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In this Section

Michael R. Twiss
Professor and Executive Officer
, Great Rivers Center
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology
Department of Biology
167 Science Center
Clarkson University
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805

Google Scholar Web site
Phone: 315-268-2359
Fax: 315-268-7118

Ph.D., Université du Québec - Limnology (1996)

Courses taught

BY431 & 432 / 531 & 532 Limnology (Aquatic Ecology)
BY3320 / 322 Microbiology and Laboratory
BY312 / EV 312 Adirondack Ecology and Environmental Science
BY330/EV330 Great Lakes Water Protection

Research Interests
Interactions of microbes with chemicals (nutrients, toxic substances) in the water column of lakes and rivers and the use of advanced technologies for assessing phytoplankton community structure and health as well as algal-derived biofuel production. Studies focus on the Laurentian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River ecosystems, and involve work on both research vessels and in the laboratory using organisms isolated from these environments. This research is at the interface between microbial plankton ecology and analytical chemistry.

Research publications (last 5 years)

Wilhelm, S.W., LeCleir, G.R., Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M., Saxton, M.A., Twiss, M.R., Bourbonniere, R.A.  2013.  Seasonal changes in microbial community structure and activity imply winter production linked to summer hypoxia in a large lake system. FEMS Microbial Ecology, (in press)

Kring, S.A., Xia, X., Powers, S.E., and Twiss, M.R.  2013. Crustacean zooplankton in aerated wastewater treatment lagoons as a potential feedstock for biofuel. Environmental Technology, DOI:10.1080/09593330.2013.795985 (in press)

Binding, C.E., Greenberg, T.A., Bukata, R.P., Smith, D.E. and Twiss, M.R.  2012.  The MERIS MCI and its potential for satellite detection of winter diatom blooms on ice-covered Lake Erie.  Journal of Plankton Research, 34: 569-573.

Havens, S.M., Hassler, C.S., North, R.L., Guildford, S.L., Silsbe, G., Wilhelm, S.W., and Twiss, M.R.  2012. Iron plays a role in nitrate drawdown by phytoplankton in Lake Erie surface waters as observed in lake wide assessments. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 69:(2) 369-381.

Jin, Z., Harvey, A.M., Mailloux, S., Halámek, J. ,Bocharova, V., Twiss, M.R., Katz, E. 2012.  Electrochemically stimulated release of lysozyme from alginate matrix cross-linked with iron cations.  Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22: 19523-19528.

Twiss, M.R. and Marshall, N.F. 2012. Tributary impacts on nearshore surface water quality detected during a late summer circumnavigation along the 20 m isopleth of Lake Ontario.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 38:99-104.

Twiss, M.R. and Smith, D.E. 2012.  Size-fractionated phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing rates in the upper St. Lawrence River.  River Research and Applications, 28: 1047-1053. 

Twiss, M.R., McKay, R.M.L., Bourbonniere, R.A., Bullerjahn, G.S., Carrick, H.J., Smith, R.E.H., Winter, J.G., D’souza, N., Furey, P.C., Lashaway, A.R., Saxton, M.A., and Wilhelm, S.W.  2012. Diatoms abound in ice-covered Lake Erie: An investigation of offshore winter limnology in Lake Erie over the period 2007 to 2010.  Journal of Great Lakes Research,  38:18-30.

Twiss, M.R., Ulrich, C., Zastepa, A., and Pick, F.R. 2012. On phytoplankton growth and loss rates in the epilimnion and metalimnion of Lake Ontario in mid-summer.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 38:146-153.

Twiss, M.R. 2011. Variations in chromophoric dissolved organic matter and its influence on the use of pigment-specific fluorimeters in the Great Lakes.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 37: 124-131.

Marty, J., Twiss, M.R., Ridal, J.J., de Lafontaine, Y., and Farrell, J.M.  2010.  From the Great Lakes flows a Great River: Overview of the St. Lawrence River ecology supplement.  Hydrobiologia, 647: 1-5.

Twiss, M.R., Ulrich, C., Kring, S., Harold, J., and Williams, M.R. 2010.  Plankton dynamics along a 180 km reach of the Saint Lawrence River from its headwaters in Lake Ontario.  Hydrobiologia, 647: 7-20.

Zananski, T.J., Twiss, M.R. and Mihuc, T.B.  2010.  Use of fluorimetry to evaluate atrazine toxicity to phytoplankton communities. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, 13:56-65.

Adams, R.M., Twiss, M.R. and Driscoll, C.T.  2009. Patterns of mercury accumulation among seston in lakes of the Adirondack Mountains, New York.  Environmental Science and Technology, 43: 4836-4842.

Becker, R.H., Sultan, M.I., Boyer, G. L., Twiss, M.R., Konopko, E.  2009.  Mapping cyanobacterial blooms in the Great Lakes using MODIS.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 35: 447-453.

Hassler, C.S., Havens, S.M., Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M.L., and Twiss, M.R.  2009.  An evaluation of iron speciation in western Lake Superior measured using combined physical, chemical and biological assessment. Limnology & Oceanography, 54: 987-1001.

Other publications (reviews)
Twiss, M.R. and Ridal, J.J. (Eds.). 2011. Great Lakes Research Review: The Saint Lawrence River: Flowing towards Regional Governance. Great Lakes Research Consortium, Syracuse, NY, Volume 8, 55 pp., ISBN-13: 978-0-9852043-0-3.

Twiss, M.R., Ridal, J.J., and Heintzelman, M. 2011.  Introduction to ‘The Saint Lawrence River: Flowing towards Regional Governance’. In: Twiss, M.R. and Ridal, J.J. (Eds.). 2011. Great Lakes Research Review: The Saint Lawrence River: Flowing towards Regional Governance. Great Lakes Research Consortium, Syracuse, NY, 8: 4.

Twiss, M.R. 2011.  On Scientific Efforts Concerning the International Section of the Saint Lawrence River. In: Twiss, M.R. and Ridal, J.J. (Eds.). 2011. Great Lakes Research Review: The Saint Lawrence River: Flowing towards Regional Governance. Great Lakes Research Consortium, Syracuse, NY, 8: 50-55.

Current Graduate Students

  • Stefanie Kring, PhD. candidate in Environmental Science and Engineering, thesis topic: Sustainable Algal Biofuel Production

Undergraduates Active in Research Lab 

  • Lindsay Avolio (Biology): Evidence for iron and molybdenum co-limited growth of phytoplankton in the St. Lawrence River