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In this Section

Michael R. Twiss
Associate Professor
, Great Rivers Center
Associate Editor, Journal of Phycology
Department of Biology
167 Science Center
Clarkson University
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699-5805

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

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

Courses taught
BY431/531 Limnology (Aquatic Ecology)
BY332/320 Microbiology and Laboratory
BY402 Botany
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. 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. This research is at the interface between microbial plankton ecology and analytical chemistry.

Research publications (last 5 years)

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.

Adams, R.M., Twiss, M.R. and Driscoll, C.T.  2009. Patterns of mercury accumulation among seston in lakes of the Adirondack Mountains, New York.  Environmental Science and Technology 43: 4836-4842.

Hassler, C.S., Havens, S.M., Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M.L., and Twiss, M.R.  2009.  An evaluation of iron speciation in western Lake Superior measured using combined physical, chemical and biological assessment. Limnology & Oceanography 54: 987-1001.

Becker, R.H., Sultan, M.I., Boyer, G. L., Twiss, M.R., Konopko, E.  2009.  Mapping cyanobacterial blooms in the Great Lakes using MODIS.  Journal of Great Lakes Research 35: 447-453.

Hassler, C.S., Twiss, M.R., Simon, D.F., and Wilkinson, K.J. 2008. Porous Underwater Chamber (PUC) for in-situ determination of nutrient and pollutant bioavailability to microorganisms.  Limnology & Oceanography: Methods 6: 277-287.

North, R.L., S.J. Guildford, R.E.H. Smith, M.R. Twiss and H.J. Kling. 2008.  Nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron colimitation of phytoplankton communities in the nearshore and offshore regions of the African Great Lakes. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 30: 259-264.

Twiss, M.R. and MacLeod, I.R.  2008.  Phytoplankton community assessment in eight Lake Ontario tributaries made using fluorimetric methods. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 11: 422-431.

Intwala, A., Patey, T.D., Polet, D.M., and Twiss, M.R.  2008.  Nutritive substitution of zinc by cadmium and cobalt in phytoplankton isolated from the Lower Great Lakes.  Journal of Great Lakes Research 34: 1-11.

Gouvêa, S.P., Boyer, G.L., and Twiss, M.R.  2008.  Influence of ultraviolet radiation, copper, and zinc on microcystin content in Microcystis aeruginosa (Cyanobacteria).  Harmful Algae 17: 194-205.

Hassler, C.S., Chafin, R.D., Klinger, M.B., and Twiss, M.R. 2007.  Application of the Biotic Ligand Model to explain potassium interaction with thallium uptake and toxicity to plankton.  Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  26: 1139-1145.

Mioni, C.E., Pakulski, D.J., Poorvin, L., Baldwin, A., Twiss, M.R., Jeffrey, W.H., and Wilhelm, S.W.  2007. Variability in the in situ bioavailability of Fe to bacterioplankton communities in the eastern subtropical Pacific Ocean.  Aquatic Microbial Ecology.  46: 239-251.

North, R. L., S. J. Guildford, R. E. H. Smith, S. M. Havens, and M. R. Twiss. 2007. Evidence for phosphorus, nitrogen, and iron colimitation of phytoplankton communities in Lake Erie. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 315-328.

Twiss, M.R.  2007.  Wither the St. Lawrence River? Journal of Great Lakes Research.  33: 693-698.

Gouvêa, S.P., Melendez, C., Carberry, M.J., Bullerjahn,  G.S., Wilhelm, S.W., Langen, T.A. and Twiss, M.R.  2006. Assessment of phosphorus-microbe interactions in Lake Ontario by multiple techniques.  Journal of Great Lakes Research  32: 455-470.

Hassler, C.S., and Twiss, M.R. 2006.  Bioavailability of iron sensed by a phytoplanktonic Fe-bioreporter.  Environmental Science and Technology  40: 2544-2551.

Hassler, C.S., Twiss, M.R., McKay, R.M.L., and Bullerjahn, G.S.  2006.  Optimization of iron-dependent cyanobacterial (Synechococcus, Cyanophyceae) bioreporters to measure iron bioavailability.  Journal of Phycology 42: 324-335.

Twiss, M.R.,  Langen, T.A., Giroux, M.G., Johns, S.M., Liddle, N.E., Snyder, A.R., Zeleznock, D.P., and Wojcik.  J.  2006.  Land use influence on water quality in the Saint Regis River.  Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies. 13: 26-32.

Current Graduate Students

Stefanie Kring, M.S. candidate in Basic Science, thesis topic: biofuel production Derek Smith, M.S. candidate in Environmental Science and Engineering, thesis topic: winter plankton growth in Lake Erie and links to summertime hypoxia

Undergraduates Active in Research Lab 

Bethann Parmlee (Civ. Env, Eng, Clarkson Univ.), project: Growing algae for biofuel on landfill leachate
Katie Carrol (Biology, Samford Univ.), NSF REU intern: Influences of shoals on plankton in the St. Lawrence Rive