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Research Projects

List is in reverse chronological order and represents the most recent completed project year. See also: Featured Research Projects

Active

Learning to See, Seeing to Learning

This project continued to enhance the Macroinvertebrates.org. site, in addition to creating aquatic macroinvertebrate identification resources for learners, teachers, and ... Read More
Active

Delaware River Watershed Initiative Phase II Work in Focus Areas

This funding supports the Stroud Center’s Robin L. Vannote Watershed Restoration Program to participate in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative’s ... Read More
Active

Delaware River Watershed Initiative Citizen Science Phase II

This project will engage watershed residents to be active participants in efforts to document conditions across the focus areas of ... Read More
Active

Water Quality Modeling to Support Source Water and Aquatic Life Protection, Octoraro Creek, Pennsylvania and Maryland

This project supports water quality monitoring and development of a water quality model to guide an alternative restoration plan for ... Read More
Active

Using Microbial Source Tracking to Identify Potential Bacterial Sources in White Clay Creek to Target Best Management Practices and Implementation Strategies

Scientists monitored fecal indicator bacteria in White Clay Creek during summer and identified potential bacterial contamination by molecular microbial source ... Read More
Active

Source Tracking and Spatial/Temporal Dynamics of Bacterial Contaminants in Red Clay Creek

Scientists monitored fecal indicator bacteria on a monthly basis at the east and west branches of the Red Clay Creek ... Read More
Active

Restoration Project Impact Assessment in Support of Delaware River Watershed Initiative

This project quantifies the positive impact of one or several restoration projects associated with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, namely ... Read More
Active

Phytoplankton Dynamics at the Brandywine River

High-frequency temperature, oxygen, and chlorophyll sensors, canoe float trips, and nutrient monitoring are the tools being used to study how ... Read More
Active

North American Macroinvertebrate Taxonomic Certification Program

This program coordinates and executes the taxonomic certification program for the Society for Freshwater Science, conducting family- and genus-level tests ... Read More
Active

Monitoring Fish Populations and Stream Habitat Quality for the National Park Service

This project monitors biological conditions, water quality, habitat integrity, and fish at 37 sites in 10 national parks in the ... Read More
Active

Molecular Ecology of Archaea in Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments

Less is known about Archaea than the other two domains of life on Earth (Bacteria and Eukarya), particularly the role ... Read More
Active

Microbial Population Dynamics of Periphyton Biofilms in White Clay Creek

Using glass microscope slides as tiny gardens to grow microbial biofilms, this project explored differences in microorganisms between three reaches ... Read More
Active

Macroinvertebrate Monitoring at Sites in White Clay Creek, Pa., Flint River, Ga., Susquehanna River, Pa., and Delaware River, Pa.

(Note: the project title changes from year to year depending on which rivers are monitored.) These projects use aquatic macroinvertebrates ... Read More
Active

Low-head Milldams as Hotspots for Denitrification and Nitrogen Consumption: Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Controls

Dam removal, especially low-head milldams, have increased in recent years with the highest removal rate in the mid-Atlantic U.S. While ... Read More
Active

Ecotoxicity Study for Mayflies Exposed to Elevated Concentrations of Chloride at Different Temperatures

Chloride concentrations in surface waters have been increasing over the last several decades at multiple locations throughout the United States ... Read More
Active

Brandywine Stream Stewards: Community Action in Support of Healthy Waters

The Stream Stewards Program engages adults and youth from Wilmington, Del., to monitor water resources in the 1,100 acres of ... Read More
Active

Assessment of Environmental Conditions in Streams of the Runnymede Sanctuary Based on Physical, Chemical, and Macroinvertebrate Monitoring

The 1,670-acre Runnymede Sanctuary was created to preserve the extensive natural, historic, and scenic resources harbored by the property and ... Read More
Active

Assessment of Environmental Conditions in Bennett’s Run at Kendal-Crosslands Based on Physical, Chemical, Macroinvertebrate, and Fish Monitoring

Bennett’s Run is a small tributary to Brandywine Creek in southern Chester County, Pa., where a watershed conservation plan is ... Read More
Active

Land Protection Impact Assessment in Support of Delaware River Watershed Initiative

This project evaluates the hypothesis that protection and/or maintenance of natural land maintains ecological stream quality by limiting, preventing, or ... Read More
Active

Impact of Management of Practices on Winter Squash Yield and Post-Harvest Nutrient Density

By examining the bacteria, Archaea, and fungi living in soils, this project will provide insights on how farming practices and ... Read More
Active

Biological Nitrogen Removal in Sediment Plumes: A Critical but Missing Component of Watershed Models

