Prospective Graduate Students...


I welcome contact from potential PhD students. I am particularly interested in those interested in studying plankton ecosystems and wetland nitrogen cycles. However, I also consider students generally interested in linking community structure to ecosystem processes.  Once a student has defined a topic, we’ve been very successful getting support for the project.  In addition, TAships are available through the Ecology and Evolution Department for up to 8 semesters for all PhD students.  Interested students should contact Dr. Baines for more information.  To get the best advice, it is best to include resumes, CVs and/or unofficial transcripts.

Currently Funded Projects

Determining the role of picocyanobacteria in the marine silicon cycle.  This project will be funded for three years by NSF starting in Jan 2012 to determine the ability of single celled cyanobacteria in the ocean to accumulate silicon, and to assess the implications of this accumulation of biogeochemical cycling of Si and other elements.  The work involves laboratory experiments on Si uptake and characterization of the chemical state of Si using advanced single-cell spectrometry methods.  Two cruises to the Sargasso Sea out of Bermuda are also planned for each year of the project.

Dissolved organic matter as a energetic subsidy for zebra mussels.  We just received two years of funding from Hudson River Foundation to determine which fractions of dissolved organic matter are used by zebra mussels, to assess the importance of this energetic subsidy for zebra mussel populations in the Hudson River and to quantify the consequences for phytoplankton biomass and productivity.  The work includes lab experiments and field surveys of dissolved organic substances.  Experience with chemical characterization of compounds or with the physiology of aquatic invertebrates is a great advantage.   This work affords the opportunity to learn advanced mass spectrometric techniques for characterizing the composition of dissolved organic matter.

Research topics

Research Topics

Ecological stoichiometry of the plankton and its effects on biogeochemical cycles


Dissolved organic matter as an energetic subsidy to zebra mussels

Using plant traits to predict denitrification in tidal wetlands


Limitation of copepod production by trace elements


Regional factors driving variability in ecosystem dynamics