Our mission is to advance fundamental and strategic science and train the next generation of freshwater professionals to inform policy, improve management, and promote the health and sustainability of freshwater systems worldwide.
Human and Ecosystem Health
Widespread chemical and biological pollution. Invasive species. Intense human activity. Engineered modifications.
These changes have significantly compromised the lakes’ ability to provide the clean water vital to life on our planet. We study freshwater biological and chemical contaminants and pollutants, the effects on indigenous organisms and populations, and the impact on humans who use the water. Scientists use model organisms for environmental disease studies and provide translational research and policy development that fosters ecosystem remediation and restoration for improved public health. We examine health and sustainability of urban coastal communities, aging infrastructure, and impacts of changing climate and demographics.
Sandra Mclellan: Bacterial genetics, fecal pollution, fate and transport of bacteria, pathogens in the environment, beach closings
Rebecca Klaper: Genomics, emerging contaminants, pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials, toxicology, nantoxicology, ecology, biomarkers, water policy
Michael Carvan: Toxicology, toxicogenomics, epigenetics, behavioral toxicology, gene-environment-disease/dysfunction interactions
Freshwater System Dynamics
What makes aquatic ecosystems tick? Why is one lake clear, while another is green with algae? What species of fish, and how many fish, can a lake support? How are the structure and function of aquatic systems affected by invasive species, weather conditions, and land use?
Answers to these questions rely on an understanding of how physical, chemical and biological processes interact. These dynamic processes are studied here by sampling from boats and ships, SCUBA diving, deployment of in situ sensors, laboratory experiments, and computer modeling. Our focus is on the North American Great lakes, but we also work in other lakes and rivers around the world. Our research helps to advance science while guiding the management of aquatic ecosystems.
Stefan Schnitzer: Plant community ecology/tropical forest ecology; plant species diversity, coexistence, and distribution; negative feedback from soil biota as a mechanism to maintain diversity; disturbances in the maintenance of plant species diversity; tropical and temperate forest dynamics and regeneration; plant competition and facilitation; ecology of lianas (woody vines); effects of terrestrial plant communities on freshwater ecosystems
James Waples: Biogeochemistry, carbon cycling, radiochemistry
Jerry Kaster: Function and evolution of freshwater and marine invertebrates
John Janssen: Fisheries ecology, biological oceanography
Laodong Guo: Biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, colloids and nanparticles, stable isotopes, radionuclides, environmental change
Tim Grundl: Groundwater chemistry, contaminant transport and degradation, environmental tracers
Russell Cuhel: Microbiogeochemical ecophysiology, physical-chemical-biological coupling, time series analysis, hydrothermal vents, lithotrophy
Harvey Bootsma: Tropical limnology, nutrient cycling, food webs, carbon dynamics
Carmen Aguilar: Effects of invasive species on food web interactions and ecophysiology
Paul Roebber: Air-water interactions, synoptic-dynamic and mesoscale meteorology, numerical modeling, data analysis
J. Val Klump: Biogeochemsitry, limnology, radiochemistry, nutrient and carbon cycling, observing systems