My dissertation work addresses ecological effects of pollution in large, naturally nutrient-poor, culturally important lakes. Because such lakes exhibit lower levels of primary productivity, ecosystem integrity is often assessed from the structure of vulnerable ecological communities in the nearshore area. Using Lake Baikal, an inland sea in Siberia, and Flathead Lake, located in western Montana, my work analyzes potential risks from anthropogenic disturbance that could alter nearshore community structure, insomuch as to anticipate threats to similar lake systems. By comparing emerging threats to Baikal and Flathead in the context of similar lakes, this work serves as a foundation for the effects of pollution over time, and offers potentially regional insight into pollutant loading regimes.
Prior to arriving at WSU, I completed a Fulbright Research/Study Fellowship at Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russian Federation. During my Fulbright, I assessed how endemic Baikal amphipods respond to increased temperature warming. This research was and continues to be the product of my undergraduate training at Saint Louis University, where I earned a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Russian Studies.