MSU Center for Water Sciences



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CWS Personnel
Faculty Members


CWS Personnel

Joan B. Rose, PhD


Office: Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, 480 Wilson Road, Room 15, Natural Resources Building, East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 432-4412

Fax: (517) 432-1699


Dr. Rose is an international expert in public health water microbiology addressing the relationship between water quality and human health including a focus on water pollution, water and wastewater treatment and public policies. Her research has investigated microorganisms involved in waterborne disease including enteric viruses (enteroviruses and noroviruses), protozoa (specifically Cryptosporidium and Giardia), and bacteria (E.coli). Her work involves development of new methods for detection of these microbes in the environment particularly molecular methods such as microarray technology and environmental surveys of ambient surface and ground waters as well as at wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities. Dr. Rose has been active in development of quantitative microbial risk assessment and is a co-editor of one of the only books published on the topic. She has been involved in local, state, national and international investigations and strategies for the assessment and control of microbial water pollution. She has been involved in the BEACH Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act in the U.S. Her research expertise includes investigation into waterborne outbreaks, healthy beaches, source tracking in watersheds, watershed assessment and protection, groundwater contamination and recharge, water reclamation and conventional and innovative water/waste treatment.



R. Jan Stevenson, PhD


Office: Department of Zoology, 203 Natural Science Building, Michigan State University, East lansing, Michigan, 48824

Phone: (517) 432-8083

Fax: (517) 432-2789


Dr. Stevenson employs his technical expertise in algal taxonomy and ecology to test ecological theory and to develop approaches for solving environmental problems.  He is particularly interested in how ecological systems respond to environmental change. He also works with federal and state officials to develop protocols for ecological assessment. Working with resource managers and policy makers often stimulates new directions for his research. Most of his projects use field observations, experiments, and modeling to better understand the effects of natural and human factors on algae and the role of algae in aquatic ecosystems. Field studies are used to identify interesting patterns in nature that may indicate an environmental problem or an interesting natural phenomenon. Manipulative experiments in artificial streams and mesocosms are used to confirm cause-effect relationships. Dr. Stevenson uses models to scale observations up to better understand cause-effect relations among natural and anthropogenic factors and ecological conditions.


Picture of CWS associate director Erin DreelinErin A. Dreelin, PhD

Associate Director

Office: 301 Manly Miles Building, 1405 South Harrison Road, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Phone: (517) 353-7746

Fax: (517) 353-9807


Dr. Dreelin received her PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2004. Her research focuses on sustainable development and innovative stormwater management practices to protect aquatic ecosystems. Dr. Dreelin’s work also has a strong emphasis on outreach. She works with local governments to revise building codes in order to improve land development practices and to encourage low impact development and Smart Growth techniques.


CWS Alumni

Melissa M. Baustian, PhD

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Dr. Baustian received her PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in 2011. Her research focuses on the impacts of anthropogenic stressors, including nutrient enrichment, eutrophication and hypoxia to aquatic ecosystems.  Dr. Baustian interests include studying the benthos and how the benthic-pelagic coupling processes and food web dynamics are affected by these stressors. Dr. Baustian is currently investigating the impacts of nutrient enrichment on the benthic-pelagic coupling mechanisms in lakes.  She is also collaborating with other researchers at the Center for Water Sciences, including Dr. Mavrommati to develop a system dynamic model to link aquatic and socioeconomic systems to better understand sustainable use of water resources.



Peter C. Esselman, PhD

Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Esselman received his PhD in Aquatic Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan in 2009. His research focuses on understanding how natural and anthropogenic landscape factors influence fishes and aquatic ecological conditions, and how this knowledge can be used to inform resource management. Dr. Esselman’s work spans geographic scales, from global to single watersheds, in the neotropics and North America. Specific areas of interest include multi-scale determinants of fish community patterns, application of statistical models to spatial decision support, and spatial optimization of management activities. He is currently collaborating with other CWS scientists to explore tradeoffs between ecological condition and ecosystem services along anthropogenic stressor gradients, and he is fostering new collaborations with CWS faculty to address pressing resource management needs in the United States and the tropics.



Georgia Mavrommati, PhD

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Dr. Mavrommati received her PhD in Ecological Economics and Sustainable development from Panteion University (Greece) in 2011. Her research focuses on defining operational conditions for achieving ecologically sustainable economic development in order to ensure intergenerational welfare. Specifically, the main research interest of Dr. Mavrommati is to identify how human and natural systems interact and sustainably coexist. She is also collaborating with other researchers at the Center for Water Sciences, including Dr. Baustian to develop a Bio-economic  systems dynamic model to link aquatic and socioeconomic systems to better understand sustainable use of water resources.



