Department of Zoology

María J. González
Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin, 1992
aquatic ecology

180 PSN
Office Hours:
  Monday . . . .
  Tuesday . . . .
  Wednesday . .
  Thursday. . . .
  Friday. . . . . . Others by appt.

Biographical Information:

I am interested in how species interactions can be affected by environmental stresses ((exotic species, nutrient, sediments and herbicide inputs). Within this general framework, I have established a research program that includes pelagic and littoral communities in several aquatic ecosystems such as ponds, eutrophic reservoirs and the Great Lakes. I have successfully maintained continuous external funding for the following lines of research.

1. Biotic interactions in reservoirs: Effects of land use patterns - This overall goal of this research project is to understand the factors regulating reservoir food webs, particularly the roles of watershed and an omnivorous fish (gizzard shad) on these ecosystems. This research is a collaborative effort with M. J. Vanni (Zoology) and W.H. Renwick (Geography) and has been funded by NSF, USDA and Ohio-DNR. My lab has focused on the factors regulating zooplankton communities such as predation by larval fish and invertebrate predators, watershed inputs of nutrients, sediment and pesticides inputs. I am very interested in rotifer communities since previous studies have focused on crustaceans and our research suggested that rotifers are a key factor explaining survival of larval fish. Based on our long-term data, we have initiated a partnership with the Ohio Division Wildlife- ODNR to develop a classification scheme for Ohio reservoirs.

2. Biotic interactions in the Great Lakes littoral communities: Effect exotic species invasions - This research focuses on the effect of exotic species (Dreissena sp., Echinogammarus ischnus and round goby) on native species (amphipods and yellow perch) The invasion of Dreissena sp. (zebra and quagga mussels) has affected native macroinvertebrate communities and has facilitated the invasion of other exotic species. Our research has shown that the interaction among exotic and native species of fish and amphipods can be habitat dependent (Dreissena habitat vs. macrophyte habitat). We have documented dietary overlap between these species and quantified the competitive interactions between round goby and yellow perch in Dreissena and macrophyte habitats.

Courses Taught:

  1. ZOO 204: Fundamentals of Ecology
  2. ZOO 340 and 419: Independent & Capstone Research
  3. ZOO 463/563: Limnology
  4. ZOO 492: Senior Seminar
  5. ZOO 710: Graduate Seminar

Recent Publications:

  1. Vanni, M.J., R.S. Andrews, W.H. Renwick, M.J. González and SE Noble. In press. Nutrient and light limitation of reservoir phytoplankton in relation to storm-mediated pulses in stream discharge. Archiv für Hydrobiologie.

  2. Vanni, M.J., D.B. Bunnell, M.T. Bremigan, J.A. Garvey, M J. González, W.H. Renwick, P.A. Soranno, R.A. Stein. (2005). Linking landscapes and food webs: Effects of omnivorous fish and watersheds on reservoir ecosystems. Bioscience 55: 155-167.

  3. Bunnell, D.B., M.J. González and R.A. Stein. (2003). Zooplankton biomass enhances growth, but not survival, of first-feeding Pomoxis spp. larvae. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 60: 1-10.

  4. González, M. J. and C.A. Marschner. In review. Dietary overlap between yellow perch (Perca flavenscens) and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in Western Lake Erie: Evidence form gut and stable isotope analyses. Hydrobiologia, July 2006

  5. Nowlin, W.H., M.J. González, M.J. Vanni. J. Valente, M.W. Fields and M.H. Stevens. In review. Periodical cicadas affect the productivity and stability of woodland pond ecosystems. Ecology, August 2006.