Lab Members

Graduate Students


Ben Burpee (PH.D, A2C2 IGERT)

My research investigates the activity of microbial digestive enzymes in relation to nutrient dynamics of Arctic lakes in Southwest Greenland. These lakes are sensitive to climate and have recently exhibited declining concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) as annual temperatures have increased. I am investigating microbial degradation of DOC as a possible mechanism of this change.


Rachel Fowler (Ph.D, A2C2 IGERT)

My research involves using diatom ecology and paleolimnological records to study water balance in Greenland as it relates to abrupt climate change.

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Amy Kireta (Ph.D, A2C2 IGERT)

My research investigates the relationship of planktonic diatoms to climate in Lake Superior to better understand how climate is affecting Great Lakes water quality, using diatom fossils to compare modern changes to those during the Medieval Climate Anomaly, a past period of warming. I am also investigating how climate change is taught in Maine middle and high schools and am interested in public engagement climate change.


Edna Pedraza Garzon (Ph.D)

My research investigates the ecology of diatoms and how these communities respond to changes in aquatic ecosystems. My research is focused on the understanding of the effects of changes in precipitation induced by El Niño (ENSO) on diatom communities of alpine lakes.


Carl  Tugend (Masters)

With changing climate comes changes in wildlife populations; currently goose populations are increasing while caribou populations are declining.My research investigates how the presence of geese and caribou within an arctic watershed affects lake water quality.  My goal is to determine the effects that these changing populations will have on arctic lakes through nutrient and carbon inputs.


Kate Warner (Ph.D, A2C2 IGERT)

My research investigates the ecological and economic implications of increased storm frequency and severity for Maine’s drinking water resources. I am also exploring the past, present, and future of water resources on the value of grasslands in the Peruvian Andes integrating paleoecology and economics.

Lab Affiliates


Dennis Anderson

Dennis conducts diatom and nutrient analyses, and assists with student projects and training.


Andrea Nurse

Andrea assists with paleoecological research and conducts phytoplankton analyses.


Robert Northington (post-doctoral research associate)

I am an ecosystem ecologist with broad interests in aquatic-terrestrial linkages and the interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, I am interested in the human influence on ecosytem processes, and the role of restoration on linking structure and function in disturbed systems. My current research focuses on climate change and its influence on altering production and nutrient cycling in warming high Arctic lakes. Through collaborations with contemporary ecologists and paleoecologists, I have become interested in the role that climate change may have on the invasion of forests by insect pests and the regulation of aquatic systems as a result of the death of key tree species (e.g. Hemlock woolly adelgid).