates between Colorado alpine streams:  Are adjacent streams biologically isolated?” (Support for Debra Finn, PhD student)

National Science Foundation – Graduate Research Fellowship, $76,500. August 1998 – July 2001. “Colonization dynamics and assembly rules for Colorado montane streams” (Support for Debra Finn, MS student)

The Nature Conservancy, $136,000. September 1999 – August 2002. “Mechanisms of Tamarix dominance in western riparian systems.” (Support for David Merritt, Post-doctoral fellow)


“Award of Excellence,” Society for Freshwater Science, 2019, career award for “single recipient for outstanding contributions to benthic science” (established 1988) for international society of >1200 members, January 2019. [link]

“Making a Difference Award” from the Instream Flow Council, 2018. [link]

Scholarship Impact Award, Colorado State University (sole annual recipient university-wide), 2016.

Resident Distinguished Ecologist, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 2016.

Fellow, Ecological Society of America, 2016.

Nominated for University Distinguished Professor by Department of Biology, Fall 2016

Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 2012. (see

Laureate, College of Natural Sciences, Colorado State University 2010-2011 (one of two college-wide).

Graduate Mentoring Award, Department of Biology, 2007.

President (elected), Society for North American Benthological Society (now Society for Freshwater Science), June 2006-2007. (President-elect, 2005-2006; Past-President, 2007-2008)

Sole ecologist invited to the annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium: “The Human Role in Changing the Fluvial Geomorphology of the Earth.” October 2006, Columbia, SC (accepted)

ISI Highly Cited Researcher, member (Web of Science), Researcher ID # = C-1239-2009 (searchable at

Monfort Professor, Colorado State University, 2005-2007 (one of two university-wide).

Kaeser Visiting Scholar, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, March 8-12, 2005.

H.B.N. Hynes Lecturer, Canadian Rivers Institute / University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB, October 13-15, 2005.

Fellow, Aldo Leopold Leopold Leadership Program (Ecological Society of America), 2004 (one of 20 nationwide.

Land & Water Australia Visiting Scholar Fellowship through Griffith University, Brisbane QLD, October-December 2004.

Undergraduate Teaching Award, Department of Biology, 2001.


Sustaining River Ecosystems in a Changing World (BZ580, FW/BZ680, ECOL592, FW/BZ568): Spring 2019, Fall 2015, Fall 2013, and Spring 2012.
Stream Biology & Ecology (BZ441, BZ472, BZ471): Fall 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999, and Spring 1998.
Limnology (BZ474): Fall 2014, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2000, and 1998.
Freshman seminar (BZ192): Fall 2003.
Ecology (BZ320): Fall 2002.
Biology of Organisms (LIFE103) Spring 2006.
Humans and other Animals (BZ101) Spring 2001, Spring 1999, and Fall 1997.
Graduate Seminar in Ecology (EY592) 2018, 2010, 2008, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1998, and 1997.
Ecoinformatics (BZ580) Spring 2004


Advisory Board, International Journal of River Basin Management, 2006-present.
Director, Colorado State University, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, 2008-2016
Chair, Scientific Program for 4-society meeting of freshwater sciences (Society of Freshwater Science; American Society of Limnology & Oceanoagraphy; Society of Wetland Scientists; American Phycological Society) in Portland, Oregon, May 2014
Member, Freshwater Ecosystems Indicators Technical Team to develop a prototype indicator system for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, National Climate Assessment, US Global Change Research Program, 2013
Scientific Evaluator, proposals for the Center of Excellence Programme for the Academy of Finland, 2012.
Reviewer, US Geological Survey, Upper Flint River Project Review, April 23-24, 2008 Fort Collins, CO.
Advisor and Reviewer, joint TNC-US Army Corps of Engineers project to characterize hydrologic alteration and management options in the Connecticut River basin, 2009-2017,
Associate Editor, Limnology & Oceanography, 1999-2001.
Editorial Board, Freshwater Biology, 1996-2011.
Technical Reviewer, State of Massachusetts, Department of Environmental Protection in support of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative: Final Framework,