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Faculty Members

An alphabetical list of faculty members is provided below. Click here for a searchable database of our members.





Evangelyn Alocilja, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
204 Farrall Hall
Expertise: Development of biosensors, biomimetic sensors, and bioelectronic devices; Applications: Homeland security, food and environmental safety (biosafety), point-of-care diagnostics

Mark Axelrod , Fisheries and Wildlife
1A Natural Resources Building / 362 North Case Hall
517-353-8607 / 517-432-5237
Expertise: International and comparative environmental law/agreements/negotiations, Biodiversity law/politics, international institutions, environmental politics and governance, South Asia

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Sandra Batie, Elton R. Smith Chair in Food & Agricultural Policy
Agricultural Economics
204 Agriculture Hall
517 355-4705
Expertise: environmental economics, environmental policy

Janice A. Beecher, Institute of Public Utilities
Political Science and Law
240 Nisbet Building
Expertise:  Structure and regulation of the U.S. water industry; economic sustainability; cost allocation, pricing, and rate design and affordability; political and social considerations in the water sector; water-energy issues; and how water compares to energy utilities.

Stephen Boyd, Crop and Soil Sciences
532 Plant and Soil Sciences
Expertise: Environmental chemistry and microbiology, Sorption and degradation of organic contaminants, pesticides and metals in soils and sediments, Remediation of contaminated soils, subsoils and sediments

Mary Bremigan, Fisheries and Wildlife
13 Natural Resources

Expertise: Fisheries management, food web dynamics, recruitment in fishes

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Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Lyman Briggs School and Fisheries and Wildlife
Expertise: aquatic ecology, freshwater flora and fauna, ecosystem management, conservation, foodwebs, exotic species, limnology

Jongeun Choi, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
2459 Engineering
Expertise: Coordination of mobile sensor networks, Field estimation using Gaussian processes, Multi-agent systems for environmental monitoring, Controls, Parameter estimation.

Kuo-Chuan Chou, Animal Science and Food Safety/Toxicology
2209E Anthony Hall

James Cole, Center for Microbial Ecology
2225A BioMed Physical Sciences

Expertise: Ribosomal Database Project: Tools and Data for High Throughput rRNA Analysis

Alison M. Cupples, Civil and Environmental Engineering
A129 Research Complex Engineering
517- 432-3370
Expertise: biological degradation of contaminants such as chlorinated solvents and pesticides, using molecular methods to examine the presence and quantity of microorganisms able to tranform these compounds in situ (soil or water)

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Erin Dreelin, Center for Water Sciences
301 Manly Miles Building
1405 S. Harrison Rd.

Expertise: Stormwater management, low impact development, urban streams

Tracy Dobson, Fisheries and Wildlife
10C Natural Resources

Expertise: International environmental policy, Biodiversity policy, Gender and environment, Co-management of natural resources, Indigenous rights to natural resources

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Anne Ferguson, Anthropology, Women & International Development Program
206 International Center

Expertise: areas of development studies, gender, agricultural and environmental change, and medical anthropology.

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Stephen Gasteyer, Department of Sociology
316 Berkey Hall
Expertise: structures and processes that influence community level access to critical natural resources and capacity to manage those resources.

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Steve Hamilton, Kellogg Biological Station
3700 E Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners MI 49060
Expertise: ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, with particular attention to aquatic environments and the movement of water through landscapes.

Syed Hashsham, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
A126 Engineering School Complex

Expertise: environmental molecular biology and mathematical tools to address environmental engineering issues.

Dan Hayes, Fisheries and Wildlife
334C Natural Resources

Expertise: determining how fish habitat affects their population dynamics

David Hyndman, Department of Geological Sciences
111 Natural Science

Expertise: physical and chemical processes that influence groundwater flow and solute transport, and the factors that affect seismic and electromagnetic wave propagation.

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Dana Infante, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability
13 Natural Resources Building
Expertise: landscape effects on aquatic systems, hydrology and stream channel morphology, mechanistic controls on fluvial habitat, and environmental assessment

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Andrey Kalinichev, Departments of Chemistry and Geological Sciences

321 Chemistry Building
Phone: (517) 355-9715 ext.336
E-mail: kalinich{at}

Expertise: molecular modeling of water and aqueous solutions; physical and chemical properties of aqueous interfaces with natural and synthetic substrates; computational environmental geochemistry

Chris Klausmeier, Kellogg Biological Station
3700 E Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners MI 49060

Expertise: general principles that organize ecological communities and ecosystems.  We focus on phytoplankton and zooplankton, the microscopic plants and animals at the base of lake and ocean food webs. 

