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Dr. Mark Edlund

Dr. Mark Edlund, Senior Scientist

Ph.D., University of Michigan (Natural Resources and Environment), 1998
M.S., University of Michigan (Natural Resources), 1992
B.S., University of Minnesota (Biochemistry/Botany), 1987

Phone: 651-433-5953 ext. 26

Academic Appointments

Adjunct Faculty Appointments
Biology Faculty, National University of Mongolia
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Minnesota
Water Resources Science, University of Minnesota
Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Assistant Professor (Visiting)
Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms

Research Interests

photo of Dr. Mark Edlund

My research interests have developed around algae, especially the diatoms. Diatoms are microscopic algae characterized by their ornate cell walls made of opaline silica, or biologically produced glass. I use diatoms to pursue these research areas:

Historical environmental change-paleolimnology

Because diatoms are made of glass, they accumulate in the bottom of lakes, providing researchers clues to conditions in a lake system in earlier times. We use diatoms to determine changes in historical diatom communities, productivity, and nutrient levels in response to climate, landuse changes, and management practices. Current projects include:

  • PICEA—an NSF-funded project that is exploring Holocene development of lakes and landscapes in northern Manitoba. Our objectives are to (1) understand the role of landscape in mediating lake and terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate, and (2) investigate the impacts of changes in terrestrial and wetland ecosystems on adjacent lakes.
  • Shallow Lakes—Shallow lakes and wetlands bury significant amounts of carbon; however, the controls of carbon burial in these common lake types are poorly understood. Modern carbon dynamics in shallow lakes of contrasting ecological state (turbid vs macrophyte-dominated) is coupled with paleoecological analysis to study the burial of carbon in shallow lakes and wetlands. This an NSF-funded collaboration between the University of Minnesota, St. Thomas University and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Learn More
  • SLICE—Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment is a multi-agency collaboration between the Minnesota DNR, the USGS and the Science Museum of Minnesota. A set of Minnesota lakes designated as sentinels of future change are being intensively monitored to understand their response to climate variability. Work at SCWRS is focused on analysis of sediment cores from seven sentinel lakes that support cold-water cisco fisheries.

Biomonitoring of aquatic resources

Our current biomonitoring research is directed at lakes and aquatic resources in the National Parks of the Upper Midwest. One project is exploring the ecology of splash pools at three Lake Superior parks – a seasonal inventory of water qualtiy and biology (diatoms, zooplankton, insects, amphibians) to determine vulnerability of shoreline resources. Another project has developed a novel technique to use repeat sampling of sediments from NPS lakes to determine extent and trajectory of ecological change.

Ecological change in large lakes

The Laurentian Great Lakes are undergoing unprecedented change in response to introduced species and climate change. We are working to understand dramatic food web shifts in Lake Michigan, including the disappearance of the benthic invertebrate Diporeia, using a two pronged approach that investigates food resource shifts preserved in sediment cores coupled with gut content analysis of historical Diporeia collections. Other Great Lakes work investigates the recently modified pathway by which botulism outbreaks have returned to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Biodiversity and ecological change in ancient lakes and landscapes

We've been working in Mongolia since 1996 and recently completed a survey of the diatom flora of western Mongolia's Valley of the Great Lakes. This landscape is dominated by two large saline lakes (Uvs and Khyargus Nuur) and many smaller lakes that range from fresh to hypersaline. Results that show recent eutrophication of lakes from interactions of grazing and climate drivers are fueling our next proposal. Other ancient lakes that we've worked on include Eocene kimberlite deposits in Canada, Mongolia's Lake Hövsgöl, Russia's Lake Baikal, Lake Ohrid, and Quebec's Pingualuit Crater Lake.

Life history strategies

Conservative estimates set the number of living diatom species at about 25,000, but knowledge of sexuality and life histories is known for only approximately 200 species. This shortfall provides a modern challenge to further a rich scientific history on algal sexuality. My work in this field has centered on description and cytology of sexuality and dormancy strategies.

Representative Publications

Siver, P.A., Wolfe, A.P. and Edlund, M.B. 2010. Taxonomic descriptions and evolutionary implications of Middle Eocene pennate diatoms representing the extant genera Oxyneis, Actinella and Nupela (Bacillariophyceae). Plant Ecology and Evolution 143(3): 349-351, doi: 10.591/plecevo.2010.419

Edlund, M.B., Shinneman, A.L.C., Soninkhishig, N. 2010. Diatoms (Bacillariophyceae) from the Valley of the Great Lakes in western Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences 8(1): 17-26.

Spaulding, S. and Edlund, M.B. (Guest Editors). 2010. "A special volume honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Charles W. Reimer", Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 160.

