Theodore Castro-Santos

Photograph of First Last

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Contact Info



B.A. Colgate University, 1987 (Biology and Spanish Literature)

M.S. Washington State University, 1991 (Wildlife Biology)

Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, 2002 (Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)

Research Interests

Biomechanics and Behavior of Migratory Fishes; Bioengineering of Fish Passage Structures

Human activities have caused extensive fragmentation of riverine corridors. Dams, culverts, and other barriers prevent migratory and riverine fishes from accessing key habitats. This is particularly problematic for diadromous fishes like Atlantic salmon and American shad that must transition between fresh- and saltwater habitats in order to complete their life cycles. My research interests focus on identifying conditions that are most conducive to improving passage at barriers. I use an integrative approach, incorporating biomechanics, physiology, ecology, behavior, and engineering. Swimming performance and behavioral responses to hydraulic conditions (turbulence, velocity, etc.) are major interests, as is development of quantitative methods for identifying and characterizing barriers. This work has broad relevance, not only to stewardship and management of aquatic resources, but also to understanding fundamental aspects of the ecology and evolution of fishes. Some current projects include:

Sprint-swimming performance of migratory and riverine species

Effects of turbulence on swimming performance, biomechanics, and behavior

Modeling fish passage through culverts

Bioenergetics models of anadromous fish migrations

Fish passage bioengineering, including biologically relevant measures of passage performance

Physiology, behavior, and passage performance of South American fish species

Representative Publications

Castro-Santos,T. and Haro,A. 2013. Survival and behavioral effects of exposure to a hydrokinetic turbine on juvenile Atlantic salmon and adult American shad. Estuaries and Coasts, DOI 10.1007/s12237-013-9680-6.

Castro-Santos, T., Sanz-Ronda, J., and Ruiz-Legazpi, J. 2013. Breaking the speed limit--comparative sprinting performance of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and brown trout (Salmo trutta). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences , 70: 280-293.

Castro-Santos, T. and Letcher, B. 2010. Modeling migratory energetics of Connecticut River American shad (Alosa sapidissima): implications for the conservation of an iteroparous anadromous fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 67: 806-830.

Castro-Santos, T. and Haro, A. 2008. Fish guidance and passage at barriers. Chapter 4 In "Fish Locomotion: An Etho-Ecological Approach" (P. Domenici and R. W. Blake, Ed.),Science Publishers, Enfield, NH.

Castro-Santos, T., Cotel, A., and Webb, P. W. 2008. Fishway evaluations for better bioengineering -- an integrative approach. In "Challenges for diadromous fishes in a dynamic global environment" (A. Haro, C. M. Moffit, and M. J. Dadswell, Ed.), American Fisheries Society Symposium, Bethesda, MD.

Castro-Santos, T. 2006. Modeling the effect of varying swim speeds on fish passage through velocity barriers. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc., 135: 1230-1237.

Castro-Santos, T. and Haro, A. 2006. Biomechanics and fisheries conservation. In "Fish Physiology Volume 23: Fish Biomechanics" (R. E. Shadwick and G. V. Lauder, Ed.), pp. 469-523. Academic Press, New York.

Castro-Santos, T. 2005. Optimal swim speeds for traversing velocity barriers: an analysis of volitional high-speed swimming behavior of migratory fishes. J. Exp. Biol., 208: 421-432.

Castro-Santos, T. 2004. Quantifying the combined effects of attempt rate and swimming capacity on passage through velocity barriers. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 61: 1602-1615.

Haro, A., Castro-Santos, T., Noreika, J., and Odeh, M. 2004. Swimming performance of upstream migrant fishes in open-channel flow: a new approach to predicting passage through velocity barriers. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 61: 1590-1601.

Castro-Santos, T. and Haro, A. 2003. Quantifying migratory delay: a new application of survival analysis methods. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 60: 986-996.

Haro, A., Odeh, M., Noreika, J., and Castro-Santos, T. 1998. Effect of water acceleration on downstream migratory behavior and passage of Atlantic salmon smolts and juvenile American shad at surface bypasses. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc., 127: 118-127.