Rachel Malison

2019 Fellow University of Montana


Rachel Malison grew up in northern Idaho. After completing her MS in Ecology at Idaho State University and her PhD in Systems Ecology at the University of Montana, Rachel lived overseas in Norway for a Marie Curie Fellowship before returning back to Montana. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Flathead Lake Biological Station. When she’s not doing research, she spends time with her husband and two young boys. She enjoys the outdoors, photography, traveling and growing vegetables and flowers on their farm. 

Rachel’s research interests focus on freshwater systems and span from investigating the genetics and physiology of individual macroinvertebrates to studying population and community ecology of large river floodplains. She is interested in how aquatic and terrestrial habitats are connected by the flow of energy and organisms (e.g., emerging insects) and has studied the effect of wildfire on linked stream and riparian (areas between waterways and land) systems. She is also passionate about salmon conservation and has studied both juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon populations. More recently, her work has focused on the ecology, physiology and genetics of river and aquifer stonefly populations in western Montana, and how certain species are adapted to live in extreme underground environments. 

Learn More About Rachel’s Research