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Freshwater science to inform policy

We study aquatic ecosystems--almost exclusively inland freshwaters. We are particularly interested in the availability of three essential building blocks of life: phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon. We design field studies and perform experiments to help understand how altering levels of these elements in isolation and coupled with potential contaminants may cause detrimental and even irreversible damage to ecosystems in which we rely on for water, food, and recreation. Along the way, we make discoveries that contribute to our "textbook" understanding of our planet. In academic terms, we span the boundary of basic and applied science.


TITAN has been updated on CRAN (the R comprehensive archive network) and can be installed using one of dozens of CRAN mirrors from anywhere in the world. TITAN has been applied in ~140 studies since it was first published in 2010, with more users every year. This update is intended to make diagnostics more straightforward in addition to faster processing times.
King and his lab group will be funded for at least a second year to study the effects of headwater streams on downstream ecosystems in Alaska. The award, from the Alaska State Wildlife Fund and US FWS, totals $97,000 for fiscal year 2018.
Caleb Robbins, a PhD student in the Aquatic Ecology lab, published his first paper in Ecosphere, a rigorous journal of the Ecological Society of America. Congrats, Caleb!
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.
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 just wrapped up. Download the final report and view 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