April 10 Webinar – Lake Superior: A Warming Ecosystem
Posted on: March 28, 2017


Participation: To participate, please register at: https://attendee.gotowebin ar.com/register/81312242200697 37986. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The seminar is presented through the efforts of:
Presenter: Dr. Robert Sterner, University of Minnesota-Duluth Large Lakes Observatory

Title: Lake Superior: A Warming Ecosystem

Abstract: Dramatic physical changes to the seasonal mixing regime of Lake Superior have been described: the summer stratified season is lengthening and summer surface temperatures are increasing. At the same time, there are less prevalent anthropogentic forcings affecting Lake Superior than most other large lakes, including most of the Laurentian Great Lakes. This means Lake Superior may provide important clues about how climate affects large lake ecosystems. Dr. Sterner’s seminar will draw from almost twenty years of study of the offshore Lake Superior ecosystem, with an emphasis on nutrients and the lower food web. Changes to primary production and primary producers have been observed, though the complex interconnections of “physics to fish” are still poorly resolved.


Bio:  Dr. Sterner’s research combines biological with chemical approaches to understand lake ecosystems, with particular focus on understanding the linkages among the cycles of carbon and nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Dr. Sterner received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Minnesota in 1986, working with David Tilman. Dr. Sterner has published more than 90 papers and books that together have been cited > 12,000 times. He is one of the founders of the field of Ecological Stochiometry, which seeks to understand how elemental balances and ratios affect organism success, community structure, ecosystem dynamics, and other topics. He has focused mainly on freshwater plankton, but through work with colleagues and students, he has contributed to the literature on microbes, fish, terrestrial plants, and other organisms. Dr. Sterner has spent most of his career at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, serving as the Head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. He also spent 2+ years working at the National Science Foundation in senior management as the Director of the Division of Environmental Biology, where he contributed to the shaping of the NSF funding portfolio and acted as a national spokesperson for environmental research in the U.S. He has done research on the Great Lakes since ~1996 and in 2014, he moved to the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he became the Director of the Large Lakes Observatory, the only institution in the U.S. dedicated to the scientific study of all the large lakes on Earth.
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