The MU Limnology Laboratory


Rebecca North, Ph.D.

Rebecca is an emerging researcher in aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry, with expertise on nutrient and algal dynamics in water bodies. She has just left the great white North and has recently joined the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri as an Assistant Professor of Water Quality. Her PhD in limnology was obtained at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada where she worked on eutrophication issues in the African and North American Great Lakes. Her postdoctoral fellowship at Trent University, Ontario, Canada facilitated the expansion of her work to include the watershed, where she examined non-point sources of nutrient loading to a large lake. Her most recent work as a Research Associate with the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada has been focused on light-nutrient interactions in a large reservoir and the importance of winter processes.

Research Gate
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Alba Argerich, Ph.D.

Alba is an aquatic ecologist interested in the influence of human activities on water quality and stream functional processes- including nutrient cycling and aquatic primary production and respiration. She has joined the University of Missouri in August 2017.

Areas of Interest:
Water quality Effects of hydrology and morphology on stream function Forest-stream interactions Functional processes in stream ecosystems - nutrient cycling, respiration, and primary production Ecology of the hyporheic zone

Water quality, Land use effects on aquatic ecosystems, Stream functional processes -nutrient cycling, respiration, and primary production, Ecology of the hyporheic zone

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John Jones, Ph.D.

Jack Jones taught courses and conducted limnological research at MU, starting in 1975. He collaborated with others to determine the relationship between nutrients and algal biomass in temperate lakes and streams. A long-term study of Missouri reservoirs shows trophic state is strongly related to physiography and human alteration of their drainage basins. Studies of regional limnology in several Asian countries show how the summer monsoon influences lake processes. Jones is currently Editor-in-Chief of Inland Waters and holds the title Curators’ Professor Emeritus.



Dan Obrecht

Dan started working in the limnology laboratory as an undergraduate in 1990. He received his BS in 1993 and his MS in 2010, both through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Missouri. As an undergraduate, he helped establish the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program; a successful program that is still engaging Missourian’s in the monitoring of reservoirs across the state. He has been the limnology laboratory manager since 2001. Away from work, Dan enjoys the outdoors and hopes to one day perfect his fly casting.

Tony Thorpe

Tony Thorpe earned his M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Missouri in 2004 by correlating heterotrophic bacterial abundance with measures of trophic state at regional and global scales. He has been full-time coordinator of the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program since 2001. Visit the LMVP website via the link below for more information

LMVP Website

Carol Pollard

Carol Pollard graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. After a career in engineering she returned to school, obtaining an MS in Limnology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She in now technician in the Limnology Lab at the University of Missouri.

Chris Brunet

Chris graduated in 2019 from Grinnell College with a B.A. in chemistry and a concentration in environmental studies. While at Grinnell, Chris worked on high-resolution monitoring of nutrient fluxes in agricultural streams and ponds. Before coming to the lab in the Fall of 2019, Chris studied coastal water quality as a Research Assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.

Tabitha Gatts

I am a student at the University of Missouri studying Environmental Science with an emphasis in water. I am happy to be working with the Limnology lab on campus because it has given me great experience in the field I will be going into and it has given me and opportunity to meet many new friends and colleagues. I am excited to continue gaining experience and building a network of scientists and researchers for my academic and professional career.

Jesse Olberg

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point with a degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. My focus is aquatic macroinvertebrates and stream ecology. I worked for the Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries lab at UW- Green Bay for two years supporting graduate projects studying stream ecology, benthic macroinvertebrate distribution, and rehabilitation of the Lower Green Bay Watershed. I keep ~60 species of fish, snails, and amphibians and enjoy teaching people applied aquatic ecology through fish keeping. Science you can poke is the best science.

Hannah Jaeger

Hannah graduated in 2020 from the University of Missouri with a degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in water. She started in the lab in 2019 as an undergraduate researcher for the Lugnuts Project, looking at the impact different forms of nitrogen has on algal toxin concentrations in water. She now coordinates the ROSS project, which works with high school students to monitor harmful algal blooms year-round.

