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Making Waves: Dr. Jonathan Tonkin

Making Waves is the podcast of the Society for Freshwater Science

Ep. 24: Using Quantitative & Computational Approaches to Explain Biodiversity, Dr. Jonathan Tonkin

Jonathan Tonkin

This month's podcast features Dr. Jonathan Tonkin discussing his recent work on explaining and predicting freshwater biodiversity patterns using quantitative and computational approaches.

Jonathan Tonkin is a postdoctoral associate at Oregon State University. His work explores the mechanisms controlling biodiversity in dynamic systems, at community, metacommunity and macroecological scales. While his research is strongly rooted in and contributes to ecological theory, he also has a strong applied focus on linking theory and management of freshwater systems.

Running time: 27 minutes
Host: Erin Larson
Published: 6/9/2017

Listen to the podcast

The views expressed in the podcast are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the consensus opinion of the general SFS membership.


Episode 1: Dave Penrose, SFS President (2/20/2013)

Episode 2: From Pollution to Propulsion, Dr. Val Smith (3/14/2013)

Episode 3: Value of Biodiversity? Dr. Brad Cardinale (4/24/2013)

Episode 4: Assessing Australia's Intermittent Streams, Dr. Catherine Leigh (6/20/2013)

Episode 5: Reservoirs, Sediment & their Biological Impacts, Dr. William Graf (8/15/2013)

Episode 6: How Flow Influences Fish Communities, Meryl Mims (10/16/2013)

Episode 7: Contamination From Hydraulic Fracturing: Causes & Solutions, Rob Jackson (12/15/2013)

Episode 8: Conflicting Interests In Bristol Bay, AK: Mining vs. Salmon, Carol Ann Woody (2/15/2014)

Episode 9: Resistance or Vulnerability in Stream Invertebrate Communities to Drought? Dr. Kate Boersma (4/20/2014)

Episode 10: Conservation and Restoration in the Award-Winning Willamette Basin, Dr. Stanley Gregory (7/1/2014)

Episode 11: Promoting Diversity in Freshwater Science, Dr. Marcelo Ardon, Dr. Krista Capps, Dr. Checo Colon-Gaud, Dr. Judy Li & Dr. Patina Mendez (8/20/2014)

Episode 12: How Wide is a Stream? Dr. Jeffery Muehlbauer (10/30/2014)

Episode 13: Biomonitoring in Streams, Dr. Raphael Mazor (2/15/2015)

Episode 14: Nitrogen Fixation in a Warming World, Dr. Jill Welter (5/6/2015)

Episode 15: Carbon in Detrital Food Webs, Dr. Amy Rosemond (9/18/2015)

Episode 16: Seeding Citizen Science: The Early Life of a Grassroots Watershed Organization, Kelly Stettner (11/28/2015)

Episode 17: Microplastic Pollution in Freshwaters, Dr. Sherri Mason (2/29/2016)

Episode 18: Major changes in the production pathways of the Great Lakes, Dr. Soren Brothers (3/15/2016)

Episode 19: Climate Change and Lake Ice, Dr. Sapna Sharma (7/15/2016)

Episode 20: Large River Ecology, Dr. Wyatt Cross (10/4/2016)

Episode 21: River Conservation in Tropical Regions, Dr. Elizabeth Anderson (11/30/2016)

Episode 22: Counting the world's lakes and measuring how much water is in them, Mathis Messager (1/28/2017)

Episode 23: Freshwater Salinization, Dr. Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles (3/22/2017)

Episode 24: Using Quantitative & Computational Approaches to Explain Biodiversity, Dr. Jonathan Tonkin (6/9/2017)

Meet Your Hosts

Timothy Cline

Tim Cline

Timothy Cline is a graduate student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Science at the University of Washington. He is broadly interested in aquatic ecology including predator-prey interactions, exogenous resource subsidies, resilience, and ecosystem management.


Eric Moody

Eric Moody

Eric is a PhD student at Arizona State University who is interested in the causes and consequences of intraspecific stoichiometric variation, especially in desert aquatic ecosystems.


Erin Larson

Erin Larson

Erin Larson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the role of disturbance in shaping the taxonomic and functional composition of stream insect communities in mountainous regions ranging from Colorado's Rocky Mountains to Ecuador's Andes.


About Making Waves


We aim to disseminate current research in the aquatic sciences to a general audience through a semi-monthly podcast as well as other interactive. Our goal is to frame recent high-profile research papers or career achievements in the broader context of current environmental and scientific issues. Our focus is to follow and expand on the new mission of the Society for Freshwater Science in covering all types of ground-breaking research that is relevant aquatic systems. We hope to interview a wide variety of scientists ranging from graduate students to tenured professors from a diversity of countries and backgrounds. We will not focus solely on the research, but also on the story of the researcher. We feel it is both important and interesting to discuss with the researcher how they came to this point in their career and how they came upon the idea of the research being featured. We would additionally like to discuss other unique outreach activities related to the research that the investigators may be involved in.

The views expressed in the podcast are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the consensus opinion of the general SFS membership.


The podcast will be released every other month beginning in the fall of 2012. A new podcast will be released on the 15th of each month. Individual podcasts will vary in length but will generally be 15-30 minutes long. Each podcast will be accompanied by associated media (e.g. links to papers discussed, videos related to the research, and/or a discussion forum). Podcasts will be made available as mp3s and through the SFS YouTube channel.

Interested in participating?

We are actively seeking scientists who wish to share their stories on this podcast. This is an excellent opportunity to share your work with a wide audience! If you are interested, please send an email to sfspodcast@gmail.com including a brief statement of why you are interested in profiling your work. We are especially interested in covering recent high-profile research, but will consider any compelling story. You do not need to be a member of SFS to participate.


The Making Waves podcast would like to acknowledge facilities support from Arizona State University and the University of Washington.

What's New
  • Making Waves Ep. 24: Quantitative and Computational Approaches to Explain Biodiversity, Dr. Jonathan Tonkin more
  • Emily Bernhardt's President's Environment: Freshwater Science Family Reunion more
  • June 2017 issue of Freshwater Science now online more
  • What's happenin'? Find out the news In The Drift... more
  • Read the Spring 2016 issue of in the drift! more
  • Proposed Constitutional Revisions 2016 more
  • Newsletter! Newsletter! in the drift more
  • SFS signs two letters sent to the US EPA regarding the Trump Administration's proposed revisions to the Waters of the US rule

  • SFS announces logo redesign competition. Submissions due 21 Aug. 2017.

  • Please take a short survey on the SFS logo redesign

  • The SFS ad hoc committee on inclusivity is producing a short video to highlight why freshwater scientists value having a diverse and inclusive society

  • Upcoming deadlines for the Fourth Symposium on Urbanization and Stream Ecology


More SFS News...

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