Success Stories in Lake Research

Joseph Mohan

MS Graduate Fall 2015 - Spring 2017 - Joe's research explored the paleoecology and taxonomy of diatomites from the East African Rift as part of the HSPDP. He is currently a PhD student at UMaine (Saros' Lab).

Jared Foster

Undergraduate Student Researcher Spring 2013 - Summer 2014 (graduated 2014)
MS Graduate Student Fall 2015 - Summer 2017 - Jared's research as an undergraduate included coring multiple lakes and counting diatoms from cores collected in Dobbs Park. Jared was a SURE participant in the summer of 2013. Jared's MS research involved the diatom analyses of two lakes in Newberry Crater (Oregon). Jared is currently a field geologist for Creek Run Environmental Engineering.

Sabrina Brown Sabrina's Website

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2012 - Spring 2014 (graduated 2014)
Summer 2014 - Summer 2016 (Graduated 2016) - Sabrina received a B.S. in Science Ed and EES and an M.S. in Earth and Quaternary Science. Her thesis work included reconstructing fire ecology within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem using dendrochronology, macroscopic charcoal, and fossil diatoms. Sabrina received the college-level graduate student of the year and university-level Ethos Awards at Indiana State. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jase Hixson

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2012 (Graduated 2012)
MS Student Fall Spring 2013 - Spring 2015 (Graduated Spring 2015): Jase graduated in 2012 with a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences concentrating in geoscience. Jase's MS research explored how nutrients cycle through lake systems in order to track eutrophication through a series of nine interconnected kettle lakes in Chain O’ Lakes State Park.Jase received the graduate student of the year and university-level Ethos Awards at Indiana State. Jase is currently working on his PhD at Indiana University.

Kendra Reininga

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2013 - Spring 2015 (Graduated Spring 2015) Kendra majored in Earth and Environmental Science with a concentration in Geoscience.  She was primarily interested in hydrogeology.  She completed research on the Lenape Reservoir sediment cores, collected in the spring of 2014 from Shakamak State Park. This research explores the impact of landscape use on three interconnected impoundments over the last 60 years by using changes in fossil diatom assemblages. Kendra currently works for Creek Run Environmental Engineering.

Saundra Smart

Undergraduate Student Researcher 2012-2013 (Graduated Spring 2013):The effect of acid mine drainage on diatom diversity in West Little Sugar Creek, Indiana. Saundra graduated in 2013 and is currently a MS graduate student at Indiana State, working on research exploring Euglena in Sandra Brake's lab.

Cristiane Bahi dos Santos

Visiting Scholar Fall 2013 - Summer 2014 - Cristiane was a visiting scholar from Porto Alegre, Brazil. She visited ISU as part of an exchange program. She works with both freshwater and marine diatoms. Her project involved the reconstruction of sea level from Lagoa dos Patos, Brazil by analyzing a series of marine and freshwater cores in estuarine environments. Cristiane completed her PhD in the Fall 2015 and is currently working in Brazil.

Former Students

Emily Brana

Joined Spring 2016 - Emily analyzed diatom samples from Devil's Lake and is currently looking at materials from Lake Ohau, New Zealand.

Casey Boose

Undergraduate Student Researcher Spring 2014 - Summer 2014: Casey assisted with field work on modern diatoms from the Wabash Valley and helped process the core collected from St. Mary of the Woods.

Sarah Brinkmann

Undergraduate Student Researcher 2012-2013: Diatoms of Green Valley Lake, Indiana - explored the environmental impact of AMD on this system, analyzed the spatial distribution of diatoms in the lake and sediments, and used results to help determine how AMD has influenced the structure of the diatom community and provide a baseline measurement for the modern lake system so that the long-term resilience could be analyzed in future studies.

Kenneth Cleghorn

Undergraduate Student Researcher Spring 2013 - Summer 2013: A paleolimnological study of Maple Avenue Nature Park’s pond, Indiana - his research explored the eutrophication history of an urban pond in a renovated park that was once used as a waste dump. His results showed that the pond was surprisingly healthy, considering the history of the area - there was very little evidence of pollution in the modern system. Ken was a SURE participant in the summer of 2013.

Ellie Gaskill

SURE Scholar Spring 2015 - Summer 2016Ellie was a SURE participant in 2015 and 2016. She contributed to creating a diatom calibration dataset for the Wabash Valley and the bathymetry of Scott Lake.

Jordan Hargis

Joined Fall 2015 - Spring 2017 - Jordan worked on the charcoal analysis of Long Lake, Indiana (part of the Chain O Lakes system). He also assisted with developing the diatom taxonomy image database for the lab.

Alan McCune

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2012 - Spring 2014 - Alan was a SURE student participant and he worked on two lake research projects including the history of Lake Shakamak and the diatom history of Island Lake, WY. Alan currently is doing research in Dr. Brake's lab at ISU.

Erica Memmer

SURE Scholar Spring 2014 - Summer 2015 - Erica is a pre-med student with an interest in environmental science. She is currently working on development of a diatom calibration dataset for lakes in the greater Wabash Valley region and is helping to collect weekly diatom and water chemistry monitoring data for the Wabash River. Erica was a participant in the SURE 2014 and 2015 programs at ISU and is currently finishing her BS in Biology at ISU.

Courtney Natt

SURE Scholar Spring 2015 - Summer 2016Courtney was a SURE participant in 2015 and 2016. She's contributed to creating a diatom calibration dataset for the Wabash Valley, worked on Otter Creek water quality, and did field work in the Beartooth Mountains.

Steven Onken

Joined Fall 2015 - Spring 2017 - Steven worked on the Otter Creek project and charcoal analysis for lakes in the Beartooth Mountains. He also did the preliminary analyses of diatoms from Izaak Walton Lake, just outside of Terre Haute, IN.

Cory Portwood

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2012 - Fall 2014 - Cory was an Environmental Science major with a geoscience concentration. He joined the lab with a heavy interest in caves and karst topography. He eventually have transitioned into reconstructing past pollution and flooding events of the Wabash River. Cory was the ISU Paleolimnology Lab's student lab assistant from the Spring 2013 through Fall 2014.

Shana Shepard

Undergraduate Student Researcher Fall 2013 - Spring 2015 (Graduated Spring 2015) Shana was a major in the Earth and Environmental Systems department. She did research exploring the eutrophication history of Chain O'Lakes State Park. She has also assisted on diatom research looking at the effect of the Toba volcanic eruption (~70 thousand years ago) on the diatoms of Lake Malawi. Her senior research project looked at the diatom history of Arm Pit (a remediated mining pit).

Nick Spendal

Undergraduate Student Researcher Spring 2016 - Fall 2016 - Nick analyzed some cores from Beartooth Lake, Wyoming for fossil diatom assemblages.