Postdoctoral Fellows

PhD Students

Jacob Gaskill

Jacob recently joined the Limnology Lab as a PhD student under the tutelage of Dr. Rebecca North. He is interested in applied limnology issues such as harmful algal bloom management and understanding how invasive species introductions influence our lentic ecosystems. Jacob received his BS from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse, NY) and his MS from Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI) where he studied the relationship between invasive dreissenid mussels and the cyanobacteria Microcystis in a low-nutrient lake.

Jessica Wilson

Jessi graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2013 with two B.S. degrees in Biology and Environmental Policy. Her research at MU focuses on the influence of anthropogenic disturbances on stream functional processes in headwater streams. She is specifically interested in determining the influence of harvested riparian vegetation and the effect of lead mining on nutrient uptake and stream metabolism. Before joining the MU Limnology Lab in the Summer of 2018 as a research technician and then a M.S. student in the Fall of 2018 under Dr. Alba Argerich, she was previously employed as an Aquatic Ecologist with Corblu Ecology Group and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. As an Aquatic Ecologist she focused on the observation and sampling of threatened and endangered fish and benthic macro-invertebrate species populations within the states of Georgia and southern Tennessee. She also conducted baseline surveys, biological assessments and monitored water quality for various mitigation banks, stream and wetland sites as well as impoundment sites. The data collected in the field was used to prepare Corps of Engineers and Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting for residential, industrial and commercial sites.

Angel Colon

Angel is a student in the Water Resources program of the School of Natural Resources advised by Dr. Alba Argerich. He received a B.S. and an M.S. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and an M.B.A from the University of Saint Francis. Prior to joining MU, he worked as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior. His past research consisted of the biological characterization of reference streams in the Caribbean, focusing on aquatic macroinvertebrates and periphytic communities. Currently, his research interests are in stream ecology, the effects of land use on water quality, the influence of nutrients on streams ecosystems in agricultural and forested landscapes, and environmental law and policy.

Masters Students

Erin Petty

Erin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri in 2017 with a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She joined the MU Limnology Lab as a technician in the summer of 2017 and began her graduate studies in Water Resources at MU later that fall. As an M.S. student, her research focuses on algal dynamics and light-nutrient interactions within Missouri reservoirs. Previously employed as an assistant GIS specialist at the Missouri Department of Conservation, Erin is also interested in utilizing spatial analysis to examine landscape modification and eutrophication within Missouri systems.

Emily Kinzinger

Emily joined the MU Limnology Lab in the fall of 2018 as an M.S. student under Dr. Rebecca North. Her research focuses on an assessment of the year-round presence and severity of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms and their associated toxins. Emily received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO). She was previously employed as an Environmental Scientist, where she prepared technical analyses in the context of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Garrett Frandson

Garrett earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas, then spent two years working as a field technician for the Flathead Lake Biological Station in northwest Montana and Northern Arizona University in interior Alaska with, respectively, hyporheic stonefly populations and the effects of climate change on carbon in tundra permafrost. He now works to understand the relationship between substrate conditions and macroinvertebrate community structure in an impounded river under Dr. Alba Argerich. He is further broadly interested in scientific outreach via photography and writing.

Undergraduate Researchers

Owen Gallagher

Currently a Junior, I am an Environmental Science major with an emphasis on water quality and a minor in Sustainable Agriculture. This will be my first semester working under Dr. North with the Linked Undergraduate Research in Nutrients (LUGNUTS). Under Dr. North, I will be looking at the different impacts different nutrients have on harmful toxins produced during harmful algal blooms. With this degree, I am interested in the public health side of environmental science.

Lydia Jefferson

Lydia Jefferson is currently a sophomore Environmental Sciences major who joined the limnology lab in fall 2019. Lydia has been interested in protecting the environment since a young age and is just realizing all the different ways she can support the Earth other than recycling and studying by sunlight! Research wise she will be working under Dr. Alga Argerich and Jessica Wilson analyzing how lead mining has affected stream metabolism and bacterial growth. After graduation, Lydia plans an earning a graduate degree in Environmental Sciences to either pursue research or further develop current water quality practices.


