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Orlando Sarnelle

Office Location: 163A Natural Resources Building
Phone: 517-353-4819
Fax: 517-432-1699


Ph. D. - University of California, Santa Barbara.

M. S. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

B. S. - Rutgers University.


I am a limnologist and ecologist with relatively broad interests. A major theme in my research has been to understand the roles that interactions among aquatic populations (primarily phytoplankton and zooplankton) play in population and community dynamics within lakes. I am also interested in how these interactions impact the overall functioning of aquatic ecosystems. The approach that I take to questions relies very heavily on field experimentation, and I am very interested in assessing how well such experiments inform us about processes in nature.

Lately, we have been focusing most of our research attention on the ecology of cyanobacteria, the most important group of freshwater phytoplankton with respect to degradation of water quality in lakes and reservoirs. Harmful blooms of freshwater phytoplankton (so-called HABs) nearly always involve cyanobacteria, which produce a variety of compounds with acute and chronic toxicity to humans and other terrestrial animals.

I am a member of the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior program and the Center for Water Sciences at MSU, and an adjunct faculty member at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station. I am also a member of the Editorial Board of Ecology/Ecological Monographs.


FW364 Ecological Problem Solving (Spring)

ISP217 Water and the Environment

ISP217L Water and the Environment Laboratory

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