I have been fortunate in my research career in that I have had diverse research experiences which made me a well-rounded researcher, proficient in many necessary skills, and desire to lead a varied research program. I have led several undergraduates through the process of scientific research, developing different projects with them. These have consisted of: (a) looking at the influence of deep water algae layers on benthic invertebrate distribution in stratified lakes; (b) using compound-specific stable isotope analysis to reveal the complexities of lake food webs; and (c) investigating the correlation between the amount of microplastics available in an invertebrate’s environment and the amount ingested by the organism by developing an optimized enzymatic digestion protocol utilizing Chitinase and Proteinase-K enzymes. In my own research, I have looked at mate preferences associated with MHC alleles in the sailfin molly as an undergraduate at Ohio Wesleyan University, delved into short and long-term temporal analyses of river food webs as a graduate student at KU, and participated in a project focusing on hierarchical functioning of river macrosystems in temperate ecosystems as a post-doc on an NSF project.

My current research, as a post-doc at Karlstad University, aims to improve our understanding of how riverine ecosystems respond to dam removal. My focus is on the holistic and comprehensive evaluation and assessment of river continuity. Current projects include: dam removal influences on river system metabolism and gas exchange; how barriers block migrating fish movement assessed by telemetry and environmental DNA (eDNA); using stable isotopes to assess whole river food webs and changes in access to marine-derived nutrients with barrier construction and removal; changes in benthic fauna diversity and functional traits with dam removal; riparian vegetation community responses to dam removal; determining Swedish public perspectives of dams; and a network analysis on the decision making process of dam removal in Sweden.

Click on any of the projects below to learn more about them!

Rachel E. Bowes_Research Statement