I am an evolutionary ecologist that studies unique life histories of aquatic invertebrates in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. My work focuses on how reproductive behaviors and habitat use influence rates and patterns of divergence. In freshwater, I use long-lived dormant stages of crustaceans found in sediments to help reconstruct land-use change and aquatic food web changes over time. I also study how light impacts feeding and reproductive behaviors of zooplankton. In marine systems, I study bioluminescent ostracods that use light for both defense and courtship displays.

Dr. Gretchen Gerrish



My Trout Lake summer intern, Julia Buskirk (UW-Madison), and I are sampling the vertical distribution of zooplankton in nearby Crystal Lake for an entire lunar cycle. We hypothesize that bright moonlight will change the migratory behavior of some species of zooplankton and may impact different ages of zooplankton in different ways. Bases on our findings, we hope to contribute information for trophic models applied to lake systems. 


I started my new position as director of Trout Lake Station for the Center of Limnology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison! Jumping right into a bustling summer field season with all the undergraduate, graduate and PI researchers at the field station has led to a quick transition. I am excited to be a part of the nature-led inquiry and training taking place within this vibrant community of people. 


© 2016 Gerrish Lab

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