B.A., Colorado College; M.S., Iowa State University; Ph.D., Dartmouth College
Professor of Biological Sciences
Aquatic ecologist, freshwater and marine food webs; also teaches marine and freshwater biology; editor.
I love water and the organisms that live in water! My research focuses on plankton communities and how physical (temperature, light) and biological (predation) factors structure these communities. I am currently co-leading a team of Russian and American scientists who are analyzing a 60-year data set for Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest, deepest, largest (by volume) and most biotically diverse lake. My working group, funded by the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis, recently discovered that this remarkable lake—a living aquatic museum and a World Heritage Site has warmed rapidly to a depth of 25 meters and the base of the food web has reconfigured, potentially affecting the entire food web. During my career, I have published in a variety of scientific journals including BioScience, Global Change Biology, Limnology and Oceanography , Aquaculture, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and Hydrological Processes. I teach introductory organismal biology, marine biology, and freshwater ecology. Since 2001, I have co-taught a field course for Wellesley and Russian students at Lake Baikal in Siberia where we conduct original research. Because this lake resembles and functions more like an ocean than a lake, it is an exceptionally intriguing place to work for those interested in marine and freshwater science. My Lake Baikal students and I have had the good fortune to publish and present our research at international scientific meetings. Also, while at the lake, my students and I learned of an unparalleled data set collected by three generations of a Russian scientific family, leading myself, my Russian colleague, Dr. Lyubov Izmest’eva, and Russian and Wellesley College students into an ongoing research collaboration.
My other professional interests include editing for scientific journals. I served for nine years on the editorial board of Environmental Pollution, and I am currently an associate editor for Inland Waters.