Erin Overholt has been the lab manager since 2006. She participates in the lab’s ongoing research ranging from the laboratory at Miami University to field research in Ohio reservoirs, Pocono lakes in Pennsylvania, and to alpine systems throughout the country and beyond. Specific research projects have included the sensitivity of parasites to UV and the subsequent effects on lake epidemics as well as UV attraction and avoidance in calanoid copepods.
Nicole Berry is a PhD student studying the role of UV radiation in regulating freshwater biota. Currently, she is investigating the UV tolerance of native (i.e. cisco, lake whitefish) and invasive (alewife) foraging fish, whose transparent eggs and larvae can be exposed to damaging UV in nursery and spawning habitats. She is also leading an effort to gather and collate existing UV datasets from researchers and agencies with sites all across the Great Lakes. These data will help establish the spatial variability and associated risks of exposure to damaging UV radiation for the early life stages of fish within the Great Lakes. She completed her master’s degree in the lab in 2018 studying the UV tolerance of mosquito larvae.
Lauren Knose, who began working on her PhD in Fall 2016, is studying the effects of climate change and changing transparency on lake phenology, mixing, and nutrient regeneration. In particular, Lauren is interested in how lake browning can affect the development of harmful algal blooms. With a Master of Public Health degree, Lauren is also curious about the public health and socioeconomic consequences of blooms on communities that rely on the lake for goods and services. Lauren published an article about her research in LakeLine, a quarterly publication of the North American Lake Management Society.
Michelle Little is a master’s student interested in aquatic ecology and zooplankton dynamics. For her master’s research, she is studying the UV tolerance of the cladoceran Holopedium gibberum. Holopedium are important to lake ecosystems because they can compete with Daphnia, an important keystone herbivore in lake food webs. They also have a unique gelatin “capsule” defense, which makes them too large to be consumed by some predators. While we know that Daphnia are less tolerant to UV, the UV tolerance of Holopedium is unknown.
Addison Zeisler is a master’s student interested in the relationships between UV radiation and aquatic organisms. As climate change is affecting the amount of dissolved organic matter flowing into lake ecosystems, lakes are experiencing changes in transparency and therefore, changes in the amount of UV present. Addison is curious as to what relationships exist between UV and aquatic fauna and how these relationships might be affected by changing UV levels. Addison is currently investigating behavioral responses of larval fish to UV.