R. Jan Stevenson


Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1981

367 Giltner Hall
Office Telephone: 517-432-8083
Research website

Algal Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, and Environmental Science

I employ my technical expertise in algal taxonomy and ecology to test ecological theory and to develop approaches for solving environmental problems. I am particularly interested in how ecological systems respond to environmental change. I also work with federal and state officials to develop protocols for ecological assessment. Working with resource managers and policy makers often stimulates new directions for my research.

Most of my projects use field observations, experiments, and modeling to better understand the effects of natural and human factors on algae and the role of algae in aquatic ecosystems. Field studies are used to identify interesting patterns in nature that may indicate an environmental problem or an interesting natural phenomenon. Manipulative experiments in artificial streams and mesocosms are used to confirm cause-effect relationships. I use models to scale our observations up to better understand cause-effect relations among natural and anthropogenic factors and ecological conditions.

Representative Publications

Wyatt, K.H., M.R. Turetsky, A.R. Rober, D. Giroldo, E.S. Kane, and R. J. Stevenson. 2012.Contributions of algae to GPP and DOC production in an Alaskan fen: effects of historical water table manipulations on ecosystem responses to a natural flooding event. Oecologia 169:821–832.

Stevenson, R.J., B.J. Bennett, D.N. Jordan, R.D. French. 2012. Phosphorus regulates stream injury by filamentous green algae, thresholds, DO, and pH. Hydrobiologia 695:25-42.

Rober, A.R., K.H. Wyatt, R.J. Stevenson, and M.R. Turetsky. 2013. Algal community response to experimental and interannual variation in hydrology in an Alaskan boreal fen. Freshwater Science 32:1-11.

Herlihy, A.T., N.C. Kamman, J.C. Sifneos, D. Charles, M. Enache, and R.J. Stevenson. 2013. Developing nutrient criteria for lakes in the conterminous United States using multiple approaches. Freshwater Science 32: 367-384.

Stevenson, R.J., J. Zalack, and J. Wolin. 2013. A multimetric index of lake diatom condition using surface sediment assemblages. Freshwater Science 32:1005–1025.