Research Interests

I am broadly interested in nutrient pathways in lakes and the feedbacks that occur between aquatic biogeochemical cycles and plankton communities.  I also am interested in how local communities value and interact with their water resources, which has implications for water quality.  My work lies at the intersection of freshwater community and ecosystem ecology and I get excited about lots of different questions exploring anthropogenic effects on inland waters.  Check out our Publications page to explore our most recent work.

At Virginia Tech, my research has expanded from into reservoir ecosystem ecology.  In collaboration with the Western Virginia Water Authority, my lab group is exploring the effects of management on reservoirs that are highly dynamic and used for drinking water.

Ongoing research projects

  1. The causes and effects of Gloeotrichia echinulata blooms on food webs and nutrients in oligotrophic lakes across the northeastern United States; Collaborators: Kathleen Weathers (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies), Kathryn Cottingham (Dartmouth), Holly Ewing (Bates College)
  2. Toxicity of cyanobacterial blooms in oligotrophic lakes and reservoirs; Collaborators: James Haney (University of New Hampshire), Todd Miller (UW-Milwaukee)
  3. The synergistic interactions between eutrophication and climate change in causing cyanobacterial bloom increases; Collaborators: Justin Brookes (University of Adelaide, Australia), Bas Ibelings (University of Geneva, Switzerland), David Hamilton (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Anna Rigosi (University of Adelaide, Australia)
  4. Sediment phosphorus biogeochemistry in lakes of varying trophic status; Collaborator: Emil Rydin (Uppsala University, Sweden)
  5. Phytoplankton community dynamics; Collaborator: Karin Rengefors (Lund University, Sweden)
  6. Analysis of long-term phytoplankton records within GLEON: the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network; Collaborators: Evelyn Gaiser (Florida International University, Paul Hanson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Bas Ibelings (University of Geneva, Switzerland) and many others
  7. Hypolimnetic oxygenation effects on reservoir sediment and water column biogeochemistry; Collaborators: John Little (Virginia Tech), Paul Gantzer (Gantzer Water Resources Engineering), Madeline Schreiber (Virginia Tech)
  8. Development of novel water quality sensors to measure high-frequency fluxes of metals and nutrients; Collaborator: François Birgand (NC State)
  9. Historical effects of management on urban pond metacommunities in Baltimore; Collaborators: Chris Swan (U of Maryland-Baltimore County), Bryan Brown (VT)