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My interdisciplinary research aims to improve the scientific practice of river management, most notably in ecological restorations, stream buffers, and hydropower.

My work bridges ecology, hydrology, and chemistry to examine how changing habitat affects the function of aquatic ecosystems. I am especially interested in the ways in which the nutritional quality of food resources affects aquatic ecosystem health. 


Queen Mary University of London & Freie Universität Berlin


Ph.D. River Science

European Union EMJD-SMART Fellow 

Fordham University


M.Sc. Biological Sciences (Ecology)

GPA 3.9/4.0

Fordham University


B.Sc. Biological Sciences

Summa cum laude, in corsu honorum, Phi Beta Kappa

Research Experience

Coventry University



Part of an international research team developing a sustainable aquaculture/aquaponics system to feed displaced peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Responsible for the nutritional quality of fish feed and the development of aquatic insects as an alternative and sustainable food source.

Queen Mary, University of London & Freie Universität Berlin


Doctoral Research Fellow

Examined the influence of large wood on the creation of habitat and the ecological function of aquatic food webs. Analyzed a national data-set of river restorations to support in-stream flow rehabilitation. In the field, evaluated the effectiveness of specific restoration techniques in creating high-quality physical habitat conditions.

Fondazione Edmund Mach; Dept of Agroecosystems and Bioresources, Italy


Guest Scientist

Studied the ecological impacts of water releases from hydropower dams on rivers in the Italian Alps. I examined changes to invertebrates and loss of downstream food resources, affecting the function of downstream ecosystems. 

Leibniz Institute of Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Biology; Berlin


Visiting Doctoral Researcher

Examined the effect of large wood in rivers on aquatic food webs. Studied changes to biological communities around wood and traced the importance of various food resources on ecosystem productivity using stable isotope and fatty acid biomarkers.

Fordham University, Rose Hill


Research Assistant

Evaluated the effectiveness of stream buffers throughout Westchester County, New York. Related the coverage of urban surfaces throughout 10 watersheds to stream water quality, contaminants, and algal communities. Examined the effect of nutrient pollution and the loss of stream-side forest on the nutritional quality of food resources for aquatic consumers. 

Teaching Experience

Fordham University


Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistant in the Department of Natural Sciences for the Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program. Lead instructor for class topics covering evolution and ecology.

Academic Approach



Instructor in Math and Language Arts test prep at the Lycée Française de New York French International School. One-on-one tutor in AP Statistics and other sciences.

Fordham University


Teaching Assistant

Graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences for General Biology Laboratory 1 and 2.

Fordham University, Louis Calder Center; Armonk, NY


NSF-REU Graduate Assistant

Coordinator of summer research experience for undergraduates (REU). Lived on-site, organized events, provided training in field-techniques and laboratory methods, and gave general assistance and troubleshooting for students during summer research projects. 


  1. Cashman MJ, F Pilotto, G Harvey, G Wharton, and M.T. Pusch. 2016. Combined stable isotope and fatty acid analyses demonstrate that large wood increases the autochthonous trophic base of the macroinvertebrate assemblage. Freshwater Biology 61: 549-564.
  2. Bruno MC, MJ Cashman, M Bruno, S Biffi, G Zolezzi. 2016. Responses of benthic invertebrates to repeated hydropeaking in semi-natural flume simulations. Ecohydrology 9: 68-82.
  3. Cashman MJ, JD Wehr, and K Truhn. 2013. Elevated light and nutrients alter the nutritional quality of stream periphyton. Freshwater Biology 58: 1444-1457.
  4. Seidel D, C Leuschner, C Scherber, F Beyer, T Wommelsdorf, MJ Cashman, and L Fehrmann. 2013. The relationship between tree species richness, canopy space exploration and productivity in a temperate broad-leaf mixed forest. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 366-374.
  5. Cashman MJ, G Harvey, G Wharton, and MC Bruno. Hydropeaking and substrate limit periphyton nutritional quality in semi-natural flume simulations (Aquatic Sciences, Revision)
  6. Cashman MJ, F Pilotto, G Wharton, and G Harvey. Wood as a habitat engineer (WIREs Water, Invited)
  7. Cashman MJ, M Torres-Ruiz, K Truhn, AA Perrone, and JD Wehr. Light availability drives omnivory and basal resource use in contrasting stream food webs, as inferred by fatty acids, stable isotopes, and stoichiometry (In Prep)

