Stephen K. Hamilton



Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, 1994

W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
Office Telephone: 269-671-2231
Research website

Aquatic Ecology & Biogeochemistry

My principal research interests involve ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, with particular attention to aquatic environments and the movement of water through landscapes. I am especially interested in running waters, wetlands and floodplains because they represent an interface between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that is often biologically diverse and productive. I also like to consider ecosystem processes at the landscape or watershed scale, and I prefer to do research that contributes to our understanding of environmental problems or improves our ability to manage ecosystems.

I believe that to understand how ecosystems work, we frequently need to integrate approaches from varied disciplines such as geology, chemistry, remote sensing, and hydrology as well as ecology. Therefore I encourage multidisciplinary investigations that seek to improve our understanding of ecosystems and environmental problems. Stable isotopes are one of my favorite tools for ecological investigations.

I am presently devoting much of my time to the study of various aspects of aquatic ecosystems in southern Michigan, including wetlands, streams, lakes, and watersheds. I also work on tropical ecosystems in South America and dryland river ecosystems in Australia.

Representative Publications

Pettit, E.E., T.D. Jardine, S.K. Hamilton, V. Sinnamon, D. Valdez, P.M. Davies, M.M. Douglas, and S.E. Bunn. 2012. Seasonal changes in water quality and macrophytes and the impact of cattle on tropical floodplain waterholes. Marine and Freshwater Research 63: 788-800.

Ward, D.P., S.K. Hamilton, T.D. Jardine, N.E. Pettit, E.K. Tews, J.M. Olley, and S.E. Bunn. 2012. Assessing the seasonal dynamics of inundation, turbidity and aquatic vegetation in the Austrailian wet-dry tropics using optical remote sensing.  Ecohydrology, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1270.

Bruesewitz, D.A., J.L. Tank, and S.K. Hamilton. 2012. Incorporating spatial variation of nitrification and denitrification rates into whole-lake nitrogen dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, DOI: 10.1029/2012JG002006.

Burgin, A.J., S.K. Hamilton, S.E. Jones, and J.T. Lennon. 2012. Denitrification by sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in a eutrophic lake. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 66:283-293.

Jardine, T.D., B.J. Pusey, S.K. Hamilton, N.E. Pettit, P.M. Davies, M.M. Douglas, V. Sinnamon, I.A. Halliday, and S.E. Bunn. 2012. Fish mediate high food web connectivity in the lower reaches of a wet-dry tropical floodplain river. Oecologia 168: 829-838.