Thad Scott, PhD

Thad Scott, PhD
High Res Photo

Professor of Biology

Professional Experience

  • 2020 - present: Professor of Biology, Baylor University
  • 2016 - 2020: Associate Professor of Biology, Baylor University
  • 2014 - 2016: Associate Professor of Environmental Science,
    University of Arkansas
  • 2008 - 2014: Assistant Professor of Environmental Science,
    University of Arkansas
  • 2007 - 2008: Postdoc, University of Minnesota



  • B.S., Howard Payne University
  • M.S., Tarleton State University
  • Ph.D., Baylor University
  • Post-doc, University of Minnesota


Area of Research

  • Limnology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Water Quality


Courses Taught

  • BIO 1306 – Modern Concepts of Biology

  • BIO 3300 – Aquatic Systems Research

  • BIO  4199 – Scientific Communication

  • BIO 4405 – Limnology

  • BIO 5101 – Graduate Scientific Communication

  • BIO 5201 – Research Methods in Biology

  • BIO 5300 – Ecosystem Biogeochemistry


I grew up swimming and boating on the rivers and lakes of central Texas. But, as a first-generation college student, I had no idea that these waterbodies of my youth were filled with tiny green microorganisms that would inspire my passion for biology. It was late in my undergraduate education that I found that the intersection between ecology and water chemistry – the field of limnology. Finding limnology changed the trajectory of my life and now I hope that our work can inspire students to pursue their dreams. My research interests involve the interactions between microorganisms and their chemical environment, with a particular interest in the photosynthetic and heterotrophic microorganisms in lakes. Research projects in my lab often address how humans have altered the Earth in ways that impact the ecology and chemistry of lakes, and how these changes reciprocally influence human welfare.



Google Scholar Page


Selected Publications

(*Scott lab student or postdoc)

*Osburn, F.S., N.D. Wagner, and J.T. Scott. 2021. Biological stoichiometry and growth dynamics of a diazotrophic cyanobacteria in nitrogen sufficient and deficient conditions. Harmful Algae 103: 102011.

*Wagner, N.D., E. Quach*, S. Buscho*, A. Ricciardelli*, A. Kannan*, S. Win Naung*, G. Phillip*, B. Sheppard*, L. Ferguson*, A. Allen*, C. Sharon*, J.R. Duke, R.B. Taylor, B.J. Austin, J.K. Stovall*, B.E. Haggard, C.K. Chambliss, B.W. Brooks, and J.T. Scott. 2021. Nitrogen form, concentration, and micronutrient availability affect microcystin production in cyanobacterial blooms. Harmful Algae 103: 102002.

Evans-White, M.A., A. Smartt, H. Halvorson, S.A. Entrekin, and J.T. Scott. 2020. Leaf-litter stoichiometry and microbial phosphatase activity, respiration, and decomposition as phosphorus enrichment endpoints: a laboratory experiment. Freshwater Science 39: 665-679.

Taylor, J.M., A.R. Rodman*, and J.T. Scott. 2020. Stream algal biomass response to experimental phosphorus and nitrogen gradients: a case for dual nutrient management in agricultural watersheds. Journal of Environmental Quality 46: 140-151, doi: 10.2134/jeq2019.04.0180

Grover, J.P., J.T. Scott, D.L. Roelke, and B.W. Brooks. 2020. Dynamics of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria with heterocysts: A stoichiometric model. Freshwater and Marine Research 71: 644-658,

*Wagner, N.D., F.S. Osburn*, J. Wang*, R.B. Taylor, A.R. Boedecker*, B.W. Brooks, C.K. Chambliss, and J.T. Scott. 2019. Biological stoichiometry regulates toxin production in Microcystis aeruginosa (UTEX 2385). Toxins 11: 601.

Scott, J.T., M.J. McCarthy, and H.W. Paerl. 2019. Nitrogen transformations differentially affect nutrient-limited primary production in lakes of varying trophic state. Limnology and Oceanography Letters 4: 96-104.

*Baker, B.C., A.E. Wilson, and J.T. Scott. 2018. Phytoplankton N2 fixation efficiency at its effect on harmful algal blooms. Freshwater Science 37: 264-275.

Stelzer, R.S., and J.T. Scott. 2018. Predicting nitrate retention at the groundwater-surface water interface in sandplain streams. JGR Biogeosciences 123: 2824-2838. doi 10.1029/2018JG004423

*Speir, S.L., J.M. Taylor, and J.T. Scott. 2017. Seasonal differences in relationships between nitrate concentrations and denitrification rates in ditch sediments vegetated with rice cutgrass. Journal of Environmental Quality 46: 1500-1509.