Nutrient export from rivers is closely tied to sediment plumes that form during storms. By using experiments and methods to ... Read More
Active

Back From the Past: Recovery of Nutrient Processes and Microbial Communities in Relict Hydric Soils Following Restoration

This research explores how microbes and biogeochemical processes in buried relict soils evolve after restoration and how these organisms and ... Read More
Active

Evaluating the Effects of Watershed-Scale Agricultural Best Management Practices on Water Quality

In early 2020, stream bank fencing, forested buffers, and barnyard improvements were installed on Amish farms in Lancaster County, Pa ... Read More
Inactive

Transforming Water Quality in the Sharitz Run Headwaters of Brandywine Creek

This Watershed Renaissance Initiative grant will enable Stroud Water Research Center to implement extensive watershed restoration projects designed to capture ... Read More
Inactive

CNH: Coupled Climate, Cultivation, and Culture in the Great Plains: Understanding Water Supply and Water Quality in a Fragile Landscape

This collaborative project develops a model to predict the potential impact of climate variability, climate change, land use, and human ... Read More
Inactive

SFS Leaf Pack Workshop

Stroud Center staff and members of the Society for Freshwater Science Education and Diversity Committee held a Leaf Pack workshop ... Read More
Inactive

Restoring Flood Attenuation and Ecological Resiliency in the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont

For this project, scientists and watershed restoration professionals restore one headwater basin to reduce flooding downstream, improve water quality, and ... Read More
Inactive

Parthenogenesis (Virgin Reproduction), Hybridization, and Life History Plasticity in Mayflies

Scientists are studying a number of mayfly species in White Clay Creek as well as in streams throughout eastern North ... Read More
Inactive

Evaluating Potential Impacts on Groundwater of Passive Composting of Spent Mushroom Substrate According to Best Practices Guidelines

By installing monitoring wells for groundwater, soil-water samplers, and probes to measure the conductivity in soil and groundwater, researchers are ... Read More
Active

Sediment Stabilization by Animals in Stream Ecosystems: Consequences for Erosion, Ecosystem Processes, and Biodiversity

Like underwater engineers, caddisflies and other net-spinning macroinvertebrates attach gravels to one another on the bottom of streams in a ... Read More
Inactive

Water-Quality Monitoring at Fair Hill Training Center

Scientists are monitoring fecal indicator bacteria, sediment, and water chemistry from the barns at the Fair Hill Training Center. Based ... Read More
Inactive

Transforming Water Quality in the White Clay Creek Headwaters of Christina River Basin

This Watershed Renaissance Initiative grant will enable Stroud Water Research Center to implement extensive watershed restoration projects designed to capture ... Read More
Inactive

Trajectories of Biofilm Succession and Recovery

The recovery of biological communities after disturbance has always been at the core of ecology as a discipline. While much ... Read More
Inactive

Significance of Streambank Legacy Sediments as Nutrient Sources and Their Implications for Aquatic Nutrient Cycling

The potential for streambank legacy sediments as nutrient sources for aquatic ecosystems has been understudied and is a critical gap ... Read More
Active

Molecular Ecology of Archaea in Fresh Water and Estuaries

Compared to other microorganisms, we know very little about Archaea in our backyards. However, they may play important roles in ... Read More
Active

Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB): River Ecosystem Responses to Floodplain Restoration

After 25 years of litigation, a massive ecological restoration is under way in the Upper Clark Fork River, Mont. Metal-laden ... Read More
Inactive

Large Runoff Flux and Transformation of Particulate Nitrogen (PN) Following Large, Intense Storms: A Critical but Unexplored Component of N Cycling in Watersheds

Particulate nitrogen (PN) in stormwater runoff can increase dramatically with large storms, thus constituting a significant component of nitrogen cycling ... Read More
Inactive

Land Use Effects on Stream Thermal Regime

Stream temperatures are dramatically affected by land use in the watershed and riparian zone. In this project, we measure stream ... Read More
Inactive

Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Thermal Refugia in Streams: Consequences for Brook and Brown Trout Interactions

All species of trout are highly sensitive to stream temperature. Native brook trout at the most sensitive, needing colder temperatures ... Read More
Inactive

Pathogen and Water-Quality Monitoring at White Clay Creek

As part of a plan to meet new drinking water regulations, United Water Delaware (UWDE) applied best management practices at ... Read More
Inactive

Ecotoxicity Study for Mayflies Exposed to Elevated Concentrations of Sulfate

Across the United States, sulfate concentrations tend to be elevated in areas where acid rain or coal mining is present ... Read More
Inactive

Delaware River Watershed Initiative — Phase I Protecting and Restoring Places of Ecological Significance (Schuylkill Highlands Cluster)

