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Michelle A Baker

Michelle A Baker

B.S. 1992. Lafayette College
Ph.D. 1998. University of New Mexico
Faculty: Biology Faculty
Location:  BNR 145
Office Phone:  435 797-7131
Fax:  435 797-1575
Utah State University
Department of Biology
UMC 5305
Logan, UT 84322-5305

Lab:                   BNR 140
Lab Phone:        797-7008



  • Academic Interests
    Biological and hydrological controls of aquatic ecosystem structure and function
    Stream ecology and biogeochemistry
    Stable isotopes in ecology and hydrology
    Hydrologic landscapes

  • Overall Goals and Emphasis
    A goal of my research is to understand how water movement within the landscape influences ecosystem structure and function. I use

an interdisciplinary approach, involving tools from ecology, hydrology, and geochemistry to ask questions about how hydrologic linkages within watersheds influence energy and nutrient cycling.

  • Current Research
    (1)Stream-Lake Interactions in Mountain Watersheds-This collaborative project seeks to understand how streams and lakes interact in glaciated landscapes and how nitrogen cycling is affected by this interaction at different scales. The project involves modeling, experimental nitrogen isotope additions and comparative studies of 25 lakes and 50 stream reaches.
    (2) Hyporheic Nitrogen Cycling - This is a collaborative project with Mike Gooseff (Penn State University), Roy Haggerty (Oregon State University), and Steve Wondzell (US Forest Service) aimed at understanding the role of the hyporheic zone in nitrate retention. Our experiments are being coordinated with the Lotic Intersite Nitrogen Experiment II projects in oregon and Wyoming.
    (3) Tools for nutrient criteria in Utah streams - We are applying traditional tools in stream ecosystem ecology to assist watershed managers in developing scientifically defensible nutrient criteria for streams in Utah.
    (4) Soil water and carbon dynamics - This is a collaborative project with Helga vanMiegroet, Janis Boettinger, and Dave Chandler at Utah State. We are studying the potential impacts of climate change in the intermountain west on soil carbon storage and processing.

    Now hiring!
    Undergraduate research


    • Spring Semesters: Biology 2220: General Ecology

    • Spring Semsters: I usually teach an upper level seminar related to stream ecosystem ecology. Past topics have included Ecological Stoichiometry, Watershed Ecology, and Groundwater Ecology

    • Fall Semesters: Biology 6960: Graduate Ecology