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Eric Strauss

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Eric Strauss



Specialty area(s)

Limnology, Stream and River Ecology, Water Quality

Brief biography

Dr. Eric Strauss is a professor in the Department of Biology at UWL and the Director of the River Studies Center.  He teaches several courses in the fields of limnology, water quality, ecology, and general biology.  He leads an undergraduate and graduate research program examining nutrient cycling and other ecosystem processes in stream and river systems.  Prior to UWL, he spent two years as an assistant professor at Fort Hays State University and several years as a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse. With the U.S. Geological Survey, he collaborated with other scientists to determine spatial and temporal patterns of nitrogen cycling in the Upper Mississippi River and to estimate the effects of these processes on nitrate and total nitrogen load and export in the Mississippi River. His education includes a B.S. in Fisheries Biology and a M.S. in Biology (Dr. Walter Dodds, advisor) from Kansas State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Biology (Dr. Gary Lamberti, advisor) from the University of Notre Dame where he studied the interactive effects of chemical/biological factors on nitrogen cycling in stream ecosystems.

Current courses at UWL

BIO 341 - Limnology

BIO 447 - Standard Methods and Quality Assurance of Water Analysis

BIO 464 - Stream and Watershed Ecology

BIO 476 - Ecosystem Ecology

BIO 491 - Senior Capstone in Biology


Ph.D. 2000 Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
M.S. 1995 Biology, Kansas State University
B.S. 1992 Fisheries Biology, Kansas State University
B.S. 1992 Chemical Science, Kansas State University


Professional history

2007 – Present Dept. Biology, Univ. Wisconsin – La Crosse
2005 – 2007 Dept. Biological Sciences, Fort Hays State Univ.
2004 – 2005 Biologist, USGS, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
1999 – 2004 Dept. Biology, Univ. Wisconsin – La Crosse

Research and publishing

Recent Publications:

Bohrman, K. J., and E. A. Strauss. 2018. Macrophyte-driven transient storage and phosphorus uptake in a western Wisconsin stream. Hydrological Processes 32:253-263.

Swanson, W., N. R. De Jager, E. Strauss, and M. Thomsen. 2017. Effects of flood inundation and invasion by Phalaris arundinacea on nitrogen cycling in an Upper Mississippi River floodplain forest. Ecohydrology DOI: 10.1002/eco.1877.

Stelzer, R.S., E.A. Strauss, and M. Coulibaly.  2017. Assessing the importance of seepage and springs to nitrate flux in a stream network in the Wisconsin sand plains. Hydrological Processes. 31:2016-2028.

Milde, A., W.B. Richardson, E.A. Strauss, B. Knights, J. Larson, and J. Vallazza. 2017. Spatial and temporal dynamics of suspended particle characteristics and composition in navigation pool 19 of the Upper Mississippi River. River Research and Applications. 33:740-752.

Mooney, R.J., E.A. Strauss, and R.J. Haro. 2016. Nutrient-specific foraging by Glossosoma intermedium leads to conspecific case grazing. Freshwater Science. 35:873-881. DOI: 10.1086/686699

De Jager, N.R., W. Swanson, E.A. Strauss, M. Thomsen, Y. Yin. 2015. Flood pulse effects on nitrification in a floodplain forest impacted by herbivory, invasion, and restoration. Wetlands Ecology and Management. 23:1067-1081. doi: 10.1007/s11273-015-9445-z.

Kreiling, R.M., N.R. De Jager, W. Swanson, E.A. Strauss, and M. Thomsen. 2015. Effects of flooding on ion exchange rates in an Upper Mississippi River floodplain forest impacted by herbivory, invasion, and restoration. Wetlands 35: 1005-1012.

Mooney, R.J., E.A. Strauss, and R.J. Haro. 2014. Nutrient recycling by caddisflies alleviates phosphorus limitation in case periphyton. Freshwater Science. 33(4): 1086–1092.

Kreiling, R.M., J.P. Schubauer-Berigan, W.B. Richardson, L.A. Bartsch, P.E. Hughes, J.C. Cavanaugh, and E.A. Strauss. 2013. Wetland management and restoration for wildlife reduces sediment and nutrient loading to the Upper Mississippi River: mechanisms and outcomes. Journal of Environmental Quality. 42: 573-583.

Strauss, E.A., W.B. Richardson, L.A. Bartsch, J.C. Cavanaugh. 2011. Effect of habitat type on in-stream nitrogen loss in the Mississippi River. River Systems. 19(3): 261–269.

Stelzer, R.S., L.A. Bartsch, W.B. Richardson, and E.A. Strauss. 2011. The dark side of the hyporheic zone: depth profiles of nitrogen and its processing in stream sediments. Freshwater Biology. 56(10): 2021–2033.

Austin, B.J. and E.A. Strauss. 2011. Nitrification and denitrification response to varying periods of desiccation and inundation in a western Kansas stream. Hydrobiologia. 658: 183-195.

Duff, J.H., A.J. Tesoriero, W.B. Richardson, E.A. Strauss, and M.D. Munn. 2008. Whole-stream response to nitrate loading in three streams draining agricultural landscapes. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37: 1133–1144.

Strauss, E.A., W.B. Richardson, J.C. Cavanaugh, L.A. Bartsch, R.M. Kreiling, and A.J. Standorf. 2006. Variability and regulation of denitrification in an Upper Mississippi River backwater. Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 25(3): 596-606.

Cavanaugh, J.C., W.B. Richardson, E.A. Strauss, and L.A. Bartsch. 2006. Nitrogen dynamics in sediment during water level manipulation on the Upper Mississippi River. River Research and Applications. 22: 651-666.

Bruesewitz, D.A., J.L. Tank, M.J. Bernot, W.B. Richardson, and E.A. Strauss. 2006. Seasonal effects of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on sediment denitrification rates in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 63: 957-969.



John Manier, Roger Haro and Eric Strauss, all Biology; and Jeffrey Houser, USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center; co-authored the article "Spatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton assemblages in the upper Mississippi River" in River Research and Applications and was accepted for publication by Wiley-Blackwell . Phytoplankton provide large quantities of organic carbon and biomolecules that support large river ecosystems. However, when certain groups become overabundant (e.g., cyanobacteria), they can pose a risk to human health and river biota. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of phytoplankton community composition within the upper Mississippi River. More specifically, we analyzed samples from main channel, impounded, and backwater areas of Navigation Pools 8 and 13 to examine lateral variability within each of these pools.

Submitted on: Aug. 19, 2021


Robert Mooney, Biology graduate student; and Roger Haro and Eric Strauss, both CL-40; co-authored the article "Nutrient-specific foraging by Glossosoma interdium larve leads to conspecific case grazing" in Freshwater Science published on Aug. 18, 2016 by University of Chicago Press.

Submitted on: Aug. 19, 2016