N. LeRoy Poff, PhD.



Fields of Expertise

Ecology, Riparian Zones and Wetlands

Areas of Interest

Hydrologic influences on stream ecosystems, Habitat heterogeneity, Structure and functional organization of communities, Ecological responses to land-use alterations and regional climate changes


Dr. Poff is a stream and river ecologist who studies the role of natural environmental variability (especially in flow regime) and its modification by humans on ecosystem structure and function. He received his MS in Environmental Sciences from Indiana University and his PhD from Colorado State in 1989. After post-doctoral work at the University of Maryland and a stint as Senior Scientist for Trout Unlimited in Arlington, VA, he returned to CSU in 1997. He has served on several scientific advisory boards to projects at the interface of ecology and hydrology, including the King County (Seattle, WA) Normative Flows Project, the Potomac River Flow-by Study (Washington, DC), The Adaptive Forum for CALFED (California), and the National Research Council reviewing science at the US Geological Survey. He collaborates with and advises several NGOs, including The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited and Conservation International. He is a recent past president of an international scientific society of river ecologists and currently the Interim Director of CSU's Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, the largest interdisciplinary graduate program on campus. His international work has been realized through invited plenary/keynote presentations at international meetings (Spain, Korea, Australia, England). He is a recognized global leader in the field of hydro-ecology and incorporation of this science into a framework for establishing "environmental flow" guidelines to sustain rivers in the face of growing human demand for fresh water. He is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher, a Fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.