Crystal Rein

Crystal Rein graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College with a BA in General Studies, Concentration in Education and Psychology. After several years of leading an elementary classroom, her career meandered into managing staff and volunteers at the local Columbia Farmers Market. After deeply contemplating her love for the outdoors and her desire to protect Missouri waterways, Crystal decided to return to undergraduate life by seeking an Environmental Science - Water degree at the University of Missouri in 2020, with aspirations to attend graduate school afterwards. Having joined the MU Limnology Lab that same year, Crystal hopes to learn something new about Missouri waterways each and every day. Her hobbies include canoeing, hiking, traveling, overlanding and growing her skills at fly fishing.

Nicholas Trusso

I am a senior studying natural resource science management with an emphasis in fisheries and wildlife and a minor in business. I am interested in fisheries biology and spent the last summer working as the fisheries and aquatic interpretation intern located at the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery and Conservation Center located in Branson, MO. I love getting the opportunity to work with the Limnology Lab and helping Garrett Frandson on his project studying the relationship between macroinvertebrates and substrate conditions!

Katharine Smith

Katharine Smith (known as Wren) is a junior at the limnology lab who has been working at the lab since May 2019. She coordinates the Hinkson Creek project, which consists of several synoptic samplings throughout the year to try and identify the cause of the creek's long-term impairment. She is an environmental science major, and hopes to use the knowledge and experience that she has gained from the limnology lab to pursue a law degree after graduation. Katharine hopes to become an environmental lawyer, particularly for water rights/laws.

Kendall Ivey

Kendall Ivey is a sophomore Fisheries and Wildlife major with a minor in Chemistry. She is interested in aquatic ecology and the impact of water quality on the balance of the ecosystem. Kendall began working with the limnology lab in the fall of 2019 as a research technician. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in either marine or freshwater fisheries with the goal of improving conservation efforts.

Gone, but not forgotten

Lexy Algiere

My name is Alexandria Algiere, but most people call me Lexy. I am currently a Senior attending Columbia College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. This summer I had the pleasure of interning with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in the Resource Science Division’s (RSD) Environmental Health Unit (EHU), working specifically on a project looking at Tunnel Dam’s impact on dissolved oxygen in the lower Niangua River. My academic interests include studying botany, aquatic ecology, and water quality.

Kiah Wright

Kiah joined the limnology lab during the fall of 2019. She is a senior Natural Resource Science & Management major with an emphasis in fisheries and wildlife. Kiah is interested in aquatic ecology and water quality as it relates to freshwater stream fishes, particularly threatened non-game species. Currently, she is also working for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a resource science aide and spent this past summer assisting in the monitoring of Niangua Darter and Longnose Darter populations in Southern Missouri. After graduation, Kiah hopes to obtain a graduate degree in fisheries biology so that she can pursue a career in aquatic science research.

Matt Sauer

Matthew is a Fisheries and Wildlife graduate from the University of Missouri. He is interested in aquatic ecology, especially looking at how humans are impacting these ecosystems. He has been working for the Limnology Lab since February of 2016 and was a part of the SLAP field team during 2016 and 2017.

Dr. Ruchi Bhattacharya

Dr. Ruchi Bhattacharya is the recent recipient of the MU Postdoctoral Fellowship for Faculty Diversity. She is an aquatic biogeochemist and paleo-limnologist. Her research focuses on understanding the ecological, biogeochemical and hydrological responses of aquatic ecosystems, across spatial scale, in relation to anthropogenic alterations and hydro-climatological changes. In particular, her research attempts to reveal underlying physical and biological processes that exert strong control on ecology of lake and river ecosystems. The key questions she focuses on are: a) How does the interaction between landscape characteristics and hydrological variability influence the nutrient and water fluxes from catchment to lake? b) What is the ecological response of lake ecosystems to this influx?

Clare Vanderwerken

Clare joined the lab in May of 2018 as a lab technician to help with the SLAP and LMVP projects. She graduated from Mizzou in August 2018 with her B. S. in Biological Sciences. She intends to pursue a career in a research field and is currently enjoying learning new things in the MU Limnology Lab.

