Lars Rudstam’s research, teaching and extension activities are in the fields of aquatic ecology and fisheries. His research spans topics from submerged aquatic vegetation, hydrodynamics models, invertebrate and zooplankton ecology, fish ecology, fish eating birds, and anglers. He teaches a course in fish ecology, and seminars on selected topics. He also consults with managers, mostly in New York and Canada as part of technical committees.
Rudstam considers his research to be at the interface between basic and applied science. His overall research goals concern food web dynamics and the interactions between fisheries management and ecosystem processes. Food webs are composed of organisms that operate at different spatial and temporal scales. He wants to understand how this heterogeneity in different organisms’ response to space and time affect food web dynamics in aquatic systems. Currently, he addresses the spatial aspect using acoustic surveys and spatial models; he addresses the temporal aspect by analyzing the Oneida long-term data sets. He also works with more applied problems associated with fisheries management in New York State and elsewhere. Examples include evaluation of alewife management through predator stocking, standardization of acoustics methods across the Great Lakes basin, and effects of cormorant predation on a walleye-perch predator-prey system. This combination of basic and applied science is stimulating to him. Geographically, most of his research activities are now in New York State and concentrated to Oneida Lake and the Laurentian Great Lakes (Ontario, and Erie), although he occasionally also works in other systems (for example the Baltic Sea and Lake Baikal). He plans on continuing his research on long-term dynamics of the fish populations in Oneida Lake and associated mechanistic investigations. In addition, he plans on pursuing one or two other major projects (such as his recent Sea Grant funded projects in Lakes Ontario and Champlain). Possible research projects include the use of Finger Lakes as model ecosystems to understand food web interactions in deep lakes, importance of edges of distributions to predator-prey interactions in pelagic systems, and the role of invertebrate predators in aquatic food webs. His current effort assignment is 80% research and 20% teaching. He will continue teaching Fish Ecology, Conservation and Management with Jackson in the spring semester, continue involvement with undergraduate interns and thesis students and continue mentoring graduate students. This includes organizing seminar courses. He also plans to stay involved with extension activities, particularly as related to advising DEC fisheries managers and continuing education of professionals through workshops, web site (currently developing acoustics unpacked), etc.
Outreach and Extension Focus
His extension activities are primarily through workshops and development of standard operating procedures for fisheries sampling in New York State and elsewhere. They are developing a web site, materials to be posted on theirs and other web sites, and a textbook chapter on acoustics. This work is getting recognized across the states, Europe and Russia, incorporated in standard software, and will improve the important assessment of fish and invertebrate populations in aquatic systems. He also advises agency biologists in New York and elsewhere on fisheries and aquatic ecology. Outreach is through involvement in a web site ‘the Oneida lake education initiative’ and associated activities. This includes a school program for local schools, a traveling trunk, in-house teacher training, a web site with monitoring data from Oneida Lake and a web cam. His role in this project is as co-PI and advisor- White, and Getchonis do most of the work. He is also involved with outreach to local fisher groups and lake associations, in particular Oneida Lake Association.
Awards and Honors
- Best Student Paper 2015 Journal of Great Lakes Research (2016) International Association for Great Lakes Research
- Rudstam, L. G., Brooking, T. E., Krueger, S. D., Jackson, J. R., & Wetherbee, L. (2011). Analysis of Compensatory Responses in Land-Locked Alewives to Walleye Predation: A Tale of Two Lakes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 140:1587-1603.