Aquatic Ecology Lab—Ecosystems and Biogeochemistry
Research in this lab is focused on energy and biogeochemical cycles in freshwaters, particularly cross-boundary flows of materials and organisms. Our core questions link carbon, nutrient, and energy cycling to community and food-web structure. Current projects include determining the efficacy of mitigation for loss of salmon-derived nutrients in streams, studying the effects of climate change on stream-lake linkages, and quantifying the impacts of habitat degradation and restoration on stream ecosystem function. Current field projects are located around the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, as well as in the mountains of central Idaho.
Location: Dow 714
Contact: Amy Marcarelli
Aquatic Ecology Lab—Fish Biology and Ecology
Research supports field studies with aquatic organisms: primarily fish and macro-invertebrates, some reptiles, and macro-zooplankton. Studies focus on the identification and rearing of Great Lakes larval fish, the study of the freshwater amphipod Diporeia, and movement and behavior of lake sturgeon. Some study of impacts of invasive fish species such as the ruffe are proposed. Studies concern Lake Superior species and invasive species that are interacting with our native fishes. This laboratory is equipped with three temperature-controlled living stream systems. We also hold a split-beam side scan hydro-acoustic system to count migrating fish in area streams.
Location: Great Lakes Research Center
Contact: Nancy Auer
Aquatic Ecology Lab—Restoration and Conservation
Research in this lab develops a basic understanding of the dynamics of fish feeding preferences and their distribution and interaction with other species. Studies examine growth, population density, diet, and responses of invertebrate species. The mechanistic understanding of these interactions is important to fish management programs and environment issues of water use management and pollution. Recent research includes the habitat and growth of the coastal brook trout.
Location: Great Lakes Research Center
Contact: Casey Huckins
Analytical Laboratory for Great Lakes Exploration (ALGE)
Algal studies of biochemistry and structure of attachment are performed and then related to biofouling. These fundamentals are important with respect to vessel drag, intake fluid flows, and eutrophication of lakes. Microscopy and biochemical techniques are foundational to this effort.
Location: GLRC 223
Contact: Mike Gretz
Cell Biology and Genetics Lab
Centrosome Assembly in Caenorhabditis elegans
Centrosomes are the primary microtubule-organizing centers in animal cells. As such, they coordinate a range of cellular processes, including transport, motility, polarity, and division. While not absolutely required for mitosis, they play a critical role in establishing bipolar spindles to ensure correct segregation of chromosomes. Our lab is interested in understanding the molecular basis of centrosome assembly and function, through the application of a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, proteomics, and confocal imaging to the study of centrosome biology in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans model. Understanding the mechanisms of centrosome assembly will likely provide insight relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of the large spectrum of human diseases such as cancers and ciliophaties that are associated with centrioles/basal bodies, in addition to fundamentally advancing the field of centrosome biology.
Location: Dow 411
Contact: Mi Hye Song
Cardiovascular and Electrophysiology Lab
This lab aims to understand how the central autonomic system regulates cardiovascular function and body fluid and sodium homeostasis. The focus of lab research is to identify the neural mechanisms of sympathetic activation in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. Multi-level approaches—ranging from the whole-animal study to ion-channel recordings, molecular biology and gene manipulation—are currently being applied to research projects.
Location: Dow 414
Contact: Qinghui Chen
Clinical and Applied Human Physiology Laboratory
The Clinical and Applied Human Physiology Laboratory is primarily focused on developing and implementing preventative lifestyle strategies for those with metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors such as visceral obesity, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoproteins, pre-hypertension, and pre-diabetes. These strategies may include interventions such as: specific exercise programs, dietary modification, stress reduction, and adequate sleep. The laboratory has a secondary focus on sport-specific exercise assessment and prescription for hockey players and endurance athletes.
Location: Dow 521
Contact: John Durocher
Environmental Bioremediation Lab
Research is focused on the application of plant biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and microbiology in solving environmental problems using phytoremediation and plant-microbe interactions. Current research projects include: Phytoremediation of lead paint contaminated soil using vetiver grass, understanding the mechanism of lead tolerance by vetiver grass using proteomics and metabolomics, Role of vetiver and vetiver root-associated microorganisms in uptake and transformation of antibiotics, phytomremediation of heavy metals in mining- impacted soils, Use of vetiver grass for uptake and transformation of RDX, biofuel production from plants grown on marginal lands.
Location: Dow 511
Contact: Rupali Datta
Environmental Microbiology Lab
Research in the Environmental Microbiology lab deals with microbial-based treatment of air, soil and waterborne organic wastes, mutagenicity and toxicity of environmental pollutants, and microbial production of bio-based fuels and polymers. Current work focuses on the optimization of fermentation conditions (multi-scale) for conversion of biomass sugars from wood and forest products wastes to fuels, novel fuel additives, and other value-added products such as bio-polymers.
Locations: Dow 518, 518A, 518B
Contact: Susan Bagley
Invasive Species Lab
In Honor of Dr. Lisa Drake
This lab specializes in research and paleoecology of lake communities. Funded research has included five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) projects on Lakes Superior and Lake Michigan, a three-year NSF project on groundwater coupling, and studies of German and Russian lakes (including the Caspian Sea) in addition to regionally funded work on mercury and copper in Lake Superior sediments.
Locations: GLRC 103
Contact: W. Charles Kerfoot
Michigan Tech’s location on the Keweenaw Waterway affords students, faculty, and staff access to the embayments, islands, and open waters of Lake Superior. The University operates the RV Agassiz in support of its mission in aquatic sciences. Custom built for Michigan Tech in 2002, the 36-foot, aluminum-hulled RV Agassiz has a top speed of 30 mph and a cruising distance of over 250 miles. The vessel features a heated pilot house with the latest in electronic navigation equipment and a cuddy cabin with marine head. Deck gear includes two oceanographic winch–davit systems. The vessel is inspected and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard and carries a full complement of safety gear. The RV Agassiz is operated by a licensed captain and can carry 18 passengers. Charters are available for educational and research purposes.
Locations: Great Lakes Research Center
Contact: Michael Abbott