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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.


Dr. Ryan King, Department of Biology, Baylor University, will join several other investigators on a John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis Working Group, "Analyses of contaminant effects in freshwater systems: synthesizing abiotic and biotic stream datasets for long-term ecological research."

The objective will be to synthesize the >20 years of standardized hydrological, chemical, and ecological samples collected from streams and rivers across the U.S. to investigate how human activities have influenced stream ecosystems.
Stephen Cook successfully defended his dissertation, "Spatiotemporal Examination of Benthic Algal and Macroinvertebrate Assemblage Structure Across a Gradient of Phosphorus Enrichment" in May 2019 and officially graduated on August 19th, 2019 with a PhD in Biology. Congratulations, Stephen!
Stephen Cook's first publication, which was published in Ecology, has been recognized as one of the most downloaded in 2018. Ecology is the flagship journal of the Ecological Society of America and recognized as one of the top journals in the field.
Moncie Wright successfully defended her dissertation "Interactions Between Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle Exposure and Grazing Organisms on Periphyton Biomass and Community Composition" and graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology from Baylor University on Saturday, December 15, 2018, in the Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas.
Caleb Robbins successfully defended his dissertation, "From Landscapes to Streams: The Pattern and Function of Labile Dissolved Organic Carbon" in July 2018. Caleb graduated with the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology from Baylor University on August 11, 2018, in the Ferrell Center, Waco, Texas.
Research Spotlight

Low-level dissolved organic carbon (DOC) experimental subsidies drive a dramatic trophic upsurge in an Alaskan boreal stream....from microbes to salmonids! Congrats to Caleb Robbins, Alyse Yeager, Stephen Cook, and colleagues for publishing this novel experiment (see "Learn More")

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)


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