Phillip Klenke

Phillip Klenke is a Senior Undergraduate majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Missouri. He is interested in the field of aquatic ecology, specifically regarding urban streams and how humans are impacting these ecosystems. Phillip began working in the Limnology Lab in the summer of 2018 working on various stream ecology projects, including researching the Hinkson Creek in Columbia to understand the causes of it's biological impairment.

Kyra Florea

Kyra joined the Limnology lab during the summer of 2018. She is a senior Fisheries and Wildlife major and is currently working on an undergraduate thesis focusing on the relationship between dissolved organic matter and the formation of harmful algal blooms. Kyra hopes to pursue a graduate degree in either limnology or oceanography.

Jaylen Bragg

My name is Jaylen Bragg, and I am a junior studying Environmental Science with an emphasis in Hydrology. I have a strong interest in how hydrological processes impact nutrient loading in freshwater ecosystems. I currently work in the Limnology lab as an undergraduate research assistant, and I will work in the lab full time during the summer of 2017. After obtaining my B.S. in Environmental Science, I plan on attending graduate school to obtain my M.S. in Environmental Science and continue researching lakes and freshwater ecosystems.

Josh Horne

Josh graduated from the University of Maine with a BS in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Before coming to Missouri, he spent his time researching how climate and anthropogenic development influence bird habitat along the East Coast. Josh joined the MU limnology lab to research algal toxin accumulation in fish tissues.

Jannice Newson

Jannice Newson is a senior majoring in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science. She is interested in water quality, aquatic plants, and green infrastructure. She is a McNair Scholar and will begin working with Dr. Rebecca North on an undergraduate research project in Fall 2017. Currently, Jannice serves as a CAFNR Recruitment Intern and Secretary of Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative (MBWI). She has contributed to various projects including shoreline restoration evaluation at the Chicago Botanic Garden and recirculating aquaculture systems at the University of Michigan. After graduating from MU, she plans to obtain a M.S. in Environmental Science.

Jeffrey Bodeen

I am continuing sophomore at the University of Missouri studying Biology and Psychology. Having grown up in the Ozark's I gained a love for lakes and streams and am excited to assist in the studying of these systems.

Tom Swenson

Tom is a junior majoring in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Water Quality. He will start working for the Limnology Lab during Spring 2018. He will be assisting Erin Petty on her research project this summer. His main interests are in eutrophication and the impacts urban areas have on lentic systems, especially in the Great Lakes region. After obtaining his B.S. he plans to get his M.S. in Water Quality to help municipalities get access to clean water.

Kyle Carson

Kyle is a senior majoring in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Science with a focus in Water Quality. He is interesting in how watershed management affects nutrient loading in lakes and reservoirs and is currently working on an internship on bathymetry. He started working for the lab in August of 2017 and is looking forward to being part of the SLAP team for the summer of 2018. He will also be studying abroad this winter in Thailand with the trip focusing on coral reef biodiversity and restoration.

Christopher Miller

Growing up in the Ozarks, Chris has always had a deep appreciation for the value of our natural resources. In the lab, he has been analyzing water samples for various cyanotoxins produced by algal blooms. He is a junior studying Environmental Science with an emphasis in Water Quality.

Abby Williams

Abby is a senior Fisheries and Wildlife Science student at the University of Missouri, interested in studying marine organisms and ecosystems. She is currently working as a Lab Tech in the Limnology Lab as well as doing undergraduate research on small mammals in the Gompper Lab. This past summer she worked as a Marine Animal Rehabilitation Intern with harbor seals, gray seals, and Kemps Ridley sea turtles at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. This past school year she worked as a Lab Tech in the Webb Waterfowl and Wetland Ecology Research Lab. After completing her Bachelor’s degree Abby plans to spend a year gaining work experience before beginning a Master’s in Marine Biology or Biological Oceanography.

Meghan Schrik

Meghan Schrik graduated from Regis University in 2016 with a BS in environmental science. There she did research in aquatic ecotoxicology and was a water quality intern for the city of Denver. She is currently traveling in New Zealand and Thailand. This summer she will be a lab technician for the University of Missouri before pursuing a MS in aquatic ecology in the fall.

Cody Kimbell