Daniel Kramer, James Madison College and Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
370 North Case Hall
Tel: (517) 432-2199
Fax: (517) 432-1804
Expertise: resource economics, conservation biology, environmental policy, biodiversity, resilience, social capital

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Hui Li, Crop and Soil Science
584C Plant and Soil Sciences

Shu-Guang Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering
A133 Engr Rsch Complex

Expertise: Methods for characterizing groundwater contamination at hazardous waste sites, with emphasis on the integration of simulation models and field data.

Arika Ligmann-Zielinska, Geography and Environmental Science and Policy Program

116 Geography Building


Expertise: Modeling, human decision making, land use change, Spatial Decision Support Systems, spatial analysis, environmental geography and sustainability, and water resource use.

Elena Litchman, Kellogg Biological Station
3700 E Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners MI 49060
Expertise: Aquatic ecology; community ecology; limnology; phytoplankton ecology, physiology and evolution; biogeochemical impacts of phytoplankton; global change

Dave Long, Department of Geological Sciences
141 Natural Science

Expertise: understanding and modeling the geochemical (bio/inorganic/isotopic) state and evolution of aquatic systems.

David P. Lusch, Ph.D., GISP
Senior Research Specialist
Remote Sensing & GIS Research and Outreach Services
Department of Geography
Michigan State University
212 Geography Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824-1117
phone:  517 / 355-8497
fax:    517 / 353-1821
Expertise: Glacial geomorphology, remote sensing, GIS, agricultural and natural resource management, mesoscale hydrogeology.

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Linda Mansfield, Large Animal Clinical Sciences
B43 Food Safety

Expertise: understand the infectious process whereby parasites gain access to and cause disease in their hosts.

Phanikumar Mantha, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geological Sciences
A130 Engr Rsch Complex

Expertise: reactive transport and the fate of contaminants in surface water and groundwater, bioremediation, subsurface characterization, and environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics including limnologic and riverine hydrodynamics, turbulent flows, and flows through porous media.

Terence Marsh, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
6171 Biomed Phys Sciences

Expertise: new approach for generating profiles of microbial communities referred to as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP).

Susan Masten, Civil and Environmental Engineering
A132 Engr Rsch Complex

Expertise: Use of chemical oxidants for the remediation of soils, water, and leachates contaminated with hazardous organic chemicals.

Brian Maurer, Fisheries and Wildlife
42B Natural Resources

Expertise: Macroecology, Biogeography, Quantitative Ecology

Richard Merritt, Zoology
245 Natural Science

Expertise: Ecology, immature aquatic insects; feeding behavior of filter feeding aquatic insects, biomonitoring of streams and rivers

Joseph Messina, Geography
206 Geography Building

Expertise: landscape and human ecology, landscape epidemiology, computational pattern metrics, computer simulations, and complexity theory.

Victoria McGuffin, Chemistry
318 Chemistry

Expertise: theory and practice of capillary liquid chromatography and electrophoresis, particularly the direct on-column examination of retention and dispersion processes by laser-based techniques.

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Pat Noris, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies
207 Natural Resources
Expertise: natural resource economics; natural resource policy; natural resource conservation.

William Northcott, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
218 Farrall Hall
Expertise: Watershed Hydrology, Agricultural Drainage, Non-Point Source Pollution, Geographic Information Systems.

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Nathaniel E. Ostrom, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Zoology

203 Natural Sciences Building


Expertise: biogeochemistry of soils, lakes and oceans; application of stable isotopes, particularly
those of C and N to resolving biogeochemical cycles within a variety of environments; N and P cycling in the Great Lakes; the role of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico; the importance of microbial N cycling in Lake Vida, Antarctica

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Nigel Paneth, Human Medicine and Epidemiology
B636 W Fee Hall

Expertise: causes and prevention of childhood neurodevelopmental handicap, especially cerebral palsy.

Scott Peacor, Fisheries & Wildlife
10D Natural Resources
Expertise: the study of aquatic ecosystems and the development of mathematical frameworks to understand species interactions and their consequences to food web structure and dynamics

Hellen Pollard, Anthropology
E25 E McDonel Hall

Expertise: human ecology and the emergence and evolution of social, political and economic inequality.

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Jiaguo Qi, Geography
208 Geography Bldg

Expertise: Application of remote sensing, GIS, and spatial analysis tools to natural resources management

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Dawn Reinhold, Biosystems Engineering
205 Farall Hall
Expertise: Wetlands, emerging contaminants, phytoremediation, ecological engineering

Joan Rose, Fisheries and Wildlife
13 Natural Resources Bldg
Expertise: Water quality, wastewater microbiology, public health.