Research Presentations

  1. Cashman MJ, F Pilotto, G Harvey, G Wharton, and MT Pusch. Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting 2015. Large wood enhances resource availability in a lowland river, as demonstrated by combined fatty acid and stable isotope analyses. (Poster)
  2. Cashman MJ, G Harvey, G Wharton, B Maiolini, and MC Bruno. Northeast Algal Symposium 2015. Hydropeaking and substrate limit periphyton nutritional quality in an alpine stream. (Poster)
  3. Cashman MJ, G Harvey, G Wharton, B Maiolini, and MC Bruno. International Symposium for Ecohydrualics 2014. Hydropeaking and substrate limit periphyton nutritional quality in an alpine stream. (Oral)
  4. Cashman MJ, G Harvey, G Wharton, B Maiolini, and MC Bruno. Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2014. Hydropeaking and substrate limit periphyton nutritional quality in an alpine stream. (Poster)
  5. Maiolini B, MC Bruno, S Biffi, and MJ Cashman. European Geosciences Union, General Assembly 2014. Drift induced by repeated hydropeaking waves in controlled conditions. (Poster)
  6. Cashman MJ, G Harvey, G Wharton, B Maiolini, and MC Bruno. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2013. Effects of hydropeaking and substrate type on periphyton nutritional quality in an alpine stream. (Oral)
  7. Cashman MJ, JD Wehr. Northeast Algal Symposium 2011. Biochemical composition of periphyton food quality as affected by light and nutrient availability. (Oral)
  8. Cashman MJ, JD Wehr, and K Truhn. ASLO/NABS Summer Meeting 2010. Land-use and nutrient effects on benthic algal biomass, nutrient stoichiometry, and species composition in an urbanized watershed. (Poster)

Leadership and Organizational Experience

Society of Freshwater Science


Co-organizer of Student Events

Co-organized student and mentor mixer at the 2015 Meeting of the Society of Freshwater Science in Milwaukee

SMART Academic Board


Doctoral Candidate Representative

Represented the Doctoral Candidates on the Academic Board of the international Research Council overseeing the Doctoral Program. Worked towards the smooth functioning of the program and addressing student grievances. 

College Democrats of New York


Communications Director

Managed communications strategy and outreach with media outlets of the activities and achievements of the College Democrats of New York and 15 active chapters of the College Democrats on local campuses.

College Democrats of Fordham University



Organized 125 members for political campaigns and on- and off-campus issue-based campaigns and advocacy. Worked with local community stakeholders and organized events of high-profile speakers on campus, including Howard Dean. 

Professional Societies

  • Society of Freshwater Science
  • British Hydrological Society
  • International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research
  • The River Restoration Center
  • Northeast Algal Society

    Peer Reviewer

    • Freshwater Biology
    • Aquatic Sciences
    • Hydrobiologia
    • Freshwater Science
    • Biogeosciences
    • Freshwater Ecology
    • Water, Air, and Soil Pollution


    Natural Environment Research Council


    Funded training position in ‘Bio-assessment in catchment management’


    European Commission


    Erasmus Mundus Doctoral Fellowship - SMART


    Sigma Xi




    Fordham University


    Robert Hawthorn & Edward Benedict Scholarship


    Fordham University Louis Calder Center


    National Science Foundation - REU


    Morris K Udall Foundation


    Morris K Udall Scholar in National Environmental Policy


    German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


    DAAD Research Internship in Science and Engineering


    Fordham University


    Presidential Scholar