Director, GLOBES; Professor, Biological Sciences
Area of Specialization
Stream and Wetland Ecology
The overall goal of Gary Lamberti's research program is to better understand the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems on a changing planet. Streams, rivers, and wetlands constitute some of the most physically and biologically dynamic components of the landscape. Along with being biodiversity hotspots, these ecosystems harbor some of the most essential elements for human existence, including water for consumption and industry, food in fisheries, nutrient and contaminant filtration, avenues for transportation, and recreational opportunities. Fish and wildlife use rivers and wetlands as nursery areas, corridors for migration, and foraging habitats. Many activities that occur on land, both natural and human-related, eventually are manifest in aquatic ecosystems. For example, watershed land-use change can alter hydrology, water chemistry, and organic matter inputs to streams, thereby impacting stream biota and human use. Wetland loss and alteration can negate the beneficial roles of wetlands for biological productivity and water quality improvement. Channelization and damming of rivers serves to separate these ecosystems from their integral watersheds and riparian wetlands. Introductions of exotic species to freshwater ecosystems, including fish, plants, and invertebrates, have had major impacts on native organisms and natural food webs. In addition, global drivers, such as climate change, threaten the integrity of all freshwater ecosystems.
Dr. Lamberti has over 170 publications, most of which have student co-authors, and has edited the Elsevier book entitled Methods in Stream Ecology. Dr. Lamberti is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past-President of the Society for Freshwater Science, the leading international society for river ecologists.