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In this Section

Michael R. Twiss
Professor and Executive Officer
, Great Rivers Center
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology
Department of Biology
167 Science Center
Clarkson University
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805

Google Scholar Web site
Phone: 315-268-2359
Fax: 315-268-7118

Ph.D., Université du Québec - Limnology (1996)

Courses taught

BY431 & 432 / 531 & 532 Limnology (Aquatic Ecology)
BY320 / 322 Microbiology and Laboratory
BY312 / EV 312 Adirondack Ecology and Environmental Science
BY330/EV330 Great Lakes Water Protection

Research Interests
Interactions of microbes with chemicals (nutrients, toxic substances) in the water column of lakes and rivers and the use of advanced technologies for assessing phytoplankton community structure and health as well as algal-derived biofuel production. Studies focus on the Laurentian Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River ecosystems, and involve work on both research vessels and in the laboratory using organisms isolated from these environments. 
Research publications (last 5 years)

Twiss, M.R., Smith, D.E., Cafferty, E.M., and Carrick, H.J.  2014.  Phytoplankton growth dynamics in offshore Lake Erie during mid-winter. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 40: 449–454.

Kring, S.A, Figary, S.E., Boyer, G.L, Watson, S.B. and Twiss, M.R.  2014. Rapid in situ measures of phytoplankton communities using the bbe FluoroProbe: evaluation of spectral calibration, instrument intercompatibility and performance range.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 71(7): 1087-1095.

Wilhelm, S. W., LeCleir, G.R., Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M., Saxton, M.A., Twiss, M.R., Bourbonniere, R.A.  2013.  Seasonal changes in microbial community structure and activity imply winter production linked to summer hypoxia in a large lake system. FEMS Microbiology Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12238

Binding, C.E., Greenberg, T.A., Bukata, R.P., Smith, D.E. and Twiss, M.R.  2012.  The MERIS MCI and its potential for satellite detection of winter diatom blooms on ice-covered Lake Erie.  Journal of Plankton Research, 34: 569-573.

Havens, S.M., Hassler, C.S., North, R.L., Guildford, S.L., Silsbe, G., Wilhelm, S.W., and Twiss, M.R.  2012. Iron plays a role in nitrate drawdown by phytoplankton in Lake Erie surface waters as observed in lake wide assessments. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 69:(2) 369-381.

Jin, Z., Harvey, A.M., Mailloux, S., Halámek, J. ,Bocharova, V., Twiss, M.R., Katz, E. 2012.  Electrochemically stimulated release of lysozyme from alginate matrix cross-linked with iron cations.  Journal of Materials Chemistry, 22: 19523-19528.

Twiss, M.R. and Marshall, N.F. 2012. Tributary impacts on nearshore surface water quality detected during a late summer circumnavigation along the 20 m isopleth of Lake Ontario.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 38:99-104.

Twiss, M.R. and Smith, D.E. 2012.  Size-fractionated phytoplankton growth and microzooplankton grazing rates in the upper St. Lawrence River.  River Research and Applications, 28: 1047-1053. 

Twiss, M.R., McKay, R.M.L., Bourbonniere, R.A., Bullerjahn, G.S., Carrick, H.J., Smith, R.E.H., Winter, J.G., D’souza, N., Furey, P.C., Lashaway, A.R., Saxton, M.A., and Wilhelm, S.W.  2012. Diatoms abound in ice-covered Lake Erie: An investigation of offshore winter limnology in Lake Erie over the period 2007 to 2010.  Journal of Great Lakes Research,  38:18-30.

Twiss, M.R., Ulrich, C., Zastepa, A., and Pick, F.R. 2012. On phytoplankton growth and loss rates in the epilimnion and metalimnion of Lake Ontario in mid-summer.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 38:146-153.

Twiss, M.R. 2011. Variations in chromophoric dissolved organic matter and its influence on the use of pigment-specific fluorimeters in the Great Lakes.  Journal of Great Lakes Research, 37: 124-131.

Marty, J., Twiss, M.R., Ridal, J.J., de Lafontaine, Y., and Farrell, J.M.  2010.  From the Great Lakes flows a Great River: Overview of the St. Lawrence River ecology supplement.  Hydrobiologia, 647: 1-5.

Twiss, M.R., Ulrich, C., Kring, S., Harold, J., and Williams, M.R. 2010.  Plankton dynamics along a 180 km reach of the Saint Lawrence River from its headwaters in Lake Ontario.  Hydrobiologia, 647: 7-20.

Zananski, T.J., Twiss, M.R. and Mihuc, T.B.  2010.  Use of fluorimetry to evaluate atrazine toxicity to phytoplankton communities. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, 13:56-65.

Other publications (reviews)
Twiss, M.R. and Ridal, J.J. (Eds.). 2011. Great Lakes Research Review: The Saint Lawrence River: Flowing towards Regional Governance. Great Lakes Research Consortium, Syracuse, NY, Volume 8, 55 pp.

Current Graduate Students

  • Anthony Russo, M.S. candidate in Environmental Science and Engineering, thesis topic: Remote sensing of the Upper Saint Lawrence River

Undergraduates Active in Research Lab 

  • Faith Neff (Environmental Resource Engineering, Humboldt State University; Summer NSF REU intern): Water quality sensor array installation on the Moses-Saunders power dam.
  • Lindsay Avolio (Biology): Water quality sensor array maintenance on the St. Lawrence River.
  • Gabrielle Pawlowski (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering): Phytoplankton evaluation.