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University of Wisconsin–Madison

How Water Waves Can Help Us Better Predict Harmful Algal blooms and Ice Cover and Formulate New Management Practices

Principal Investigator: Nimish Pujara, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering

Co-Principal Investigators:

Tim Bertram, professor of chemistry

Hilary Dugan, associate professor of integrative biology

Jennifer Franck, assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Till Wagner, assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences

Grace Wiklinson, assistant professor of integrative biology

Lucas Zoet, associate professor of geosciences

Lakes are very important resources for humanity, since they store freshwater, support biodiversity, sequester carbon, and provide space for recreation. To better predict how lakes respond to management practices and how they will influence and be influenced by climate change, this research team will study the biological and physical processes together, which is rarely done.

The project will bring people, ideas, and research tools from different branches of science and engineering together. The team will tackle two big areas that are important for how humans interact with lakes: harmful algal blooms and ice cover on lakes when they freeze and melt. In both cases, the team will study how water waves could be the key to better predictions and new management strategies. This work will use prior investments in laboratory and computational infrastructure, with funds from this grant supporting postdoctoral researchers who will demonstrate the promise of this line of investigation.