Limnology

Limnology is an interdisciplinary science that encompasses all aspects of the ecology of inland waters. Questions examined range from the large scale - How do lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands contribute to the global carbon cycle? - to the microscale - Under what conditions are microbes in aquatic ecosystems switched on, what are the physical, biological or chemical controls on these switches? - and implications - How do microbes affect food supply to higher trophic levels and biogeochemical cycles? Organisms studied include phytoplankton and microbes, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates. Ecosystems being studied include the Amazon River and its floodplain, East African Lakes, streams in coastal California, lakes in the Sierra Nevada, salt lakes including Mono Lake, boreal and arctic lakes.

EEMB’s Limnological research program includes expertise in biogeochemistry, physical limnology, and population and community ecology. These strengths provide students with perspectives and tools to address problems within a truly interdisciplinary framework. Research tools include in situ instrumentation and profilers, remote sensing, and mathematical modeling. We address a broad suite of basic research questions and applied problems and societal concerns such as climate change, water supply and quality, biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, invasive species and disease ecology.

Faculty

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A current focus of my research is to examine how disturbances (wildfire, floods) operating at different scales of time interact to affect top-down and bottom-up interactions in streams.

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Population and community ecology, river ecology, predator-prey interactions, science education.

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Prof. MacIntyre is internationally recognized for her studies of physical processes in aquatic ecosystems with emphasis on turbulence and its ecological consequences.

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John Melack is internationally recognized for making seminal contributions to our understanding of the ecological functioning of inland waters and their importance in the carbon cycle.