Ben Block

MS in Biology
Advisors: Ellen Marsden and Jason Stockwell
ben.block@uvm.edu
Research focus: Ben's research focuses on how fish, specifically yellow perch, utilize prey resources and survive in winter. Prior research has shown, through experimentation, that yellow perch either actively forage or remain quiescent through the winter. What is lacking from our knowledge on the topic is under what situations yellow perch choose to forage and where they obtain their prey resources (benthic or pelagic). This research will improve our understanding of factors that affect overwinter survival of perch.

Wilton Burns

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisors: Jason Stockwell and Andrew Schroth
wiltonburns@gmail.com
Research focus: For her PhD work, Wilton is researching the drivers of nutrient and phytoplankton bloom dynamics in two shallow, eutrophic bays (Missisquoi and Saint Albans) in Lake Champlain. Her work is focused on how extreme weather events impact bloom timing and duration with the goal of better understanding how climate change will affect the region in the coming years. Her work is funded by the VT EPSCoR, Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) grant.

Rosaura Chapina

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
rosaura.chapina@uvm.edu
Research focus: Rosie’s research primarily focuses on behavioral ecology specifically on the migration behavior of Mysis diluviana, a small shrimp like crustacean that plays a vital role in lake food webs. Mysis undergo a diel vertical migration (DVM), whereby Mysis migrate up to the water column at night and descend to the bottom of the lake as sunrise approaches. Recent studies, however, show that Mysis exhibit partial diel vertical migration (pDVM), where a subset of the population remains at the bottom at night. Drivers of pDVM remain unknown. Rosie is currently analyzing Mysis migration patterns in Lake Ontario and evaluating the drivers behind Mysis pDVM.

Sydney Diamond

MS in Natural Resources
Advisor: Mindy Morales-Williams 
sydney.diamond@uvm.edu
Research focus: Sydney’s research interests include paleolimnology, aquatic and ecosystem ecology, and harmful algal blooms. She graduated from Dickinson College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 2016. She uses diatom-fossil records from lake sediments to better understand ecosystem response to climate change. Her current research investigates the sensitivity of high-altitude Vermont lakes recovering from acidification to cyanobacteria blooms.

Natalie Flores

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
natalie.flores@uvm.edu
Research focus: Natalie’s research interests include aquatic ecology, environmental toxicology, and understanding how chemical substances affect organisms and ecosystems. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on impacts of cyanobacterial blooms on different parts of the environment, including water, fish, and air, using existing data in a global analysis and new data from field sampling. Information on increased presence and effects of cyanobacteria in multiple areas of the environment will help identify and characterize potential routes of human exposure to cyanobacteria toxins. Her work will also broaden the knowledge on nutritional considerations of cyanobacteria blooms on fish, ecological impacts of harmful cyanobacteria, and environmental patterns in cyanobacteria and their bioactive chemical products.

Matthew Futia

PhD Student in Biology
Advisor: Ellen Marsden
matthew.futia@uvm.edu
Research focus: Matt’s research interests lie in conservation and restoration of native fishes. Currently, he is studying the resource use of naturally produced (wild) and stocked adult lake trout in Lake Champlain. Wild lake trout have only recently returned to Lake Champlain, and knowledge of the wild adults is limited. Therefore, Matt is using acoustic telemetry and gastric lavage to determine the year-round three-dimensional habitat use and diet of wild and stocked lake trout.

Allison Hrycik

PhD in Biology
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
allison.hrycik@uvm.edu
Research focus: Allison's research focuses on winter limnology, specifically community and food web ecology in plankton communities under ice. Climate change may lead to decreased snow and ice cover and increased light penetration in temperate lakes, resulting in higher concentrations of some phytoplankton groups (e.g. cyanobacteria) as they emerge from winter, potentially leading to higher magnitude or frequency of harmful algal blooms later in the year. Allison uses a combination of lab work, field experiments, and quantitative methods to explore these hypotheses related to how winter severity influences plankton communities throughout the year.

Taylor Stewart

PhD in Biology
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
taylor.stewart@uvm.edu
Research focus: Taylor's research interests focus on population ecology and how climate change is affecting fish habitat and population structures. He is currently working towards quantifying and modeling how environmental change is impacting aquatic ecosystems and how relative changes influence recruitment of coregonine fishes globally.

Will Sutor

MS Student in Natural Resources
Advisor: William “Breck” Bowden
fsutor@uvm.edu
Research focus: Will is studying how climate change is affecting nutrient cycles within Arctic stream ecosystems. Specifically, he will be exploring the relationship between iron and phosphorus concentrations within the saturated soils of the hyporheic zone. Phosphorus plays a crucial role as the limiting nutrient in the freshwater ecosystems of the high Arctic, and its abundance is likely to increase a result of permafrost thaw. Previous research has shown that even a marginal increase in available phosphorus may have dramatic effects on stream community structure and function, so it is becoming increasingly important to understand the mechanisms that control its availability. Will’s work will attempt to understand how abiotic mineral sorption may be sequestering a significant amount of phosphorus, and that high concentrations of iron-oxides may be acting as a nutrient sink within the Arctic tundra.

Katelynn Warner

PhD Student in Natural Resources
Advisor: Mindy Morales-Williams
katelynn.warner@uvm.edu
Research focus: Kate graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and researched cyanobacterial blooms in response to partial lake mixing and internal phosphorus loading. Her current research interests include understanding the main causes of cyanobacterial blooms in Vermont's inland lakes and what variables affect the production of cyanotoxins during these summer blooms

Former Graduate Students

Graduation Year 2020

Pascal Wilkins, MS in Natural Resources. Advisor: Ellen Marsden.