This project monitored macroinvertebrates to establish a water-quality baseline at 10–16 selected sites associated with protection and restoration efforts for ... Read More
Inactive

Delaware River Watershed Initiative — Phase I Protecting and Restoring Places of Ecological Significance (Brandywine-Christina and Middle Schuylkill Clusters

Professional and volunteer monitoring of chemistry, macroinvertebrates, and fish to support restoration and protection efforts represent an invaluable (and often ... Read More
Inactive

Threats and Opportunities in the Conservation of Native Pelagic Spawning Fishes in Kansas

This project documents how small dams have fragmented stream networks in the Central Great Plains region. Many fishes native to ... Read More
Inactive

White Clay Creek Stream Watch Project

In 2000 Federal legislation designated White Clay Creek and its tributaries as a National Wild and Scenic River. The White ... Read More
Inactive

The Peru Project

Funding for the Peru Project was provided by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Stroud Water Research ... Read More
Inactive

Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology: Costa Rica

Overview In 1989 Stroud™ Water Research Center helped establish the Maritza Biological Station in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste of ... Read More
Inactive

Schuylkill River Project

Looking for the macroinvertebrate photo gallery? Schuylkill Project Overview Download the Schuylkill River Project report summaryDownload the Schuylkill River Project ... Read More
Inactive

Critical Zone Observatory

The University of Delaware, in collaboration with Stroud Water Research Center received a $4.3 million grant from the National Science ... Read More
Inactive

Microbial Fuel Cell Project

This project is testing sediment microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as a source of clean, sustainable, environmentally friendly energy. The study ... Read More
Inactive

Ecotoxicity Study for Mayflies Exposed to Elevated Concentrations of Chloride

Chloride concentrations in surface waters have been increasing over the last several decades at multiple locations throughout the United States ... Read More
Inactive

Metaecosystems and the Upstream Legacy: Influence of Dissolved Organic Matter on the Structure and Function of Streambed Bacterial Communities

Investigators explore how the quality of organic molecules changes with distance downstream and how those changes influence the composition of ... Read More
Inactive

American Chestnut Foundation Leaf Feeding Study

In an effort to restore chestnut trees to watersheds, blight-resistant varieties of American Chestnut have been developed over the last ... Read More
Inactive

Searching for DNA in Water To Test for the Presence of Freshwater Mussels

Determining that a species is present in a stream has traditionally required collection surveys to visually observe one or more ... Read More
Inactive

MRI: Acquisition of a High-Sensitivity Light Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometer for Critical Zone Studies

This grant supports the acquisition of a high-sensitivity stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) at Stroud Water Research Center, which ... Read More
Inactive

Sediment Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

For this study, we set out to determine the feasibility of using microbes to generate clean energy on a large ... Read More
Inactive

Collaborative CZO Research: The Role of Metals in Nitrogen Cycling of Soils and Streams

A collaboration with researchers at Princeton University will leverage the exceptional sensor and geochemistry data from our Critical Zone Observatory ... Read More
Inactive

Earthworm Invasion: Investigating Changes in Soil Chemistry and Carbon Sequestration

Human activities over the last 100 years have introduced exotic earthworms into many pristine northern forests. These earthworm invasions are ... Read More
Inactive

Collaborative Research: Coupled Geochemical and Geobiological Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter Oxidation to Carbon

As microbes process dissolved organic matter from leaves that fall into streams, they release CO2 into the atmosphere. Scientists are ... Read More
Inactive

Monitoring, Evaluation, Scientific Support, and Capacity Building for Watershed Protection and Restoration Projects: Entomological Collections

The goal of this project is to collect and interpret entomological data from 35 stream sites. These sites represent an ... Read More
Inactive

Ecotoxicity Study for Mayflies Exposed to Ambient Stream Water From the Upper Delaware Basin and to Produced Water From Natural Gas Drilling

The production of natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania results in water that travels up through the well ... Read More
Inactive

Water Quality Assessment in California Using DNA Barcoding

This pilot study was designed to test how the use of a new technology called DNA barcoding can improve water ... Read More
Inactive

Water Quality Impacts of the Interoceanic Highway in the Eastern Andes Amazon Headwaters Region

This collaborative involved conducting a comprehensive assessment of water quality impacts for streams and rivers intersected by South America’s first ... Read More
Inactive

Origin of Striped Bass Collected in the Delaware River for Toxics in Biota Monitoring

In 2012 the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) collected striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from the Delaware ... Read More
Inactive

Evaluating Threats to Humans and Aquatic Ecosystems Posed by Agriculture Around the Río Sierpe, Costa Rica

