Ari conducts research at the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory. She explores basic to applied questions about the impacts of stressors on aquatic ecosystems and implications for people and management. Specific interests include alpine ecology, using stable isotopes to understand food web structure and response to species invasions, and understanding the ecological and social implications of toxic chemical production, use, and accumulation in the environment.

Current research includes an investigation of the potential impacts of quagga mussels on Lake Champlain’s food web and carbon storage, and a community participatory project to assess the relative risk of contaminant exposure among groups of recreational and subsistence anglers in the Champlain basin.

Ari completed her PhD at Portland State University in Oregon as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and ESUR IGERT Fellow, with a Certificate of Innovation in College Teaching. For her doctorate research, Ariana collaborated with the National Parks Service, US Geological Survey, and scientists at the WasserCluster Lunz Research Center in Austria to understand how mercury bioaccumulates in mountain lake food webs and the resulting implications for lake management.


Selected Publications

  • Gosh, A., Robinson, A.L., Chiapella, A.M., et al. (2022) Eco-DAS: an effective platform for developing professional collaborations among early career aquatic scientists. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin. (accepted, in press).
  • Chiapella, A.M., Grigel, H., Lister, H., Hrycik, A., O’Malley, B.P, Stockwell, J.D. (2021) A day in the life of winter plankton: under-ice community dynamics during 24 hours in a hypertrophic lake. Journal of Plankton Research, 43 (6), 865–883.
  • Chiapella, A.M., Kainz, M.J., Strecker, A.S. (2021). Fatty acid stable isotopes add clarity, but also complexity, to tracing energy pathways in aquatic food webs. Ecosphere, 12 (2), e03360.
  • Chiapella, A.M., Eagles-Smith, C.A., Strecker, A.S. (2021). From forests to fish: Mercury in mountain lake food webs influenced by factors at multiple scales. Limnology and Oceanography, 66 (4), 1021–1035.
  • Grabowski, Z.J., Chiapella, A.M., Alattar, M., Denton, A., Rozance, M., Granek, E.F. Tradeoffs by whom for whom? A response to Calow. (2019) BioScience, 69 (12), 954–955.
  • Chiapella, A.M., Grabowski, Z.J. , Rozance, M. , Denton, A., Alattar, M., Granek, E.F. (2019). Toxic Chemical Governance Failure in the USA: Key Lessons and Paths Forward. BioScience, 69 (8), 615-630. Press: AAAS EurekAlert, Science Daily
  • Chiapella, A. M., Nielsen-Pincus, M., & Strecker, A. L. (2018). Public perceptions of mountain lake fisheries management in National Parks. Journal of Environmental Management, 226, 169-179.
Ariana Chiapella

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Instructional program: Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Research: Aquatic ecology, food web dynamics, ecotoxicology, environmental health and justice


  • PhD - Earth Environment, and Society, Portland State University
  • BA - Environmental Studies, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts


Office Location:

308H Aiken Ctr, 81 Carrigan Dr