Associate Professor
( e-mail
(610) 330-5467 voice
(610) 330-5705 FAX

Students interested in ecological research in my laboratory may choose among several projects examining population/community-level phenomena or physiological adaptations to environmental changes in freshwater ecosystems. These studies employ field, laboratory and analytical approaches. Ongoing projects include:

  • An examination of stream invertebrate population distribution and community composition.
  • Field and laboratory studies examining interactions between aquatic macrophytes and invertebrates.
  • Aquatic plant greenhouse mesocosm studies that examine competition, disturbance, and physiological adaptations in macrophytes.
  • How mercury toxicity relates to aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates and mercury-resistant bacteria in polluted ecosystems.

These studies emphasize hypothesis testing, experimental design, statistical analysis and critical interpretation of complex data. In addition to academic year studies, summer field research opportunities may be available.

Representative studies:

  • Competition among three species of submersed aquatic macrophytes raised on both high and low nitrogen sediments. Nicole Hinson (’97), Honors Thesis.
  • Diel variation in seston silica and phosphorus: Links to chlorophyll a and organic matter. Shawne Gooden (’00) and Kellee Salber (’00), Sigma Xi Poster Presentation.
  • Impacts of llama farm effluent on macroinvertebrate colonization in a small New Jersey stream. Kimberly Lavalley (’01), Independent Research Project.
  • Relationships between macrophytes and macroinvertebrates in Onondaga Lake. Skye Harris (’02), Nalven Summer Fellow.
  • Macroinvertebrate-facilitated leaf litter breakdown and community dynamics associated with Merrill Creek Reservoir. Kevin M. Cunningham (’08), Nalven Summer Fellow.

Representative Publications:

  • Spooner*, Michelle L., Kellee E. Salber* and Nancy M. Waters. 2000. Diel benthic variation, community patterns and limnological characteristics in lake United Water. Journal Pennsylvania Academy of Science. 73:179 (abstract of presentation).
  • Caslake, L.F, S.S. Harris*, C. Williams*, N.M. Waters. Mercury-resistant bacteria associated with macrophytes from a polluted lake. Water Air and Soil Pollution, accepted November 2005 to Water, Air and Soil Pollution (in press).
  • Waters, N.M., M.E. Auro*, T.Hagen*, and K.Lavalley*. 2005. How Colonization Time Influences Macroinvertebrate Community Measures on Artificial Substrates. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 20 (1):9-16.
  • Sayles* K.A., K. K. Folwell*, and N.M. Waters. 2005. Macroinvertebrate community characteristics above and below a New Jersey Reservoir: Impacts and sampling techniques. 19th National Conference for Undergraduate Research (Abstracts). p. 20.
  • Auro*, M., T. Hagen*, K. Lavalley* and N.M. Waters. 2003. Does colonization time influence macroinvertebrate community measures on artificial substrates? Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (suppl) Vol. 76, p.107.

* indicates Lafayette student coauthors.