Stroud Water Research Center biologists completed a project to better understand the threat of contaminants from agriculture entering the fish ... Read More
Inactive

Fish Dispersal Across a Riparian Habitat Gradient

Stream fish appear largely immune from physical, chemical, and biological changes between meadow and forested habitats. A study in which ... Read More
Inactive

Testing a Proxy of Historical Nutrient Status Using Diatom-Bound Nitrogen Isotopes

Climate science relies on interpreting proxies of past environmental conditions in dated sediment and ice cores. Our study will develop ... Read More
Inactive

The First Assessment of Congo River Organic Matter Chemistry and Reactivity

The Congo River is the second largest river in the world, but little is known about it because regional conflict ... Read More
Inactive

Macroinvertebrate Assessment of Environmental Conditions in Four Tributaries on the Red Clay Reservation

Stroud Water Research Center scientists sampled stream macroinvertebrates (i.e., primarily insects, crayfish, and worms) and baseflow water chemistry to assess ... Read More
Inactive

Marine Sediments Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs)

This project focuses on the molecular DNA characterization of microbial species colonizing the anodes and cathodes of microbial fuel cells ... Read More
Inactive

Algal and Macroinvertebrate Responses To Elevated Phosphorus Concentrations in Pennsylvania Streams

This project took advantage of the unique facilities of Stroud Water Research Center as a field station with first-rate laboratory ... Read More
Inactive

Dynamics of Organic Particles in River Ecosystems

Suspended organic particles are important to river food webs and in the transfer of organic carbon from land to ocean ... Read More
Inactive

Hydrologic Regulation of Dissolved Organic Matter Biogeochemistry From Forests Through River Networks

This collaborative proposal will generate the mathematical models that simulate stream flow in White Clay Creek and the movement of ... Read More
Inactive

The Application of Scaling Rules to Energy Flow in Stream Ecosystems

Scientists have grown young deciduous trees in an atmosphere enriched with the stable isotope of carbon so as to follow ... Read More
Inactive

Fish Inventories in the Christina River Basin

Stroud Water Research Center scientists conducted surveys of fish in small streams in the Bucktoe Preserve in the Red Clay ... Read More
Inactive

Easter Island: Reconstructing the Failure of a Civilization

The collapse of the once thriving human population on Easter Island has been largely attributed to environmental degradation, but questions ... Read More
Inactive

Spatial and Temporal Variation in Water Quality Among Major Tributaries of the Schuylkill River

This research, education, and outreach project continues efforts with local watershed groups to monitor macroinvertebrates in streams throughout the Schuylkill ... Read More
Inactive

Abandoned Mine Drainage Remediation and Stream Function

This study was designed to determine the impact of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on stream ecosystem functions, such as algal ... Read More
Inactive

Connecting the Hydrologic Cycle From Hillslopes to River Networks

This collaborative research will generate the first model that links the water and carbon cycles of river catchments by focusing ... Read More
Inactive, Inactive

Evaluating the Seasonal Effects of Short-Term Temperature Change on Macroinvertebrates and Fish in Streams and Rivers

We are conducting laboratory studies to test criteria of existing legislation for protecting fish and macroinvertebrates from excessive temperature changes ... Read More
Inactive

The Importance of Streamside Reforestation for Reducing Nonpoint-Source Pollution in Small Streams

This ongoing project to track water quality improvements provided by a riparian forest buffer in the Stroud Preserve, Chester County, ... Read More
Inactive

Nutrient Balances in an Estuarine Salt Marsh

The study seeks to determine whether nutrients from Kent County's wastewater treatment plant contribute significantly to the seasonal absence of ... Read More
Inactive

Effects of Land Use on Water Quality of Streams and Rivers on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

We used species composition and relative abundance of aquatic insect populations to measure water quality changes from deforestation, cattle farming ... Read More
Inactive

Biofilm Ecology in Philadelphia’s East Park Distribution System and the Efficacy of Control Strategies

Most microorganisms in nature grow attached to surfaces, encased in a protective matrix — or biofilm. Our research focuses on ... Read More
Inactive

Storm-Driven Carbon Burial in the Andean Amazon

This project explores the role of extreme flood events during La Niña in burying — and thus preventing from entering ... Read More
Inactive

Particulate Organic Matter in Great River Ecosystems

This research, which is part of a larger, multi-institution project to assess the health of the nation's great rivers (the ... Read More
Inactive

Stroud Preserve Reforested Riparian Buffer Project

Overview Project Years: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Download ... Read More
Inactive

The New York Project

Overview Download final report In 2000 Stroud Water Research Center was awarded a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) grant funded ... Read More

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