The Limnos on Lake MendotaThe Center for Limnology’s mission is to exemplify the Wisconsin Idea by providing new knowledge and information on aquatic ecosystems to the people of Wisconsin through research, education, outreach and public service.


We strive to facilitate and support research and teaching based around our facilities at the Hasler Laboratory of Limnology and Trout Lake Station. Our vision is to provide local, national, and international leadership and maintain excellence in the fields of limnology, aquatic ecology, and ecosystem science.

Today, the Center for Limnology operates two field stations, the  Hasler Laboratory of Limnology  located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and  Trout Lake Station  in the Northern Highland Lake District at Boulder Junction.

We boast a talented roster of graduate students and post docs, all working with our faculty to conduct world-class research in Wisconsin and around the globe.


Stephen Carpenter, Professor and Director

Research focus on the interaction of biogeochemistry and food web processes in lakes; prediction of lake characteristics from land-water interactions; and food web processes, including human effects such as fishing and introduction of exotic species.

Emily Stanley, Professor

Researches aquatic ecosystem ecology and human influences on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling and the linkages among aquatic ecosystems. Studies the interface between ecology, geomorphology, and hydrology, with focus on streams and rivers.

Jake Vander Zanden, Professor

Research interests include aquatic ecology, invasive species, and food webs. Currently studying impacts, dynamics, and prediction of invasive species and importance of benthic and pelagic primary production in lakes.


Peter McIntyre, Assistant Professor

Research addresses ecology and conservation in rivers and lakes around the world with a focus on the organism-ecosystem interface. Studies ecosystem productivity, nutrient dynamics, and organism diversity at research sites from Great Lakes to Hawaii to Africa’s Lake Tanganyika.

Paul Hanson, Research Faculty

Studies carbon cycling in lakes, ecosystem variability using cross-scale analyses of lake data sets, and microbial community dynamics throughout the water column.


Jim Kitchell, Emeritus

Current research on predator-prey interactions and role in food web structure, including modeling techniques allowing quantitative estimates of interaction strength. Uses large scale experimental manipulation of lakes to test ideas developed through modeling.

John Magnuson, Emeritus

Current interests include: long-term ecological research on lake ecosystems, analyses of long-term lake ice time series, climate change impacts and adaptations, thermal ecology of fishes, landscape and invasion ecology of lakes.

12 thoughts on “About

  1. I live on Red Cedar lake in Barron county, WI. We have a floating bog/island problem. These are not islands with trees but composed of lake bottom material held together by sticks, stumps and lily pad roots. They sometimes float to the top and block lake access for individual property owners. They seem to be increasing in size and frequency of appearance. Is there anyone who could give me some information about the ecology of these bog/islands in the hope that we may be able to control they in some not destructive way.

    Thanks, Jim Willis

    I can send photos if that would help.

  2. I was wondering if you were the people to talk to with questions regarding waterfowl. We have this group of ducks that congregate by my workplace every year, and one of these ducks is pure white, despite sounding like an ordinary female Mallard. I’m not sure if this duck has a type of albinism, or is some sort of unusual hybrid with a domesticated white duck, or a domestic white duck that managed to break free and live successfully in the wild. It seems to always be with the same two males every year. One a normal male mallard, the other with a green head, blackish feathers and a white patch on the chest. Can you provide any insight for me?

  3. Hi, I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, partaking in a group environmental justice project examining the question if there are disproportionate risks fishing in Monona Bay and Lake Wingra. We are currently researching past pollution history, toxins in the water, health affects and risk, in addition to the effectiveness of fish advisories.

    Our project will take the form of a 8-10 minute documentary, where we will pull interviews from the Madison community to speak about this issue including water quality experts, DNR officials, anglers, and environmental justice organizations. I was curious if there would be anyone in the limnology building that would be interested in partaking in an interview? We would primarily be focused on questions that pertained to Monona Bay and Lake Wingra, but would also like to expand it to general fishing experience in these areas, history, fish advisories, and current water quality. As a student-based project, we would greatly appreciate the interviewee’s time!


  4. Hello, I work in a lab at Indiana University and we use a Wisconsin plankton net, similar to one I saw your one of your lab groups using in a photo. We received this tow net as part of the 2012 NLA study. We have continued to use this net for our annual sampling of Indiana lakes, but this past summer the mesh came off the plankton buckets. Do you have any recommendations for how to reattach the mesh or the type of glue that might work.
    Thank you in advance.
    Sarah Powers

  5. Good morning Mister,
    is it possible to collaborate with you on a programm for reading fishes otoliths of my region? I leave in ivory coast and i would like to undertake fishery management in lake fisheries of my region and we have no equipment for this study.

    Dr DIABY Moustapha

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