Rushforth, S.J., Edlund, M.B., Spaulding, S.A. and Stoermer, E.F. 2010. The Reimer Diatom Herbarium: an important resource for teaching and research. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 160.

Edlund, M.B. and Brant, L.A. 2010. Eunotia charliereimeri, a new Eunotia species (Bacillariophyceae) with amphoroid frustule symmetry. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 160.

Morales, E.A., Edlund, M.B. and Spaulding, S.A. 2010. Description and ultrastructure of araphid diatom species (Bacillariophyceae) morphologically similar to Pseudostaurosira elliptica (Schumann) Edlund et al. Phycological Research 58: 97-107.

Bischoff, J., Ramstack, J., Strom, J., Madejczyk, J., Edlund, M.B., Williamson, J., Shinneman, A.C. 2009. The complexities of developing excess nutrient TMDLs for shallow lakes. In Proceedings of the 2009 TMDL Conference, Water Environment Federation, Alexandria, Virginia, pp 1073-1098.

Shinneman, A.L.C., Umbanhowar, C.E., Jr., Edlund, M.B. and Soninkhishig, N. 2010. Late Holocene moisture balance inferred from diatoms and lake sediment records in western Mongolia. The Holocene 20: 123-138.

Shinneman, A.L.C., Umbanhowar, C.E., Jr., Almendinger, J.E., Edlund, M.B. and Soninkhishig, N. 2009. Paleolimnologic evidence for recent eutrophication in the Valley of the Great Lakes (Mongolia). Ecosystems 12: 944-960. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-009-9269-x

Mackay, A.W., Edlund, M.B. and Khursevich, G. 2010. Diatoms in ancient lakes. In Smol, J.P. and Stoermer, E.F. (Eds) The Diatoms: Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences. Cambridge University Press. pp 209-228.

Reavie, E.D. and Edlund, M.B. 2010. Diatoms as indicators of environmental change in rivers, fluvial lakes and impoundments. In Smol, J.P. and Stoermer, E.F. (Eds) The Diatoms: Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences. Cambridge University Press. pp 86-97.

Spaulding, S.A., Kilroy, C. and Edlund, M.B. 2010. Diatoms as nonnative species. In Smol, J.P. and Stoermer, E.F. (Eds) The Diatoms: Applications for the Environmental and Earth Sciences. Cambridge University Press. pp 560-569.

Edlund, M.B., Shinneman, A.L.C., Levkov, Z. 2009. Diatom biodiversity in Mongolia: A new amphoroid diatom from saline lakes in western Mongolia, Amphora soninkhishigae sp. nov. Acta Botanica Croatica 68(2): 251-262.

Edlund, M.B. and Soninkhishig, N. 2009. The Navicula reinhardtii species flock (Bacillariophyceae) in ancient Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia: description of four taxa. Nova Hedwigia, Beiheft 135: 239-256.

Edlund, M.B., Triplett, L.D., Tomasek, M. and Bartilson, K. 2009. From paleo to policy: partitioning of historical point and nonpoint phosphorus loads to the St. Croix River, Minnesota-Wisconsin, USA. Journal of Paleolimnology 41: 679-689. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-008-9288-1

Triplett, L. D., Engstrom, D.R. and Edlund, M.B. 2009. A whole-basin stratigraphic record of sediment and phosphorus loading to the St. Croix River, USA. Journal of Paleolimnology 41: 659-677. DOI:10.1007/s10933-008-9290-7

Edlund, M.B., Engstrom, D.R., Triplett, L., Lafrancois, B.M. and Leavitt, P.R. 2009. Twentieth-century eutrophication of the St. Croix River (Minnesota-Wisconsin, USA) reconstructed from the sediments of its natural impoundment. Journal of Paleolimnology 41: 641-657. DOI:10.1007/s10933-008-9296-1

Serieyssol, C.A., Edlund, M.B. and Kallemeyn, L.W. 2009. Impacts of settlement, damming, and hydromanagement in two boreal lakes: a comparative paleolimnological study. Journal of Paleolimnology 42: 497-513. DOI:10.1007/s10933-008-9300-9

Shinneman, A.L.C., Edlund, M.B., Almendinger, J.E. and Soninkhishig, N. 2009. Diatoms as indicators of water quality in Western Mongolian lakes: a 54-site calibration set. Journal of Paleolimnology 42: 373-389, DOI:10.1007/s10933-008-9282-7

Soninkhishig, N., Edlund, M.B. & Czarnecki, D.B. 2008. The type, taxonomy and distribution of Anomoeoneis fogedii Reimer. In: Likhoshway, Ye. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 19th International Diatom Symposium. Biopress Ltd, Bristol. pp 83-90.

