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In this Section

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

Phone: 315-268-2359
Fax: 315-268-7118

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

Courses taught  

BY431 & 432 / 531 & 532 Limnology (Aquatic Ecology)
BY330 / EV330 Great Lakes Water Protection
BY320 / 322 Microbiology and Laboratory
BY312 / EV312 Adirondack Ecology and Environmental Science

Research Interests

Interactions of microbes with chemicals (nutrients, toxic substances) in lakes and rivers and the use of advanced technologies for assessing phytoplankton community structure and health. Studies focus on the Laurentian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River ecosystems, and involve work on both research vessels and in the laboratory.

Research publications (last 5 years)

Beall, B.F.N., Twiss, M.R., Smith, D.E, Oyserman, B., Rozmarynowycz, M.J., Binding, C., Bourbonniere, R.A., Bullerjahn, G.S., Palmer, M., Reavie, E.D., Waters, M.K., Woityra, W.C., McKay, R.M.L. 2016. Ice cover extent drives phytoplankton- and bacterial community structure in a large north temperate lake: Implications for a warming climate. Environmental Microbiology, 18: 1704-1719. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12819

Reavie, E., Cai, M., Twiss, M.R, Carrick, H.J., Davis, T., Johengen, T., Gossiaux, D., Smith, D.E., Palladino, D., Burtner, A., and Sgro, G. 2016. Winter–spring diatom production in Lake Erie is an important driver of summer hypoxia. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 42: 608-616. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2016.02.015

Stryszowska, K.M., Twiss, M.R. and Langen, T.A., 2016. Evaluating Beneficial Use Impairments in wetlands of the Massena Area of Concern using biotic, water quality, and landscape indicators. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 42: 708-716. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2016.02.013

Silsbe, G.M., Smith, R.E.H., and Twiss, M.R. 2015. Quantum efficiency of phytoplankton photochemistry measured continuously across gradients of nutrients and biomass in Lake Erie (CA, US) is strongly regulated by light but not by nutrient deficiency. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 72(5): 651-660, DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2014-0365

Kring, S.A, Figary, S.E., Boyer, G.L, Watson, S.B. and Twiss, M.R. 2014. Rapid in situ measures of phytoplankton communities using the bbe FluoroProbe: evaluation of spectral calibration, instrument intercompatibility and performance range. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 71(7): 1087-1095, DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0599.

Twiss, M.R., Smith, D.E., Cafferty, E.M., and Carrick, H.J. 2014. Phytoplankton growth dynamics in offshore Lake Erie during mid-winter. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 40: 449–454. DOI: 10.1016/j.jglr.2014.03.010.

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, 34: 1973-1981. DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2013.795985

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 Microbiology Ecology 87(2): 475-485, DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12238

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. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbs021

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, doi: 10.1139/f2011-157

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, doi: 10.1039/C2JM32008H.

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, doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2012.02.012

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. published on line, Jan. 2011, DOI: 10.1002/rra.1484

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(1):18-30; doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2011.12.008

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, doi.10.1016/j.jglr.2012.05.002

Undergraduates conducting research in the limnology laboratory since 2015 *NSF REU Interns)

Chelsea Farinacci (’16), Fecal contamination in the Raquette River
Morgan Zyzik (’16), Habitat reclamation in the Saint Lawrence River Area of Concern
*Cassie Lumbrazo (’18), Analysis of water sensor big data sets.
*Colby Devane (’17; Erskine College), Water sensor comparisons: St. Lawrence River
*Evie Brahmstedt (’17; Saint Lawrence University), Hg risk from wetland loss in the St. Lawrence River