Lake, Stream & Wetland Ecology

Program Overview

We believe that humans can live sustainably with our aquatic resources, ensuring plentiful clean water for future human generations while also supporting the ecosystems that we value and that support our recreation, businesses, and industries. Our teams develop tools and techniques that help society move into this sustainable future, characterizing, measuring and documenting the improvements made along the way. We also provide research, methods development, new technologies, and analysis services to support this vision and our clients.

Program Goals

Develop science-based tools, materials and technologies to assess and protect our water resources, and restore them if degraded.

Unique Strengths, Expertise and Capabilities

Our interdisciplinary team of experts in data science and the fundamental biological and chemical aquatic sciences work together to develop various applications for natural and engineered aquatic systems, including aquatic ecosystem restoration, water treatment and remediation, and water quality monitoring and management. By incorporating an understanding of natural environmental processes, science and engineering fundamentals, we apply a systems-based approach to develop holistic solutions to pressing environmental problems.

Research Labs

Featured Video


Profile Lucinda Johnson
Senior Research Fellow
Pat Schoff headshot
Research Associate
Valerie Brady headshot
Sr. Research Associate, Aquatic Ecologist, Interim Water Research Group Leader
Profile Elizabeth Alexson
Associate Research Scientist, Aquatic Ecology
Meagan Aliff headshot
Research Staff Scientist, Aquatic Scientist
Head and shoulders photo of a women
Aquatic Scientist
Profile David Burge
Phytoplankton Associate Scientist
Head and shoulders image of Meijun Cai
Research Technical Manager, Environmental Engineer
Aquatic Scientist
Head and shoulder picture of a woman.
Senior Research Program Manager, Environmental Engineer
Profile Devin Edge
Environmental Analytical Chemist
Profile Lisa Estepp
Quality Manager, Senior Research Scientist
Chris Filstrup headshot
Applied Limnologist
Profile Bob Hell
Principal Laboratory Technician
Jerry Henneck headshot
Senior Research Scientist
Profile Maddie Homstad
Senior Laboratory Technician
Profile Paul Jeffrey
Research Technician, Aquatic Ecologist
Igor Kolomitsyn headshot
Research Associate
Head and shoulder picture of a woman.
Research Associate
Profile Kari Pierce
Research Technician, Aquatic Ecologist
Profile Euan Reavie
Sr. Research Associate
Profile Leah Schleppenbach
Principal Laboratory Technician, Aquatic Ecologist
Bridget Ulrich headshot
Aqueous Geochemist
Head and shoulders photo of a man
Researcher Staff Scientist
Profile Holly Wellard Kelly
Aquatic Scientist

Related News

Woman in white lab coat and safety glasses works in a lab at computer screen.

UMD master's graduate goes all in for aquatic chemistry for environmental protection

Woman in white lab coat and safety glasses sits at a hooded work space.

Enthused by ‘all things science-y’ makes NRRI a good fit for this microbiologist.

Photo montage of algae research on Lake Superior research facility.

Developing new techniques for ballast water testing

Profile Peter Birschbach on boat with bridge in background.

Aquatic ecology career calls to UMD graduate student

wildfire burning a forest next to a lake at night.

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

A man holds 5 gallon bucket while pouring purple dye into a creek. Woman watches.

NRRI stream restoration assessments go deep to understand if the fixes met goals to improve habitat.

Woman sits at bench with microscope and counting apparatus.

For aquatic research scientist, Holly Wellard Kelly, her favorite project is the one she’s working on.

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.

A man and large dog stand on a rock on shore of very large lake.

Fascination with tiny diatoms keeps NRRI scientist exploring water world.

Computer models showing estuary currents

Project models St. Louis River estuary rip currents to decrease drowning risks.

Media Coverage