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Profile for Ross Vander Vorste

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Ross Vander Vorste

Pronouns: He/His/Him
Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Ross Vander Vorste Pronouns: He/His/Him

Assistant Professor


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

Most Recent Papers:

Vander Vorste, R., R. Stubbington, V. Acuna, M.T. Bogan, N. Bonada, N. Cid, T. Datry, R. Storey, P. J. Wood, and A. Ruhi. 2021 Climatic aridity increases temporal nestedness of invertebrate communities in naturally drying rivers. Ecography 44:1-10.

Vander Vorste, R., M. Obedzinski, S. Nossaman-Pierce, S. Carlson, and T. Grantham. 2020. Refuges and ecological traps: extreme drought threatens persistence of an endangered fish in intermittent streams. Global Change Biology.

Mermillod-Blondin, F., P. Marmonier, M. Tenaille, D.G., Lemoine, M. Lafont, R. Vander Vorste, L. Simon, and L. Volatier. 2020. 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.



Ross Vander Vorste, Biology, authored the article "Using Aquatic Macroinvertebrates in Stream Bioassessment" in QUBES Educational Resources published on Jan. 17 by River Field Studies Network.

Submitted on: Jan. 18


Carissa Ganong, Missouri Western State University and Ross Vander Vorste, Biology, presented "Using Aquatic Macroinvertebrates in Stream Bioassessment" at River Field Studies Network River Rendevous on June 10 in Flagstaff, AZ. The River Rendezvous was 10-day professional development event that included a multi-day rafting trip down the San Juan River and field lessons with students from Northern Arizona University.

Submitted on: Sept. 5, 2023


Ross Vander Vorste, Biology, presented "Desiccation-resistant phytoplankton, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates: implications for transporting dredged sediments from the Upper Mississippi River" at Mississippi River Research Consortium Annual Conference on April 20 in La Crosse.

Submitted on: April 21, 2023


Ross Vander Vorste, Biology, was named a 2023 Scholar of River Field Studies Network Instructor & Curriculum Professional Development Program on Tuesday, Dec. 6. This program integrates expert instruction and peer mentoring in virtual and field settings to build instructor capacity to develop and lead safe and effective river-based field lessons and courses.

Submitted on: Dec. 6, 2022


Ross Vander Vorste, Biology, received the award for Prairie Springs Environmental Leadership Award from Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust.

Submitted on: June 13, 2022