Gary Lamberti Professor

Stream and Wetland Ecology
Gary Lamberti

Research Interests:

The overall goal of my research program is to better understand the structure and function of freshwater ecosystems on a changing planet. Streams, rivers, and wetlands constitute some of the most physically and biologically dynamic components of the landscape. Along with being biodiversity hotspots, these ecosystems harbor some of the most essential elements for human existence, including water for consumption and industry, food in fisheries, nutrient and contaminant filtration, avenues for transportation, and recreational opportunities. Fish and wildlife use rivers and wetlands as nursery areas, corridors for migration, and foraging habitats. Many activities that occur on land, both natural and human-related, eventually are manifest in aquatic ecosystems. For example, watershed land-use change can alter hydrology, water chemistry, and organic matter inputs to streams, thereby impacting stream biota and human use. Wetland loss and alteration can negate the beneficial roles of wetlands for biological productivity and water quality improvement. Channelization and damming of rivers serves to separate these ecosystems from their integral watersheds and riparian wetlands. Introductions of exotic species to freshwater ecosystems, including fish, plants, and invertebrates, have had major impacts on native organisms and natural food webs. In addition, global drivers, such as climate change, threaten the integrity of all freshwater ecosystems.

The Lamberti Laboratory studies wide-ranging and important questions in aquatic ecology, with a primary focus on stream and wetland ecosystems and the human impacts on those systems. Among the topics explored by lab members include:

  • the role of native and introduced sport fishes in nutrient and contaminant transport
  • the function of coastal wetlands in energy production and transfer to lake and marine systems
  • impacts of emerging contaminants in the Great Lakes watershed
  • the ecology and control of invasive aquatic plants and animals
  • the restoration of degraded freshwater habitats

Personnel in the Stream and Wetland Ecology Laboratory (SWEL) conduct research in Alaska and around the Great Lakes basin under unifying themes. In these two regions, SWEL investigates methods to restore degraded streams, rivers, and wetlands that support important sport fishes. In the Great Lakes, we study the unintended ecological consequences of large-scale introductions of Pacific salmon, which can transport nutrients and also contaminants to new areas during their spawning migrations. We also assess food web transfers of emerging contaminants such as PFAS and microplastics that represent the next generation of harmful pollutants. Coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes are a particular focus of study, where SWEL collaborates with a consortium of institutions to assess their overall ecological health. The laboratory also investigates the ecology of coastal wetlands in Alaska, with the objective of understanding the function of these critically important habitats under global change and the assault of invasive species. The Copper River delta, an enormous wetland complex in Alaska, provides SWEL with the unique opportunity study the impacts of climate change and invasive aquatic plants in a relatively pristine environment. Dr. Lamberti has over 200 scientific publications, most of which have student co-authors, and has co-edited the Elsevier book entitled Methods in Stream Ecology. Dr. Lamberti is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past-President and Fellow of the Society for Freshwater Science, the leading international society for aquatic ecologists.



  • Program Director, Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation 2020-present
  • Gillen Acting Director, University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center 2019-2020
  • Director, GLOBES Graduate Certificate Program in Environment and Society 2015-2020
  • Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2000-Present
  • Director, Stream and Wetland Ecology Laboratory, University of Notre Dame, IN 1989-Present
  • Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2008-2014
  • Assistant Chair and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 2000-2008
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 1995-2000
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 1989-1995
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, OR 1986-1989
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, OR 1984-1986
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Entomological Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 1983-1984
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA 1983
  • B.S., University of California, Davis, CA 1975


Recent Publications:

  • McElroy, M.E., T.L. Dressler, G.C. Titcomb, E.A. Wilson, K. Deiner, T.L. Dudley, E.J. Eliason, N.T. Evans, S.D. Gaines, K.D. Lafferty, G.A. Lamberti, Y. Li, D.M. Lodge, M.S. Love, A.R. Mahon, M.E. Pfrender, M.A. Renshaw, K.A. Selkoe, and C.L. Jerde. 2020. Calibrating environmental DNA metabarcoding to conventional surveys for measuring fish species richness. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8:276
  • Hermann, N.T., D.T. Chaloner, B.S. Gerig, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Ecological consequences of Great Lakes salmon subsidies for stream-resident brook and brown trout. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 00:1-14.
  • Gerig, B.S., D.J. Janetski, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Contaminant biotransport by Pacific salmon in the Great Lakes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8:199
  • Entrekin, S.A., E.J. Rosi, J.L. Tank, T.J. Hoellein, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Quantitative food webs indicate modest increases in the transfer of allochthonous and autochthonous C to macroinvertebrates following a large wood addition to a temperate headwater stream. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8:114.
  • Currier, C.M., D.T. Chaloner, J. Rüegg, S.D. Tiegs, D. D’Amore, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Beyond nitrogen and phosphorus subsidies: Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) as potential vectors of micronutrients. Aquatic Sciences 82:50.
  • Benbow, M.E., J.P. Receveur, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Death and decomposition in aquatic ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8:17.
  • Rüegg, J., D.T. Chaloner, F. Ballantyne, P.S. Levi, C. Song, J.L. Tank, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Understanding the relative roles of salmon spawner enrichment and disturbance: a high-frequency, multi-habitat field data and modeling approach. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8:19.
  • Shirey, P.D, J.B. Kenny, M.A. Brueseke, and G.A. Lamberti. 2020. Stream habitat provided by large wood at risk under drainage law. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 45:1318–1324
  • Larson, C.E., J.L. Pechal, B.S. Gerig, D.T. Chaloner, G.A. Lamberti, and M. E. Benbow. 2020. Microbial community response to a novel salmon resource subsidy. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • Uzarski, D.G., and 20 others including G.A. Lamberti. 2019. Leveraging a landscape-level monitoring and assessment program for developing resilient shorelines throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes. Wetlands 29:1357-1366.
  • Kovalenko, K.E., L.B. Johnson, V.J. Brady, J.J.H. Ciborowski, M.J. Cooper, J.P. Gathman, G.A. Lamberti, A.H. Moerke, C.R. Ruetz III, and D.G. Uzarski. 2019. Hotspots and bright spots in functional and taxonomic fish diversity.  Freshwater
  • Hart, J.A., *C. Vizza, +W.E. West, D.T. Chaloner, S.E. Jones, and G.A. Lamberti. 2019. Methane cycling contributes to distinct patterns in carbon stable isotopes of wetland detritus. Wetlands 39:361–370

