Matthew O'Donnell

CAFB Home       Staff       Research       Products       Directions



Matt O'Donnell

Curriculum vitae (pdf)


Contact Info:
US Geological Survey
Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center
One Migratory Way
PO Box 796
Turners Falls, MA 01376

office phone: (413) 863-3868
cell phone: (413) 843-4243
fax: (413) 863-9810


Title: Research Ecologist


1995 - B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
2000 - M.S., Fisheries Conservation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst


Research Interests:
I started working with the Ecology Section at the Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center in the spring of 1995, first as a Research Assistant and then as a graduate student. While a graduate student, I worked with Ben Letcher (Ecology Section, Leader) to investigate how cohort- and location-specific growth rates of juvenile American shad may influence outmigration representation and timing (abstract). Upon graduating from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, I worked briefly for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife investigating how water quantity influenced fish communities. Starting in 2000, I worked for the Stock Enhancement Division of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) as project leader for the Kennebec River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program. In this position my primary responsibilities were to oversee an active restoration of American shad, blueback herring, and alewife. In March of 2002, I moved back to Massachusetts to work (again) at the Conte Lab. In my current position I hope to draw from my previous experience with Mass Wildlife and Maine DMR to study how water quantity and habitat fragmentation impacts the growth, survival, and movement of stream and riverine fishes.



O'Donnell, M.J. and B.H. Letcher. 2017. Implanting 8-mm passive integrated transponder tags into small Brook Trout: Effects on growth and survival in the laboratory. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. doi: 10.1080/02755947.2017.1307291

Whiteley, A.R., J.A. Coombs, M.J. O'Donnell, K.H. Nislow, and B.H. Letcher. 2017. Keeping things local: subpopulation Nb and Ne in a stream network with partial barriers to fish migration. Evolutionary Applications. doi: 10.1111/eva.12454

Letcher, B.H., Hocking, D.J., O’Neil, K., Whiteley, A.R., Nislow, K.H., and M.J. O’Donnell. 2016. A hierarchical model of daily stream temperature using air-water temperature synchronization, autocorrelation, and time lags.PeerJ 4:e1727.

Letcher, BH., P. Schueller, R. Bassar, K.H. Nislow, J.A. Coombs, K. Sakrejda, M. Morrissey, D. Sigourney, A.R. Whiteley, M. O'Donnell, and T. Dubreuil. 2015. Robust estimates of environmental effects on population vital rates: an integrated capture-recapture model of seasonal brook trout growth, survival and movement in a stream network. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:337-352. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12308

Snook, E.L., B.H. Letcher, T.L. Dubreuil, J. Zydlewski, M.J. O'Donnell, A.R. Whiteley, S.T. Hurley, and A.J. Danylchuk. 2015. Movement patterns of brook trout in a restored coastal stream system in southern Massachusetts. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi: 10.1111/eff.12216

Whiteley, A.R., J.A. Coombs, M. Cembrola, M.J. O'Donnell, M. Hudy, K.H. Nislow, and B.H. Letcher. 2015. Effective number of breeders provides a link between interannual variation in stream flow and individual reproductive contribution in a stream salmonid. Molecular Ecology 24: 3585-3602. doi: 10.1111/mec.13273

Kazyak, D., B. H. Letcher, Zydlewski, J., and M.J. O’Donnell. 2014. Growth variability of Brook Charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) in coastal Maine. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi:10.1111/eff.12105

Rudershausen, P.J., J.A. Buckel, T. Dubreuil, M.J. O'Donnell, J.E. Hightower, S.J. Poland, and B.H. Letcher. 2014. Estimating movement and survival rates of a small saltwater fish using autonomous antenna receiver arrays and passive integrated transponder tags. Marine Ecology Progress Sereis 499:177-192. doi:10.3354/meps10656

O'Donnell, M.J., G.E. Horton, and B.H. Letcher. 2010. Use of portable antennas to estimate population abundance of PIT tagged fish in small streams: factors affecting detection efficiency. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 30(2):323-336.

O’Donnell, M.J. and B.H. Letcher. 2008. Size and age distributions of juvenile Connecticut River American shad above Hadley Falls: influence on outmigration representation and timing. River Research and Applications 24:929-940.

Letcher B.H., K.H. Nislow, J.A. Coombs, M.J. O’Donnell, T.L. Dubreuil. 2007. Population response to habitat fragmentation in a stream-dwelling brook trout population. PLoS ONE 2(11):e1139. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001139.

Letcher, B.H., G.E. Horton, T.L. Dubreuil, and M.J. O'Donnell. 2005. A field test of the extent of bias in selection estimates after accounting for emigration. Evolutionary Ecology Research 7(4): 643-650.

Letcher, B.H., T. Dubreuil, M.J. O'Donnell, M. Obedzinski, K. Griswold, and K.H. Nislow. 2004. Long-term consequences of variation in timing and manner of fry introduction on juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) growth, survival, and life-history expression. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61(12): 2288-2301.

Kircheis, F.W., J.G Trial, D.P Boucher, B. Mower, T. Squiers, N. Gray, M. O’Donnell, and J.S. Stahlnecker. 2004. Analysis of impacts related to the introduction of anadromous alewife into a small freshwater lake in central Maine, USA. Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine Department of Environmental Protection. 53 pp.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey | DOI Inspector General
Page Contact Information: Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: December 2, 2010
Leetown Team