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Freshwater science to inform policy

We are an academic research laboratory interested in fundamental questions relevant to freshwater science but apply our understanding of aquatic ecosystems to model and predict how human alterations may affect key ecosystem processes. Most of our research is geared toward supporting the development of numeric environmental criteria.


For more than three decades a legal dispute raged between Oklahoma and Arkansas over acceptable phosphorus levels in the scenic waterways along the Illinois River. The issue eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992. Now, a three-year study conducted by Baylor biology professor Ryan S. King recently helped settle the long-standing dispute.
Members of a two-state panel completed on Monday what was described as the "monumental" task of identifying a scientifically defensible phosphorus standard for Oklahoma's scenic rivers.
Dr. Ryan S. King, the Baylor University professor who is leading a two-year stressor-response study of the Illinois River Basin, presented on Tuesday data that will be used to make that determination.
A recent study by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers found that a popular herbicide does not appear to have a long-term, measurable impact on aquatic plant life.
Research Spotlight

We were selected by a joint committee from Oklahoma and Arkansas to conduct a multi-year study to determine a threshold level of phosphorus for the Designated Scenic Rivers of Oklahoma. The $600,000 study runs through 2016. Click HERE for a photo gallery and video clips from the study!


Contact Information

Ryan S. King, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of Biology
One Bear Place #97388
Waco, TX 76798-7388

Office location: BSB C.414
Lab location: BSB C.453R

Office telephone: 254.710.2150
Lab telephone: 254.710.2372