Profile for Ross Vander Vorste

Ross Vander Vorste profile photo

Specialty area(s)

aquatic invertebrates, freshwater ecology, disturbance ecology, community ecology, conservation biology

Brief biography

My lab studies the effects of disturbances (natural and human-induced) on biological communities and freshwater ecosystems using field studies, laboratory experiments, and existing datasets. We have a strong research focus on invertebrates because they are incredibly diverse, found in many freshwater habitats, and are excellent indicators of environmental conditions.

If you are interested in joining the lab for undergraduate or graduate research, please contact me by email or phone.

Current courses at UWL

Freshwater Invertebrate Zoology (Bio 414/514) - includes lecture and lab

Ecology (Bio 307)

Organismal Biology (Bio 203)- includes lecture and lab

Capstone Seminar (Bio 491)


PhD Ecology (2015) University of Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France

M.S. Biological Sciences (2010) South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.

B.S. Environmental Management (2006) South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.

Research and publishing

Google Scholar Profile

ResearchGate Profile

Mermillod-Blondin, F., P. Marmonier, M. Tenaille, D.G., Lemoine, M. Lafont, R. Vander Vorste, L. Simon, and L. Volatier. Accepted. Bottom-up processes control benthic macro-invertebrate communities and food web structure of fishless artificial wetlands. Aquatic Ecology.

Vander Vorste, R., R. Sarrajame, T. Datry. 2019. Intermittent rivers & ephemeral streams: a unique biome with important contributions to biodiversity and ecosystem services, Reference module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.12054-8. 

von Schiller D., T. Datry, R. Corti, A. Foulquier, K. Tockner, …, Vander Vorste, R.,… 2019. Sediment Respiration Pulses in Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 33: 1251-1263. doi: 10.1029/2019GB006276.

Vander Vorste, R., A.J. Timpano, C. Cappellin, B. Badgley, C. Zipper, and S. Schoenholtz. 2019. Microbial and macroinvertebrate communities, but not leaf decomposition, change along a mining-induced salinity gradient. Freshwater Biology 00:1–14.

Shumilova, O., D. Zak, T. Datry, A. Foulquier, R. Corti, D. von Schiller,  K. Tockner,…, R. Vander Vorste,….2019. A global analysis of leached nutrients and organic matter in IRES. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14537.

Marshall, J.C., V. Acuña, D.C. Allen, N. Bonada, A.J. Boulton, S.M. Carlson, C.N. Dahm, T. Datry, C. Leigh, P. Negus, J.S. Richardson, S. Sabater, A. L. Steward, R. Stubbington, K. Tockner, and R. Vander Vorste. 2018. Protecting US river health by maintaining the legal status of temporary waterways. Science 361(6405): 856-857.doi:10.1126/science.aav0839.

Datry, T., A. Foulquier, R. Corti, D. von Schiller, K. Tockner, …, R. Vander Vorste,… 2018. A global perspective of terrestrial plant material dynamics in non-perennial waterways. Nature Geoscience 11, 497–503.

Vander Vorste, R., P. McElmurray, S. Bell, K.M. Eliason, and B.L. Brown.2017. Does stream size really explain patterns of biodiversity in lotic systems? A call for mechanistic explanations. Diversity 9(3), 26. doi:10.3390/d9030026.

Vander Vorste, R., F. Mermillod-Blondin, F. Hervant, R. Mons, and T. Datry. 2017. Gammarus pulex(Crustacea: Amphipoda) avoids increasing water temperature and intraspecific competition through vertical migration into the hyporheic zone: a mesocosm experiment. Aquatic Sciences. doi: 10.1007/s00027-016-0478-z.

Datry, T. R. Vander Vorste, E. Goita, N. Moya, M. Campero, F. Rodriguez, J. Zubieta, and T. Oberdorff. 2017. Context dependent resistance of freshwater invertebrate communities to drying. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.2870.

Stubbington, M. Bogan, N. Bonada, A. Boulton, T. Datry, C. Leigh, and R. Vander Vorste. 2017.The biota of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams: aquatic invertebrates in T. Datry, N. Bonada and A. Boulton (editors). Intermittent rivers and ephemeral stream: ecology and management. Elsevier.

Vander Vorste, R., F. Mermillod-Blondin, F. Hervant, R. Mons, M. Forcellini, and T. Datry. 2016. Increased depth to the water table during river drying decreases the resilience of Gammarus pulexand alters ecosystem function. Ecohydrology. doi: 10.1002/eco.1716.

Vander Vorste, R., F. Malard, and T. Datry. 2016. Is drift the primary process promoting the resilience of river invertebrate communities? A manipulative field experiment in an alluvial, intermittent river. Freshwater Biology 61:1276−1292.doi:10.1111/fwb.12658.

Vander Vorste, R., R. Corti, A. Sagouis, and T. Datry. 2016. Invertebrate communities in gravel-bed, braided rivers are highly resilient to flow intermittence. Freshwater Science 35:164−177. doi:10.1086/683274.

Leigh, C., N. Bonada, A. Boulton, B. Hugueny, S.T. Larned, R. Vander Vorste, and T. Datry. 2016. Invertebrate assemblage responses and the dual roles of resistance and resilience to drying in intermittent rivers. Aquatic Sciences 78:291−301. doi:10.1007/s00027-015-0427-2.

Vander Vorste, R., N. Troelstrup, Jr., and E. Rasmussen. 2011. Hydroperiod of intermittent headwater streams in the Northern Glaciated Plains. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 90: 105−112.

Vander Vorste, R. W., E. J. Rasmussen, and N. H. Troelstrup Jr. 2008. Family-level community structure of insects inhabiting intermittent streams within the Northern Glaciated Plains. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 87: 37−44.

Rasmussen, E. J., R. W. Vander Vorste, and N. H. Troelstrup Jr. 2008. Habitat characteristics of intermittent streams within South Dakota’s Northern Glaciated Plains Ecoregion. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 87: 55−62.

Vander Vorste, R. W., and D. German. 2007. Development of an optimal macroinvertebrate bioassessment index for prairie lakes in northeastern South Dakota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 86: 259.

Manuscripts in review:

Vander Vorste, R., M. Obedzinski, S. Nossaman-Pierce, S. Carlson, and T. Grantham. From refugia to ecological traps: extreme drought threatens persistence of an endangered fish in intermittent streams.

Vander Vorste, R., E. Sokol, T. Datry, and B.L. Brown. Temporal storage influences colonization dynamics, biotic interactions and species coexistence in dynamic ecosystems.