Smucker, N.J., Edlund, M.B. and Vis, M.L. 2008. The distribution, morphology, and ecology of a non-native species, Thalassiosira lacustris (Bacillariophyceae), from benthic stream habitats in North America. Nova Hedwigia 87: 201-220.

Levkov, Z., Edlund, M.B. & Nakov, T. 2008. Identity and typification of Navicula hasta (Bacillariophyceae). Phycological Research 56: 46-57

Edlund, M.B., Brant, L. A., Levkov, Z. & Nakov, T. 2006. An emended description of Decussata (Patrick) Lange-Bertalot & Metzeltin that includes protoplast organization and detailed valve and cingulum ultrastructure. Diatom Research 21: 269-280.

Edlund, M.B. 2006. Persistent low diatom plankton diversity within the otherwise highly diverse Lake Baikal ecosystem. In Microalgal Biology, Evolution and Ecology (Crawford, R.M., Moss, B. and Mann, D.G., Eds) Nova Hedwigia Beiheft 130: 339-356.

Edlund, M.B., Levkov, Z., Soninkhishig, N., Krstic, S. and Nakov, T. 2006. Diatom species flocks in large ancient lakes: the Navicula reinhardtii complex from Lakes Hövsgöl (Mongolia) and Prespa (Macedonia). In: Witkowski, A. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 18th International Diatom Symposium. Biopress Ltd., pp 61-74.

Wolfe, A. P., Edlund, M. B., Sweet, A. R. and Creighton, S. D. 2006. A first account of organelle preservation in Eocene nonmarine diatoms: Observations and paleobiological implications. Palaios 21: 298-304.

Edlund, M. B. , Soninkhishig, N. and Stoermer, E. F. 2006. The diatom (Bacillariophyta) flora of Lake Hövsgöl National Park, Mongolia. In Goulden, C., Sitnikova, T., Gelhaus, J., and Boldgiv, B. (eds) The Geology, Biodiversity and Ecology of Lake Hövsgöl (Mongolia). Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp 145-177.

Edlund, M. B. and Spaulding, S. A. 2006. Initial observations on uniparental auxosporulation in Muelleria (Frenguelli) Frenguelli and Scoliopleura Grunow (Bacillariophyceae). In: Ognjanova-Rumenova, N. and Manoylov, K. (eds.) Fossil and Recent Phycological Studies. Festschrift in honour of Dr. Dobrina Temniskova-Topalova. PENSOFT Publishers, Sofia-Moscow, pp 211-223.

Bixby, R.J., Edlund, M.B. and Stoermer, E.F. 2005. Hannaea superiorensis sp. nov., an endemic diatom from the Laurentian Great Lakes. Diatom Research 20: 227-240.

Wolfe, A. P. and Edlund, M. B. 2005. Taxonomy, phylogeny, and paleoecology of Eoseira wilsonii gen. et sp. nov., a middle Eocene diatom (Bacillariophyceae: Aulacoseiraceae) from lake sediments at Horsefly, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 42: 243-257.

Morales, E. A. and Edlund, M. B. 2003. Studies in selected fragilarioid diatoms (Bacillariophyceae) from Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia. Phycological Research 51(4): 225-239.

Edlund, M. B. , Soninkhishig, N., Williams, R. M. and Stoermer, E. F. 2001. Biodiversity of Mongolia: Checklist of diatoms, including new distributional reports of 31 taxa. Nova Hedwigia 72:59-90.

Edlund, M. B. and Stoermer, E. F. 2000. A 200,000-year, high-resolution record of diatom productivity and community makeup from Lake Baikal shows high correspondence to the marine oxygen-isotope record of climate change. Limnology and Oceanography 45: 948-962.

Edlund, M. B. , Taylor, C. M., Schelske, C. L. and Stoermer, E. F. 2000. Thalassiosira baltica (Bacillariophyta), a new exotic species in the Great Lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 57:610-615.

Brandriss, M. E., O'Neil, J. R., Edlund, M. B. and Stoermer, E. F. 1998. Oxygen isotope fractionation between diatomaceous silica and water. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 62:1119-1125.

Edlund, M. B. and Stoermer, E. F. 1997. Review: Ecological, evolutionary, and systematic significance of diatom life histories. Journal of Phycology 33:897-918.

Edlund, M. B. 1994. Additions and confirmations to the algal flora of Itasca State Park. II. Diatoms of Chambers Creek. J. Minn. Acad. Sci. 59(1):10-21.

Edlund, M. B. and E. F. Stoermer. 1991. Sexual reproduction in Stephanodiscus niagarae (Bacillariophyta). Journal of Phycology 27:780-793.