My scientific interests are broad, but generally focus on understanding how variation within and across species influence patterns and processes in aquatic communities along productivity gradients. I use a model system consisting of recently cultured, clonal cyanobacteria and herbivorous zooplankton to study how interactions between these critters influence the development of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. Such events can poison freshwater habitats used for recreation and drinking water. Other research in the lab includes, taste and odor issues in drinking water reservoirs, understanding the effects of invasive species on community structure, meta-analysis, Laurentian Great Lakes ecology, concerns with evaluating the ecological literature, and mutualisms. Publications associated with these different research areas can be found below.
Forecasting freshwater algal and cyanobacterial blooms
Using data we collected in collaboration with scientists at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, we recently built simple models aimed at forecasting blooms of phytoplankton and cyanobacteria in freshwater ponds, reservoirs, and lakes. Water resource managers, lake owners, and researchers can learn more about it here.
Cultured strains of Microcystis aeruginosa available for researchers
We currently have Microcystis aeruginosa in culture that were isolated in 2000, 2002, or 2006 from inland lakes throughout Alabama, Michigan, Lake Erie, and Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. Most of these strains still exhibit their colonial morphology and produce the hepatotoxin, microcystin. Email us if you would like us to send you a strain from our collection.