Chris Filstrup Ph.D.

Chris Filstrup headshot
Professional Title
Applied Limnologist

Chris is a lake scientist specializing in harmful algal bloom ecology, nutrient cycling in lakes, watershed nutrient reduction strategies, and freshwater resources management. His research interests take him from small farm ponds to Lake Superior. He also specializes in working with large datasets to investigate how climate and land use interactions affect water quality across the continental US.

Chris also directs the Central Analytical Lab, a state-certified water chemistry laboratory. Members of his team specialize in lake and stream monitoring and assessment, high resolution monitoring networks, analytical chemistry, and algal identification.

Current projects in the lab include identifying drivers of algal bloom toxicity using molecular techniques, investigating underwater light climate and phytoplankton distribution in the Laurentian Great Lakes, monitoring watershed nutrient and sediment loads in streams, and assessing lake health. Lab members also collaborate on projects ranging from developing stormwater management strategies and nutrient reduction technologies, to studying the fate and transport of road salt in aquatic ecosystems, to identifying factors causing rip currents in Lake Superior.


  • Postdoctoral, Iowa State University, 2010-2016
  • Ph.D., Biology, Baylor University, Awarded 2009
  • B.S., Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Awarded 1998


Recent Publications

Fire Characteristics and Hydrologic Connectivity Influence Short-Term Responses of North Temperate Lakes to Wildfire

10 months 2 weeks ago
Fire Characteristics and Hydrologic Connectivity Influence Short-Term Responses of North Temperate Lakes to WildfireMcCullough, I. M., Brentrup, J. A., Wagner, T., Lapierre, J. F., Henneck, J., Paul, A. M., Belair, M., Moritz, M. A. & Filstrup, C. T., Aug 28 2023, In: Geophysical Research Letters. 50, 16, e2023GL103953.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review

Featured Research Projects

Online mapping tools and data for natural resource planning, management, and research in Minnesota.

NRRI News Articles

A man stands at a podium with a microphone in front of a presentation slide.

NRRI scientists present findings on projects with broader water community.

wildfire burning a forest next to a lake at night.

NRRI researchers find that size of fire matters less than intensity of the blaze.

Man in white lab coat and PPE stands at automated machine in a lab.

NRRI invests in state-of-the-art technology for faster results, cost savings to cyanobacteria monitoring program.