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Founding Faculty

Mary T. Bremigan, PhD

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I enjoy conducting collaborative research that bridges the fields of landscape limnology and fisheries management. By viewing lakes as embedded in a spatially-hierarchical landscape of aquatic, terrestrial, and human components, I seek to quantify the response of lake fish populations, fish assemblages, and food webs to human stressors. I work particularly closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resource Fisheries Division to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies for managing Michiganís thousands of inland lakes. Currently my lab is pursuing 3 lines of investigation: (1) we are integrating multi-lake behavioral observations and genetic analyses to evaluate the effects of spring angling and residential shoreline development on the reproductive success of individual bass and to explore the implications for sustainability of black bass populations, (2) we are using stable isotope analysis to evaluate the effects of residential shoreline development on benthic-pelagic food web linkages, and (3) we are using spatially-explicit data spanning 5 states to quantify the effects of hydrogeomorphic landscape features and human stressors (land cover change, dams, and stocking) on fish assemblages.


Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, PhD

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I am a landscape limnologist who works collaboratively to examine the roles that disturbance (human and natural), spatial scale, and heterogeneity have on lake biology and chemistry. I address questions that advance scientific understanding and are directly applicable to aquatic ecosystem management and conservation. In addition, my research explicitly includes the economic and social factors that both impact lakes and drive their management and conservation. My main areas of interest include examining the role of (1) aquatic plants (native and alien) and their management in lake foodwebs and (2) the landscape in structuring lake biology and chemistry. My students, collaborators, and I use a variety of approaches to conduct our research, such as lake field surveys, mesocosm experiments, and statistical modeling (e.g. multi-level modeling).


Patricia A. Soranno, PhD

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My interest in landscape limnology grew from early studies examining land-water interactions and the spatial arrangements of lakes in a landscape. In recent years, I have become intrigued by the possibility of extending the perspectives, questions and conceptual frameworks beyond traditional freshwater boundaries to consider lakes, streams and wetlands in a more integrated fashion. This is a challenge I expect to spend the rest of my career exploring. Currently my students, collaborators and I are pursuing 3 areas of research: (1) the effects of wetland cover on lake phosphorus in disturbed and undisturbed landscapes, (2) the effects of agricultural practice and type on freshwater nutrients, and (3) the development of freshwater ecosystem classifications to identify the response of lakes and wetlands to groundwater withdrawal for development of groundwater policy in the state of Michigan.


Katherine E. Webster, PhD

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My interest in landscape limnology stems from research early in my career on the effects of acid deposition on lakes and the hydrologic factors that determine why some lakes are chemically sensitive to acid inputs while neighboring lakes are not. The development and application of landscape-scale frameworks that explain both spatial pattern and temporal dynamics of aquatic systems has been a key research focus in my collaborations ever since. Currently I am interested in the relationships between land use/cover on nutrients and DOC in lakes, determining landscape controls on cladoceran size structure, and integrating a landscape perspective into lake assessment. Most recently I have expanded my research and geographic perspective and am evaluating hydromorphological metrics for assessing the ecological status of lakes and rivers in Northern Ireland.