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


Director of Research
Elizabeth Alexson headshot
Research Staff Scientist, Aquatic Scientist
Meagan Aliff headshot
Research Staff Scientist, Aquatic Scientist
Kathleen Baczkowski headshot
Senior Laboratory Technician
Head and shoulders photo of a women
Aquatic Scientist
Valerie Brady headshot
Research Associate, Aquatic Ecosystem Ecologist
David Burge headshot
Phytoplankton Associate Scientist
Head and shoulders image of Meijun Cai
Research Technical Manager, Environmental Engineer
Head and shoulder picture of a woman.
Senior Research Program Manager, Environmental Engineer
Josh Dumke headshot
Senior Research Scientist, Fisheries Ecologist
Environmental Analytical Chemist
Head and shoulders image of Lisa Estepp
Quality Manager, Senior Research Scientist
Chris Filstrup headshot
Applied Limnologist
Research Technician, Aquatic Ecologist
Robert Hell
Principal Laboratory Technician
Senior Research Scientist
Research Associate
Head and shoulder picture of a woman.
Research Associate
Senior Laboratory Technician
Sr. Research Associate, Interim Water Team Leader
Research Associate
Aqueous Geochemist
Head and shoulders photo of a man
Researcher Staff Scientist
Senior Research Technician, Aquatic Ecologist

Featured Research Projects

A risk-based classification and map of watersheds contributing anthropogenic stress to Great Lakes coastal ecosystems.

Helping decision-makers prioritize where to restore and protect wetlands in Minnesota.

A comprehensive aquatic invasive species (AIS) presence database for St. Louis County lakes to help identify which may be at risk for new AIS introduction.

Related News

For three UMD undergrads, classroom learning comes alive doing NRRI field and lab work.

Bottom of food web keeps aquatic scientist Elizabeth Alexson at the top of her game.

Ballast water testing lab on Lake Superior reopens; regulations to keep tiny water invaders out of Great Lakes challenged

Media Coverage