Freya Rowland

IMG_3602Newly minted PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow
Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
University of Michigan

Research Interests

My research interests are broad. I identify as an aquatic ecologist with interests in both basic ecological and applied questions.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2007 with a B.S. in Biology and German, and a minor in Environmental Studies. While at the University of Wisconsin, I spent many happy days at the Center for Limnology, where I examined why zooplankton body size is often a better predictor of variation around the chlorophyll a/total phosphorus relationship than zooplankton biomass (Kamarainen et al. 2008).

In 2010, I defended my M.S. thesis at Miami University. Under the direction of Drs. Mike Vanni and María González, I studied the effects of light and nutrient variation on food chain efficiency in benthic and pelagic food chains (Rowland et al. 2015 and Rowland et al. 2016). For this experiment, I manipulated light and nutrients in large (5000 L) mesocosms. I then compared how food quantity and quality predicted top consumer production in simple pelagic (phytoplankton to zooplankton to larval fish) and benthic (periphyton to tadpole) food chains. I used C:nutrient ratios as an indicator of food quality, and also looked at top consumer body nutrients at the end of the experiment.

After completing my master’s degree, I spent several years working in local government monitoring lakes, streams and stormwater for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This work helped give me an appreciation for water resources policy and the enormous impact humans have on the environment. Ultimately, my experiences in local government helped push me to include more applied/conservation aspects in my ecological research.

In my current work, I use a combination of field studies, mesocosms, and quantitative tools to understand some basic questions about pond food webs and ecosystem functioning. These questions include examining the relative strength of top-down vs. bottom-up dynamics in ponds, manipulating cross-ecosystem subsidies of leaf litter, and examining green vs. brown energy pathways in ponds. I am especially interested in the role of pond-breeding amphibians in shaping pond processes (for example nutrient cycling and primary production), and how basal resources of a pond influence the success of larval amphibians. 

*italics denote undergraduate co-author

Watters, A.M., F.E. Rowland, and R.D. Semlitsch. (in press). Larval salamanders are as effective at short-term mosquito predation as mosquitofish. Canadian Journal of Zoology.

Peterman, W.E., T.L. Anderson, B.H. Ousterhout, D.L. Drake, J.J. Burkhart, F.E. Rowland, and R.D. Semlistch 2018. Using spatial demographic network models to optimize habitat creation, restoration, and preservation. Journal of Wildlife Management 82(3): 649-659.

Anderson, T.L., F.E. Rowland, and R.D. Semlitsch. 2017. Asymmetric effects of phenological shifts and larval density on intraguild predation between salamanders. Oecologia 185(3): 475-486.

Burkhart, J.J., W.E. Peterman, E. Brocato, K. Romine, M.M. Willis, B.H. Ousterhout, T.L. Anderson, D.L. Drake, F.E. Rowland, R.D. Semlitsch, and L. Eggert. 2017. The influence of breeding phenology on the genetic structure of four pond-breeding salamanders. Ecology and Evolution 7(13):46704681.

Rowland, F.E., M.B. Rawlings, and R.D. Semlitsch. 2017. Joint effects of resources and amphibians on pond ecosystems. Oecologia 183(1): 237-247.

Rowland, F.E., S.K. Tuttle, M.J. González and M.J. Vanni. 2016. Canopy cover and anurans: nutrients are the most important predictor of growth and development. Canadian Journal of Zoology 94: 225-232.

Rowland, F.E., K.J. Bricker, M.J. Vanni, and M.J. González. 2015. Light and nutrients regulate energy transfer through benthic and pelagic food chains. Oikos 124(12): 1648–1663.

Rowland, F.E. 2015. R – A free solution for statistics and graphing. Stormwater Journal 16(2): 10-11.

Rowland, F.E. 2014. The Statistics Behind BMP Monitoring. Stormwater Journal 15(3): 10-11.

Schussler, E.E., F.E. Rowland, C.A. Distel, J.M. Bauman, M.L. Keppler, Y. Kawarasaki, M.R. McCarthy, A. Glover, and H. Salem. 2011. Promoting the Development of Graduate Student Teaching Philosophy Statements. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(3): 32-35.

Rowland, F.E., 2010. Light and nutrients differentially regulate energy transfer through experimental benthic and pelagic food chains. Master’s Thesis, Miami University

Kamarainen, A.M., F.E. Rowland, R. Biggs, and S.R. Carpenter. 2008. Zooplankton and the Total Phosphorus-Chlorophyll a Relationship: Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis of Measurement Error. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 2644-2655.