*Rodman, A.R., and J.T. Scott. 2017. Comparing two periphyton collection methods commonly used for stream bioassessment and the development of numeric nutrient standards. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189: 360.

*West, A.O., and J.T. Scott. 2016. Black disk visibility, turbidity, and total suspended solids in rivers: A comparative evaluation. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 14: 658-667.

Paerl, H.W., J.T. Scott, M.J. McCarthy, S.E. Newell, W.S. Gardner, K.E. Havens, D.K. Hoffman, S.W. Wilhelm, and W.A. Wurtsbaugh. 2016. It takes two to tango: When and where dual nutrient reductions are needed to protect lakes and downstream ecosystems. Environmental Science and Technology 50: 10805-10813.

*West, A.O., J.M. Nolan, and J.T. Scott. 2016. Optical water quality and human perceptions of rivers: an ethnohydrology study. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability Volume 2 Issue 8:11 pages

*Halvorson, H., E.E. Scott*, S.A. Entrekin, M.A. Evans-White, and J.T. Scott. 2016. Interactive effects of light and dissolved phosphorus on leaf litter microbial metabolism and stoichiometry. Freshwater Biology 61: 1006-1019.

Scott, J.T. and B.E. Haggard. 2015. Implementation of effects-based water quality standards for eutrophication: Linking standard development and assessment methodology. Journal of Environmental Quality 44: 1503-1512.

Stelzer, R.S., J.T. Scott, and L.A. Bartsch. 2015. Buried particulate organic carbon stimulates denitrification and nitrate retention in stream sediments at the groundwater - surface water interface. Freshwater Science 34: 161-171.

*Grantz, E.M., B.E. Haggard, and J.T. Scott. 2014. Stoichiometric imbalance in rates of nitrogen and phosphorus retention, storage, and recycling perpetuate nitrogen deficiency in highly-productive reservoirs. Limnology and Oceanography 59: 2203-2216.

Scott, J.T., and E.M. Grantz*. 2013. N 2 fixation exceeds internal nitrogen loading as a phytoplankton nutrient source in perpetually nitrogen-limited reservoirs. Freshwater Science 32: 849-861.

Scott, J.T., M.J. McCarthy, T. Otten, M. Steffen, B.C. Baker*, E.M. Grantz*, S. Wilhelm, and H. Paerl. 2013. Comment: An alternative interpretation of the relationship between TN:TP and microcystin in Canadian lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70: 1265-1268.

Jarvie, H.P., A.N. Sharpley, J.T. Scott, B.E. Haggard, M.J. Bowes, and L.B. Massey. 2012. Within-river phosphorus retention: accounting for a missing piece in the watershed phosphorus puzzle. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 13248-13292.

Scott, J.T., J.B. Cotner, and T. LaPara. 2012. Variable stoichiometry and homeostatic regulation of bacterial biomass elemental composition. Frontiers in Microbiology 3: 1-8. DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00042

*Grantz, E.M., A. Kogo*, and J.T. Scott. 2012. Partitioning ecosystem-scale denitrification in three shallow reservoirs using in situ dinitrogen accumulation and intact core experiments. Limnology and Oceanography 57: 925-935.

*Drake, W.M., J.T. Scott, M. Evans-White, B.E. Haggard, A.N. Sharpley, C.W. Rogers*, and E.M. Grantz*. 2012. The effect of periphyton stoichiometry and light on biological phosphorus immobilization and release in streams. Limnology 13: 97-106.

J.T. Scott, B.E. Haggard, A.N. Sharpley, and J.J. Romeis. 2011. Changepoint analysis f phosphorus trends in the Illinois River (Oklahoma) demonstrates the effects of watershed management. Journal of Environmental Quality 40: 1249-1256.

Scott, J.T., and M.J. McCarthy. 2010. Nitrogen fixation may not balance the nitrogen pool of lakes over timescales relevant to eurotrophication management. Limnology and Oceanography 55: 1265-1270.

Paerl, H.W. and J.T. Scott. 2010. Throwing fuel on the fire: Synergistic effects of excessive nitrogen inputs and global climate change on harmful algal blooms. Environmental Science and Technology 44:7756-7758.

Cotner, J.B., E. Hall, J.T. Scott, and M. Heldal. 2010. Freshwater bacteria are stoichiometrically flexible and have a nutrient composition similar to seston. Frontiers in Microbiology 1: 1-11; DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2010.00132.

Department of Biology

B.207 Baylor Science Building
One Bear Place #97388
Waco, TX 76798-7388

(254) 710-2911