B.A., Colorado College; M.S., Iowa State University; Ph.D., Dartmouth College
Frost Professor in Environmental Science; Professor of Biological Sciences
Exploring biodiversity and anthropogenic change in Lake Baikal, Siberia.
My research focuses on biodiversity and environmental change in Lake Baikal, Russia. I have worked there for nearly 15 years. This superlative lake -- the world’s deepest, oldest, and most species rich -- provides extraordinary opportunities for learning and discovery.
I am currently collaborating with a team of 15 scientists from the USA and Russia who are exploring how Lake Baikal’s stunning biodiversity may respond to contemporary climate change. Specifically, we are interested in whether the cold-loving native species will adapt to a warmer climate or if they will be replaced by warm-loving non-native species. In addition, another group of my scientific colleagues and I are identifying changes in the diet and contaminant burdens of the Baikal seal over the last 80 years using a remarkable collection of archived seal teeth.
I teach introductory organismal biology, marine biology and freshwater ecology. My favorite course, however, is one I co-founded with Professor Thomas Hodge of the Russian Department - “Lake Baikal: The Soul of Siberia”. The 3.5-week laboratory portion of this course takes place at the great lake in summer.
Speaking on behalf of Lake Baikal and working with my Russian scientific colleagues and friends to help protect it is one of my abiding passions. Other personal interests include weight lifting, yoga, eating and cooking (in that order), and any activity that gets me in or near the water!