Keith Bouma-Gregson

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley


Previous Research





Ph.D. Candidate, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley 2012-present
  Advisor: Dr. Mary Power

M.S. Natural Resources & Env., University of Michigan 2011
  Advisor: Dr. James Diana

B.A. Sociology, Magna Cum Laude, Westmont College 2005

Research Interests

I am a freshwater ecologist studying algal and food web ecology in river systems. I focus my research on interactions between algae, bacteria, and aquatic invertebrates. I also work with citizen scientists to promote the ecological health of freshwater ecosystems. My research occurs in the Eel River in Northern California, particularly at the Angelo Coast Range Reserve.

In 2014, I received an EPA STAR Fellowship to fund research on cyanobacterial ecology in the Eel River. In the last decade, there have been over 10 dog deaths due to cyanotoxin poisonings in the Eel, yet little is known about the distribution and toxicity of benthic cyanobacteria in this system. I am investigating the mechanisms that control when and where cyanobacteria proliferate in the river.

To better understand the relationship between flow and cyanobacteria distributions, I was awarded a seed grant from the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping for LiDAR mapping to research how flow controls algal community assemblages. In July of 2014, the South Fork Eel River was flown with green LiDAR to construct bathymetric maps of the S. Fork Eel river channel. This will improve the resolution of hydrologic models, which will then be coupled with algal surveys to identify relationships between flow and different algal taxa.

Another project, funded by Northern California SETAC, monitored cyanotoxins at sites in the Eel River watershed during the summer of 2013. This was the first widespread monitoring of cyanobacteria in the watershed, and results from 2013 and 2014 will guide future experiments to understand the specific mechanisms that control cyanobacteria abundance in the Eel.