Associate Professor
15 Kunkel

Degrees

  • Ph.D., North Carolina State University

My research primarily uses a combination of modeling approaches and field experiments to advance understanding about the impacts of human activity on aquatic ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in the influences of long-term changes in watershed land use and pollution sources on surface water quality, the environmental factors that select for harmful phytoplankton species and invasive, non-native species, and the responses of various aquatic organisms to heavy metals and other environmental contaminants.

Student research in my lab uses a combination of environmental monitoring, modeling approaches, and field experiments to advance understanding about the impacts of human activity on aquatic ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in the influences of long-term changes in watershed land use and pollution sources on surface water quality, the environmental factors that select for harmful phytoplankton species and invasive, non-native species, and the responses of various aquatic organisms to heavy metals and other environmental contaminants.

Representative studies:

•    Environmental characteristics and plankton dynamics of Raritan Bay, a eutrophic estuary. Danielle Sobol (’12) and Alyssa Calomeni (’11), Current Independent Research Project
•     Impact of differential zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton community composition in Raritan Bay.  Alyssa Calomeni (’11), Current Independent Research Project
•    Decomposition rate and phosphorus concentrations of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in the Bushkill Creek watershed.  Jeff Hollander (’11), Current Independent Research Project
•    Assessing the quality and availability of GIS data for point and non-point sources of nutrients and pollutants in the Raritan River Basin.  Andrew Chun (’12), Future Independent Research Project

Recent Publications:

•    Rothenberger, M.B., J.M. Burkholder, and T.R. Wentworth. 2009. Use of long-term data and multivariate ordination techniques to identify environmental factors governing estuarine species dynamics. Limnology & Oceanography 54: 2107-2127.
•    Rothenberger, M.B., J.M. Burkholder, and C. Brownie. 2009. Long-term effects of changing land use practices on surface water quality in a coastal river and lagoonal estuary. Environmental Management 44: 505-523.
•    Burkholder, J.M., W. Frazier, and M.B. Rothenberger. 2008. Source water assessment and treatment strategies for harmful and noxious algae.  In: Algae Manual, by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA, Denver.