  • Gerig, B.S., N.T. Hermann, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2019. Using a dynamic bioenergetics-bioaccumulation model to understand mechanisms of uptake and bioaccumulation of salmon-derived contaminants by stream resident fish. Science of the Total Environment 652:633-642
  • Cooper, M.J., G.A. Lamberti, and 10 others. 2018. An expanded fish-based index of biotic integrity for Great Lakes coastal wetlands.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190:580
  • Li, Y., N.T. Evans, M.A. Renshaw, C.L. Jerde, B.P. Olds, A.J. Shogren, K. Deiner, D.M. Lodge, G.A. Lamberti, and M.E. Pfrender. 2018. Estimating fish alpha- and beta-diversity along a small stream with environmental DNA metabarcoding.  Metabarcoding and Metagenomics 2:e24262
  • Vizza, C., J.L. Pechal, M.E. Benbow, J.M. Lang, D.T. Chaloner, S.E. Jones, and G.A. Lamberti. In press. Nitrate amendment reduces biofilm biomass and shifts microbial communities in remote, oligotrophic ponds. Freshwater Science 37:251-263.
  • Gerig, B.S., D.N. Weber, D.T. Chaloner, L.M. McGill, and G.A. Lamberti. In press. Interactive effects of introduced Pacific salmon and brown trout on native brook trout: an experimental and modeling approach. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 75:535-548.
  • Gerig, B.S., D.T. Chaloner, D.J. Janetski, A.H. Moerke, R.A. Rediske, J.P. O'Keefe, D. de Alwis Pitts, and G.A. Lamberti. 2018. Environmental context and contaminant biotransport by Pacific salmon interact to mediate the bioaccumulation of contaminants by stream-resident fish. Journal of Applied Ecology 2018:1-14.
  • Evans, N.T., and G.A. Lamberti. 2018. Freshwater fisheries assessment using environmental DNA:  A primer on the method, its potential, and shortcomings as a conservation tool.  Fisheries Research 197:60-66.
  • Hauer, F.R., and G.A. Lamberti (editors). 2017. Methods in Stream Ecology, Third Edition. Volume 1: Ecosystem Structure. Elsevier, London, UK. 494 pp.
  • G.A. Lamberti, and F.R. Hauer (editors). Methods in Stream Ecology, Third Edition. Volume 2: Ecosystem Function. Elsevier, London, UK. 362 pp.
  • McGill, L.M., B.S. Gerig, D.T. Chaloner, and G.A. Lamberti. 2017. An ecosystem model for evaluating the effects of introduced Pacific salmon on contaminant burdens of stream-resident fish. Ecological Modelling 355:39-48.
  • Vizza, , J.A. Zwart, S.E. Jones, S.D. Tiegs, and G.A. Lamberti. 2017. Landscape patterns shape wetland pond ecosystem function from glacial headwaters to ocean. Limnology and Oceanography 62:S207-S221.
  • Evans, N.T., Y. Li, M.A. Renshaw, B.P. Olds, K. Deiner, C.R. Turner, C.L. Jerde, D.M. Lodge, G.A. Lamberti, and M.E. Pfrender. 2017. Fish community assessment with eDNA metabarcoding: effects of sampling design and bioinformatic filtering. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 74:1362-1374.
  • Vizza, C., W.E. West, S.E. Jones, J.A. Hart, and G.A. Lamberti. 2017. Regulators of coastal wetland methane production and responses to simulated global change. Biogeosciences 14:431-446.
  • Evans, N.T., P.D. Shirey, J.G. Wieringa, A.R. Mahan, and G.A. Lamberti. 2017. Comparative cost and effort of fish distribution detection via environmental DNA analysis and electrofishing. Fisheries 42:90-99. (Note: Cover Featured
  • Uzarski, D.G., and 26 others including G.A. Lamberti. 2017. Standardized measures of coastal wetland condition: Implementation at a Laurentian Great Lakes basin-wide scale. Wetlands 37:15-32.
  • Lamberti, G.A., and F.R. Hauer (editors).  2017.  Methods in Stream Ecology, Third Edition. Volume 2: Ecosystem Function. Elsevier, London, UK. 362 pp.