Great Lakes

Joe Fillingham

My Master's research project focused on the improvement of wave models for Lake Michigan, and an investigation of how these improvements might be incorporated into air-water gas exchange models, with the objective of increasing the accuracy with which lake-atmosphere CO2 flux measurements are made. I am currently in a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington DC. Following completion of my fellowship, I will be returning to the School of Freshwater Sciences to begin my Ph.D. program.

Maxon Ngochera

I completed my M.S. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006. I used stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to determine the trophic structure of the plankton community in Lake Malawi. The results have been published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research (Vol. 37:45-53). I am currently in the Ph.D. program, studying the spatial and temporal patterns of lake-atmosphere CO2 exchange in Lake Malawi.

Emily Tyner

After receiving my B.A. in Biology from Smith College, I worked as a teacher in Belize, an Education Assistant with the Inland Seas Education Association, a Lab Technician at the NOAA Great Lakes Lab, a Research Analyst at the University of the Virgin Islands, and a Science Technician at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In my M.S. thesis research project I am investigating how physical processes and biological community structure influence benthic dissolved oxygen concentrations, with the goal of better understanding the mechanisms responsible for Type E botulism outbreaks in northern Lake Michigan.

Ben Turschak

I received my undergraduate degree from Lake Superior State University, MI, majoring in fisheries management.  There, I studied spatial and temporal dynamics of zooplankton community structure in the St. Marys River following large scale changes in Lake Huron’s food-web structure.  In addition to zooplankton research,  my work and field experiences include rearing  Atlantic salmon in a hatchery, tracking lake sturgeon using radio telemetry, monitoring changes in stream channel morphology, assessing stream fish and mussels communities, and gillnetting pink salmon for genetic analysis.   Currently, I am studying the Lake Michigan near shore food-web as a master’s student in Harvey Bootsma’s laboratory. My research interests include fish trophic interactions, invasive species ecology, and nutrient and energy fluxes between aquatic habitats.

Erin Wilcox

I am a Research Specialist in Dr. Bootsma's lab. I oversee all chemical analyses in the lab, including nutrient analyses of water and tissue samples, lipid analyses, and stable isotope analyses. I also oversee maintenance of monitoring instruments and management of monitoring data, and assist with field work on Lake Michigan.

Wendy Olson

I am interested in the biological and physical processes that control carbon dioxide concentration and flux in the nearshore zone of Lake Michigan. The core of my research is an in situ, automated CO2 monitoring system mounted on a buoy in the nearshore zone of Lake Michigan. I am using the data from this system, along with experimental measurements, to determine the net impact of the invasive quagga mussel on nearshore carbon dynamics.


Lisa De Guire

In the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, my project investigated the role of the invasive fish species, the round goby, in the Lake Michigan nearshore food web. Over the summer, we collected samples from the east and west coasts of Lake Michigan and through stable isotope and gut content analysis I found that gobies relied more heavily on a benthic-algae based diet  of soft-bodied invertebrates, as opposed to a planktonic based diet of mussels as seen in earlier studies. This implies that a shift in goby feeding behavior has occurred and that the benthic algae Cladophora may play a larger role in the nearshore food web than previously believed. 

Mike Van Sistine

I work as an Analytical Technician in Dr. Bootsma's lab. In addition to helping with field work, I monitor seasonal changes in dreissenid mussel density and size composition, conduct various chemical analyses, conduct lab experiments with mussels, and prepare samples for stable isotope analysis.