DNR faculty Lars Rudstam and associate Jim Watkins teamed up with the Center for Great Lakes Studies at Buffalo State College (Drs. Alexander Karatayev and Lyuba Burlakova) to study lower trophic levels (benthos, zooplankton, mysids, algae) in all of the Laurentian Great Lakes from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario. Funding is through EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and is for five years. In addition to monitoring lower trophic levels on annual research cruises with EPA’s Lake Guardian, the research team will study the deep chlorophyll layer that is increasing in importance in the lakes, the ecological role of mysid shrimps, the detection of invasive species, and the use of indices of biotic integrity. Of importance is also improved connection between lower trophic level assessment and fisheries management across the basin. Two technicians and two graduate students at Cornell and one technician and a graduate student at Buffalo State will team up with the PI in this new initiative. This work is a continuation of DNR and the Cornell Biological Field Station’s (CBFS) leadership in assessing and researching lower trophic levels in the Great Lakes; work that started with the collaborations between Bob O’Gorman at US Geological Survey and Ed Mills at CBFS almost 30 years ago. We are building on a firm foundation.
On Friday, January 11, Lars Rudstam, Pat Sullivan, and Paul Simonin led a workshop focused on rainbow smelt and alewife dynamics in Lake Champlain. Rainbow smelt are native to this lake, but alewife became established over the past six years, raising many questions as to how the lake’s ecology and fisheries may subsequently change. A simulation model was used at the workshop which allowed participants to consider the effect of alewife on rainbow smelt, and how various biophysical changes in the lake may affect the future distribution and abundance of rainbow smelt and alewife in Champlain.
The Cornell Biological Field Station (CBFS) Advisory Committee met on September 5, 2012. Cornell members of the committee include Marianne Krasny, Dan Decker, Bill Fisher, Sarah Gould, Rebecca Schneider, Nelson Hairston, Max Pfeffer, and Peter Paradise. External members are John Farrell (SUNY ESF), Jim Johnson (USGS) and Doug Stang (NYS DEC). The CBFS leadership team (Lars Rudstam, Randy Jackson, JoAnne Getchonis, and Brian Young) presented an overview of the previous year’s projects as well as a look at current and future projects and goals. Peter Paradise, Director of Facilities for CALS Facilities and Operational Services, reviewed building projects on the CBFS campus. Highlights included research being conducted on Oneida Lake and the Great Lakes. Detailed information on the CBFS program (www.cbfs.dnr.cornell.edu) and the annual report for 2011 (www.cbfs.dnr.cornell.edu/