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Meet Robert Wallace

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Aquatic Ecology), University of Washington
  • Ph.D. Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (Aquatic Ecology; Invertebrate Zoology)
  • B.S. University of Rhode Island, Kingston

I have two professional passions, teaching and research; both revolve around aquatic ecology and invertebrates. While I have retired from formal teaching, that calling continues after a fashion. For the past eight years I have been active in the Green Lake Association, whose singular focus is on improving water quality in Green Lake (WI). However, I am still an active researcher, specifically with rotifers. These tiny (≤2 mm), invertebrates play vital roles as consumers, scavengers, and predators, eventually falling prey to insects and fish. Thus, their energy and nutrients pass up the food chain. Rotifers may be found anywhere liquid water is present for even a few days. While some inhabit near-shore marine waters, most rotifers are commonly found in inland waters, including lakes, ponds, streams, ephemeral desert basins, irrigation ditches, tire tracks, glacial meltwaters, and the water film of soils and plants. My research has included many of those habitats, but recently it has focused on deserts. Aquatic life there is caught between a duality: wet now and evaporating, soon to be dry for an indeterminate time, but to be wet again.

During the wet phase, rotifers and other invertebrates must prepare for inevitable drought by producing resting stages that withstand prolonged dryness. Deserts are also windy places and when storms sweep across the landscape they kick up dust from the dry basins and can transport resting stages long distances. We are interested in who survives transport and whether they can successfully colonize a new basin.


Icon for: What's your favorite topic or course to teach? Invertebrate Zoology, Aquatic Ecology, and Marine Ecology.

What’s your favorite topic or course to teach? Invertebrate Zoology, Aquatic Ecology, and Marine Ecology.

Icon for: What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? Do not tell them everything, but leave breadcrumbs of hints that there is more to it.

What’s the best advice about teaching you’ve ever received? Do not tell them everything, but leave breadcrumbs of hints that there is more to it.

Icon for: What’s your workspace like? Controlled chaos.

What’s your workspace like? Controlled chaos.



Recent News Updates

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace publishes several recent works

Robert Wallace, professor emeritus of biology, has had numerous articles related to rotifers published recently in Hydrobiologia,

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace has chapter in revised edition of book

Robert Wallace, professor of biology and the Patricia and Philip McCullough 1969 Professor in Biology, is a co-author of a chapter in the recently published […]

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace reports recent publications, conference appearances

Robert “Bob” L. Wallace, professor of biology and the Patricia and Philip McCullough 1969 Professor in Biology, had several recent publications, including some in Zookeys […]