Associate Professor
220 RISC
(610) 330-5459
(610) 330-5705


  • Ph.D., North Carolina State University

Student research in my lab uses a combination of environmental monitoring, modeling approaches, social science methods, and controlled experiments to advance understanding about the impacts of human activity on aquatic ecosystems, including freshwater and coastal marine systems and vernal pool wetlands. We are also interested in the science and application of ecological restoration of aquatic ecosystems.

Representative studies:

  • Use of network analysis to identify factors regulating plankton community structure and harmful algal bloom dynamics. Samantha Gleich (’17) and Evan Flint (’23), Manuscript in preparation for submission to Harmful Algae.
  • Characterization of the microbial community in the eutrophic Hudson-Raritan Bay. Austin Best (’22), Honors Thesis Project in Biology.
  • Effect of road proximity and habitat fragmentation on the dispersal and genetic diversity of the wood frog (Rana Sylvatica) in natural and created vernal pools. Emily Wilson (’22) and Declan Winters (’23), Honors Thesis Projects in Biology.
  • Density and distribution of the endangered northeastern bulrush (Scirpus ancistrochaetus) in Pennsylvania vernal pools. Olivia Sterantino (’23), Honors Thesis in Environmental Science.

Recent Publications:

  • Rothenberger, M.B. and Alison Baranovic (2021) Predator–prey relationships within natural, restored, and created vernal pools. Restoration Ecology 29: e13308.
  • Rothenberger, M.B., A. Armstrong, T. Gaugler, S. Massaro (Woodruff), W. Pfadenhauer, and J. Ventresca (2020) Bridging information domains to improve ecological understanding of biological invasions in a marine ecosystem. Conservation Biology 34: 1560-1570.
  • Rothenberger, M.B., M.K. Vera, D. Germanoski, and E. Ramirez (2019) Comparing amphibian habitat quality and functional success among natural, restored, and created vernal pools. Restoration Ecology 27: 881-891.
  • Rothenberger, M.B., V. Hoyt, D. Germanoski, M. Conlon, J. Wilson, and J. Hitchings (2017) A risk assessment study of water quality, biota, and legacy sediment prior to small dam removal in a tributary to the Delaware River. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189: 344-363.
  • Rothenberger, M.B., A. Armstrong, and M. Spitz (2017) Social-ecological system responses to Hurricane Sandy in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary. Ambio DOI 10.1007/s13280-017-0949-z