University of Vermont

RSENR research - water

Rubenstein School Research Emphasis in
Water Resources, Lake and Watershed Science

Faculty, staff, and students with expertise in aquatic ecology, lake studies, and fisheries biology are conducting research on a broad array of topics including food web dynamics and eutrophication in Lake Champlain, sources and control strategies for nonpoint source pollution in agricultural and developed watersheds, ecology of toxic cyanobacteria blooms, nonnative and invasive species impacts on aquatic ecosystems, fish population dynamics and restoration, and climate change impacts in arctic and local watersheds and potential adaptation strategies. The UVM research vessel Melosira and state-of-the-art research laboratories in the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory on the Burlington waterfront support this work.

Faculty Research Program Descriptions

William "Breck" Bowden: Arctic system science; watershed science and managment

Students measure streamBreck's research focuses on stream ecology, hydrology, and biogeochemistry in a watershed context. Specifically, his work includes long-term ecological research in Alaska, the effects of permafrost degradation in the Arctic, and how influences of different stream inputs affect nutrient concentration in changing seasons and climate. Breck is also interested in how scientific knowledge is used to inform management and policy decisions. He works in partnership with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to develop scientifically supportable and easily understandable stream management objectives. For more information, visit Bowden Watershed Research Lab.

Suzanne Levine: Limnology; paleoecology; water resources

Blue Green Algae. Photo from’s work is centered on aquatic biogeochemistry (lake and stream), microbial food webs, algal ecology, remote sensing of algal blooms, development of models to predict the vertical distribution of algae in lakes, and a paleolimnological assessment of Lake Champlain's community structure and trophic status over the past 400 years. Learn more about Suzanne's work.

Ellen Marsden: Fisheries; native fish restoration; aquatic exotic species

Underwater view of fishEllen's work involves fisheries restoration and ecology. Currently, her research focuses on lake trout early life history and spawning behavior, genetic studies of species after lake habitat fragmentation, and lamprey out-migration behavior. Additional research includes impacts of invasive alewife, identification of the stream origins of parasitic lamprey, invasive species in the Champlain Canal, and population dynamics of lake whitefish. For more information, visit Ellen's website.

Donna Parrish: Fisheries ecology

Donna with fishDonna’s research is focused on restoration of native fishes, acoustical sampling, and energy flow in ecosystems. Her current projects involve Atlantic salmon survival with fluctuating temperature related to climate change, the impacts of invasive alewife on rainbow smelt and the Lake Champlain ecosystem, and Stonecat populations in Vermont. For more information, visit the Vermont Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit website.

Jason Stockwell: Aquatic food webs

Mysis shrimpJason's research interests focus broadly on aquatic food webs. He is specifically interested in how animal behavior and environmental conditions affect food webs. His work takes him from small, hyper-eutrophic ponds to large, deep oligotrophic lakes, and he studies organisms ranging from tiny phytoplankton to large fish-eating animals. His active areas of research include the influence and impact of diurnal vertical migration on invertebrate population structure, how cyanobacteria blooms influence energetic pathways, the impact of spatial resource subsidies on winter food web interactions, and the role of environmental disturbance on phytoplankton biodiversity. More information about Jason's research.

Last modified February 04 2014 07:51 AM