Brian Roth, Fisheries and Wildlife
13 Natural Resources Bldg
Expertise: Aquatic food web ecology, trophic interactions between native and invasive species, spatially-explicit, fish, crayfish, lakes, bioenergetics

Robert Roth, Pharmacy and Toxicology and Food Safety/Toxicology
221 Food Safety

Expertise: Mechanisms of lung and liver injury from toxic chemicals; role of blood neutrophils, platelets and coagulation in organ injury.

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Steven I. Safferman, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
202 Farrall Hall
Expertise: nutrient management

Tao Sang, Department of Plant Biology
237 Plant Biology
Expertise: rice, Oryza, annual, perennial, adaptation, genetics

Orlando Sarnelle, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife
163A Natural Resources Bldg.
Expertise: algal toxins, plankton ecology, biological limnology

Kim Scribner, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife
13 Natural Resources Building
Phone: 517-353-3288
Expertise: population ecology, ecological genetics, conservation biology, fish recruitment, fisheries management, aquaculture, landscape genetics, behavioral ecology

Pat Soranno, Department of Fisheries & Wildlife
9B Natural Resources Bldg.
Expertise: (1) The effects of land use on lake nutrients and biological communities; (2) Development of a landscape-context paradigm for lake ecosystems; and (3) The application of a landscape-context paradigm to lake classification, assessment, and management.

R. Jan Stevenson, Zoology
203 Natural Science

Expertise: algal taxonomy and ecology to test ecological theory and to develop approaches for solving environmental problems.

Greg Swain, Chemistry
314 Chemistry

Expertise: Analytical Chemistry and Materials Science; electroanalytical chemistry; electrochemical reaction mechanisms; new electrode materials; spectroscopic and microscopic probes of solid-liquid interfaces; flow injection analysis and separation science coupled with electrochemical detection.

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Xiaobo Tan, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
2120 Engineering Building
Expertise: Robotic fish, mobile sensing of aquatic environment, control of autonomous robots.

Volodymyr Tarabara, Environmental Engineering
A132 Engineering Research Complex
Expertise: physicochemical processes in environmental engineering, membrane-based separations, colloidal and interfacial phenomena

Brian Teppen, Crop and Soil Sciences
538 Plant and Soil Sciences

Expertise: soil chemist with a passion for understanding molecular-scale structures of soil colloids and their interfaces with environmental solutions.

James M.Tiedje, Crop and Soil Sciences
540E Plant and Soil Sciences
Expertise: understand the ecology, physiology and biochemistry of microbial processes important in nature and of value to industry.

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Brad Upham, National Food Safety Center
243 Food Safety

Expertise: determining the cellular mechanisms by which nutrition, oxidative stress, and environmental & food borne contaminants affect cell proliferative, differentiation and apoptotic processes that ultimately cumulates into states of human diseases such as cancer.

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Remke L. van Dam, Geological Sciences
206 Natural Science
Expertise: application and improvement of near-surface geophysical methods for hydrological and engineering problems, issues of environmental change, and archeology.

Tom Voice, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
A125 Engr Rsch Complex

Expertise: Environmental engineering; waste management.

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Irene Xagoraraki, Civil and Environmental Engineering
A136 Research Complex Engineering
Expertise: Detection, removal and inactivation of emerging biological and
chemical contaminants in drinking water.

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Robert Walker, Geography
234 Geography Bldg

Expertise: Deforestation, GIS systems, environmental impacts

Chris Waters , Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
5180 Biomedical and Physical Sciences

Expertise: chemical signaling in Vibrio cholerae, development of new methods to treat bacterial infections, bacterial biofilm formation

Lois Wolfson, Institute of Water Research and Department of Fisheries & Wildlife
101 Manly Miles
Expertise: Lake Ecology; lake management; wetlands ecology

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Chengfeng Yang, Department of Physiology, Center for Integrative Toxicology
4171 Biomedical Physical Sciences, East
517-355-6475 x 1139

Catherine Yansa, Geography
227 Geography Bldg

Expertise: Quaternary paleoenvironments (paleobotany, specifically pollen and plant macrofossil analyses); plant geography; people-environment; paleoethnobotany.

Vince Young, Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases Division and Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
B42 Food Safety

Expertise: role of what would traditionally be considered "pathogenic bacteria" in gastrointestinal illness.

Sang Seon Yun, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
13B Natural Resources Building
Expertise: Chemical ecology of aquatic organisms; fish physiology; natural product chemistry

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Wei Zang, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
516 Plant and Soil Sciences Building
517-355-0271 x 1244

Expertise: movement of water, solutes (e.g., nutrients, agrochemicals, and environmental toxics), and fine particles such as microorganisms, abiotic colloids, and engineered nanomaterials in soil profile and groundwater, nanotechnology, sustainable agriculture production, transport processes

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