Ben Block

PhD 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 patterns of Mysis diluviana, a small shrimp like crustacean that plays a vital role in aquatic food webs. Mysis, a key prey species for various fish, undergoes Diel Vertical Migration (DVM), and migrate to the pelagia at night. Recent studies however, have observed that a portion of the population remain in the benthos at night, consequently raising several questions. Rosie is collaborating with the U.S Geological Survey and Cornell University to analyze Mysid’s migration patterns and investigate the drivers behind their behavior in Lake Ontario.

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.

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.

Hannah Lachance

MS in Natural Resources with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology and Watershed Science
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
hannah.lachance@uvm.edu
Research focus: Hannah is applying her molecular genetics skills to a study of cisco, a cold water fish, and how changes in lake ice coverage related to climate change affect fish reproduction and development. She is examining differences in fish development at the molecular level that are observed at varying levels of light transmission through ice.”

Brian O'Malley

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisor: Jason Stockwell
brian.p.omalley@uvm.edu
Research focus: Brian is studying the partial migration behavior and diel resource use of Mysis in Lake Champlain. Mysis occupies deep areas of the lake and serves as an important prey item for the deep-water fish community. His research focuses on the following questions: What percentage of the Mysis population migrates at night? What factors influence why some migrate while others do not? Do feeding strategies vary by migrants vs. non-migrants?

Samuel Parker

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisor: William "Breck" Bowden
samuel.parker@uvm.edu
Research focus: Sam is studying the effects of scale on the structure and function of Arctic stream ecosystems. His research on the North Slope of Alaska is part of the Scale, Consumers, and Lotic Ecosystem Rates (SCALER) Project. SCALER is a continental-scale study exploring how results from small-scale ecological experiments can be used to understand the operation of broader ecological systems. Sam’s research uses a nested study design to evaluate how nutrient uptake and metabolic rates measured at small patch scales (0.1m) contribute to larger reach scale (100m) dynamics. Sam is also investigating the role of surface-subsurface water exchange and ecosystem heterogeneity on lotic processes across river networks.

Ryan Sleeper

MS in Natural Resources with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology and Watershed Science
Advisor: William "Breck" Bowden
ryan.sleeper@uvm.edu

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.

Matt Vaughan

PhD in Natural Resources
Advisor: William "Breck" Bowden
matthew.vaughan@uvm.edu
Research focus: Matthew is working with the Northeast Water Resources Network (NEWRnet) team to understand nutrient dynamics in river networks. The team's monitoring locations target areas with varied land uses, so that we can learn more about water quality response and nutrient fluxes for rivers in forested, agriculture, urban, and mixed landscapes. Matthew's research involves using high-resolution optical water quality sensors that gather a wide range of water quality information at fifteen minute intervals. This will provide insight into the dynamic nature of watershed response to storms at time scales that cannot be captured with traditional grab-sampling techniques.

Pascal Wilkins

MS in Natural Resources
Advisor: Ellen Marsden
pascal.wilkins@uvm.edu
Research focus: Pascal’s research focuses on juvenile lake trout recruitment in Lake Champlain. After 40 years of annual lake trout stocking, little to no natural recruitment had occurred. Beginning in 2015, large numbers of wild juvenile lake trout have appeared in bottom trawl assessments. Understanding factors that have led to wild juvenile lake trout recruitment will benefit restoration of this species in Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. Pascal is currently comparing growth and condition between stocked and wild juveniles, and will develop a standardized index sampling protocol.

Former Graduate Students

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.