Graduation Year 2019

Hannah Lachance, MS in Natural Resources. Advisor: Jason Stockwell, Thesis: Cisco Science: Using Omics to Answer a Range of Key Questions. 

Brian O'Malley, PhD in Natural Resources. Advisor: Jason Stockwell, Dissertation: Evaluation of Mysis Partial Diel Vertical Migration.

Samuel Parker, PhD in Natural Resources. Advisor: William Bowden. Dissertation: Patterns, Processes, and Scale: An Evaluation of Ecological and Biogeochemical Functions Across an Arctic Stream Network. 

Matthew Vaughan, PhD in Natural Resources. Advisor: William Bowden. Dissertation: Shining Light on the Storm: Using High-frequency Optical Water Quality Sensors to Characterize and Interpret Storm Nutrient and Carbon Dynamics Among Contrasting Land Uses.

Graduation Year 2018

Peter Euclide, PhD in Biology, Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Dissertation: Genetic and Demographic Consequences of Lake and River Habitat Fragmentation on Fishes in Vermont.

Graduation Year 2017

Beth White, PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Advisor: Jason Stockwell, Dissertation: Interdisciplinary Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Two Mixed-Methods Studies.

Graduation Year 2016

Carrie Kozel, MS in Natural Resources, Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Early Feeding in Lake Trout Fry (Salvelinus namaycush) as a Mechanism for Ameliorating Thiamine Deficiency Syndrome.

Lee Simard, MS in Natural Resources, Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Spawning Site Selection and Fry Development of Invasive Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Graduation Year 2015

Joseph Bartlett, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Impacts of Transportation Infrastructure on Stormwater and Surface Waters in Chittenden County, Vermont, USA.

Philip Halteman, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisor: Mary Watzin, Dissertation: New Insights for the Future of Lake Champlain: Practical Approaches and Useful Tools for Grappling with Uncertainty and Weighing Trade-offs in Watershed Management.

Peter Isles, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisors: Jason Stockwell and Andrew Schroth, Dissertation: A Multiscale Analysis of the Factors Controlling Nutrient Dynamics and Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Champlain.

Julia Larouche, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisor: Breck Bowden, Dissertation: Thermokarst And Wildfire: Effects Of Disturbances Related To Climate Change On The Ecological Characteristics And Functions Of Arctic Headwater Streams.

Joel Nipper, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisor: Breck Bowden, Dissertation: Measurement and Modeling of Stormwater from Small Suburban Watersheds in Vermont.

Victoria Pinheiro, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology and Watershed Science), Advisors: Ellen Marsden and Jason Stockwell, Thesis: Lake Trout Spawning Site Use In Lake Champlain and the Development of the Binomial Rolling Residence Test.

Graduation Year 2014

Peter Euclide, MS in Natural Resources, Advisor: Jason Stockwell, Thesis: Fixed Versus Plastic Partial Migration of the Aquatic Macroinvertebrate, Mysis diluviana, in Lake Champlain.

Rebecca Gorney, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisor: Mary Watzin, Dissertation: Trophic Dynamics and Cyanobacteria Blooms in Shallow Eutrophic Bays of Lake Champlain.

Mitchell Jones, MS in Natural Resources, Advisor: Jason Stockwell, Thesis: Modeling Consumption Rates of Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus).

Pooja Kanwar, PhD in Natural Resources, Advisor: Breck Bowden, Dissertation: A Regional Ecological Risk Assessment and Multijurisdictional Institutional Analysis of the Kaipara Harbour in New Zealand.

Graduation Year 2013

Eric Davis, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Seasonal Changes in Mercury Stocks and Methylation Ratios in Vernal Pools in the Northeastern United States.

Bret Ladago, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Thiamine Defiency and the Early Feeding of Wild Lake Trout in Lake Champlain.

Graduation Year 2012

Lisle Snyder, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Stream Nutrient Monitoring via in situ Wet-Chemistry Instrumentation.

Graduation Year 2010

Seth Herbst, MS in Natural Resources, Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Status of Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) in Lake Champlain, 2006-2010.

Graduation Year 2009

Wayne Bouffard, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Collection and Use of Sea Lamprey Migratory Pheromone as an Attractant within Tributary Systems.

Graduation Year 2008

Alex Hackman, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: The Influence of Stormwater Impairment on Whole-Stream Metabolism of Suburban Vermont Streams.

Amanda Holland, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Linking Suburban Development to Soil Quality: A Field Study in Chittenden County, Vermont.

Jacob Riley, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Predation Pressure on Emergent Lake Trout Fry in Lake Champlain and Techniques for Assessing Lake Trout Reproduction in Deep-Water Habitats.

Graduation Year 2007

Evan Fitzgerald, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Linking Urbanization to Stream Geomorphology and Biotic Integrity in the Lake Champlain Basin, Vermont.

Morgan Johnston, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Hyporheic Exchange and Biogeochemical Processing in Arctic Tundra Streams.

Julie Foley, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Development of an Integrated, Watershed-Scale, Planning Tool for Stormwater Management in Vermont.

Graduation Year 2006

Carl Cappelletti, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Breck Bowden, Thesis: Photosynthesis and Respiration in an Arctic Tundra River: Modification and Application of the Whole-Stream Metabolism Method and the Influence of Physical, Biological and Chemical Variables.

Eric Howe, PhD in Natural Resources 2006, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: A Life Cycle Approach to Modeling Sea Lamprey in the Lake Champlain Basin.

Stephen Smith, MS in Natural Resources (Aquatic Ecology & Watershed Science), Advisor: Ellen Marsden, Thesis: Fecundity of Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and Factors Affecting Egg Survival In and Out of Nests in Lake Champlain Streams.