top of page
IMG_3044 2.JPG



Why lakes turn green: Researchers will take a deep dive into the health of North America's freshwater lakes

“Ice duration and ice cover set the stage for all kinds of biological and ecological processes in lakes,” said Oleksy. “We’re seeing winter conditions—specifically ice cover duration—change very rapidly all over the world, including Colorado. But because we mostly take measurements from lakes in the summer, we have a pretty poor understanding of what this loss of winter means for ecosystem processes in lakes.”

read more here

Mohonk Lake is getting warmer and more stagnant with climate change

Lakes around the world are getting warmer, which is bad news for cold water fish species and freshwater quality. This is because changes in water temperature shift in-lake processes that can affect the health of the system. Understanding how lake temperature is changing, and how these changes influence lake functioning, is key to maintaining healthy lakes into the future.

In a new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters,  co-author David Richardson and I analyzed 35-years of temperature data for Mohonk Lake, a small headwater lake on New York’s Shawangunk Ridge. We found that lake stratification is getting longer and stronger due to climate change, and year-to-year variability in lake mixing is associated with global climate trends.

Here, the Cary Institute communications team interviewed me and we discussed the importance of lake mixing, what a longer stratified period means for lake processes, and how global climate patterns affect Mohonk Lake.


Photo credit: David Richardson

Reconstructing algal ecology with novel genetic biomarkers

Last year I was paired with an undergraduate mentee, Mitch Ralson, through the Skills for Undergraduate Participation in Ecological Research (SUPER) program. We are looking at changes in algal communities inferred by sedimentary algal DNA remains. Read more about this exciting new project in Mitch's EcoPress blog post! Link here or click the image to the left.

When there's something strange in your water...

I was a Sustainability Leadership Fellow through the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State in 2016-2017. This program exposed the fellows to training exercises in science communication in different forms, from radio interviews to audio-visual media to blogging. Click the photo to the right to read my piece on algae in alpine lakes, and what we have learned about the ecological history of Sky Pond through the analysis of lake sediment cores. 


Can we use LandSat imagery to monitor lake phytoplankton biomass through space and time?

In a collaboration with the NASA Develop Program at Colorado State University, four recent college graduates embarked on a 10-week project to assess the feasibility of estimating lake productivity in small, remote mountain lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park using Landsat imagery and in situ phytoplankton chlorophyll a measurements. Although there are some limitations to this approach, the preliminary results are promising.

The video of the left is an overview of the project. In the future, this may prove to be a useful tool in assessing changes in lake productivity over space and time, since Landsat is the longest continuously acquired collection of remote sensing data in the world.

Why climate change may spell trouble for Rocky Mountain National Park lakes

Dr. Jill Baron was recently interviewed by Grace Hood of Colorado Public Radio about our work in Rocky Mountain National Park. For a link to the original interview and article, click here

"It’s so very important to know whether it’s climate change, or honestly global change, which is the interaction of climate warming with all the other factors that could affect algae."
- Dr. Jill S. Baron

Copyright: CPR Radio/Grace Hood

Periphyton” or “algae that grows on rocks”?
​Lessons learned from field work in Rocky Mountain National Park

Read my reflections on my first summer of field work that I conducted in Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the country. This blog post was a contribution to EcoPress, a student-run blog that highlights the work of scientists in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. 

bottom of page