Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Kim Mattson

Map of composite risk maps for 12 major threats in 473 subwatersheds within the UTRB.  None, low, moderately low, moderately low, moderate, moderately high, and high risk rankings were assigned to each subwatershed.

Research Interests

My primary research interests include questions related to ecological modeling and landscape ecology, specifically the effects of human-dominated landscapes on biological communities. My doctoral research comprises the integration of ecological risk assessment into freshwater conservation planning and relating landscape patterns and processes to aquatic resources. I have developed and implemented a novel planning tool, the Ecological Risk Index, which takes into consideration the biological consequences of anthropogenic stressors on freshwater biota. The continued sustainability of a freshwater ecosystem is integral to successful conservation planning, and I am modeling the effects of historic land use and landscape features on freshwater mussel assemblages to determine linkages between landscape patterns and local conditions. Mussels may be considered indicators for stream health because most species are long-lived and all are sensitive to changes in the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the surrounding stream habitat. As part of this project, I am working in conjunction with mussel experts to develop maps of potential mussel restoration sites. My research also explores the utility of readily available national data sources for predicting regional patterns of the distribution, severity, and potential economic impacts of anthropogenic stressors on aquatic resources.

Research Publications

  • Mattson, K.M. and P.L. Angermeier. 2011. Evaluating robustness in rank-based risk assessments of freshwater ecosystems. Submitted for USGS review.
  • Mattson, K. M., and P. L. Angermeier. 2007. Integrating human impacts and ecological integrity into a risk-based protocol for conservation planning. Environmental Management 39: 125-138.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 10

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 3

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 13

Scientific Publications: 72

Presentations: 118


Contact Information


Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  4. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  5. Wildlife Management Institute