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Stephen R. Carpenter

Research  | Teaching  |  Publications 

226A Limnology
Office: (608) 262-8690
Limnology and Marine Science
Center for Limnology

email Steve     Steve Carpenter Lab WebpageSteve Carpenter's web page     


Research Interests

Carpenter's research addresses food web processes in lakes, eutrophication, long-term ecological change, and aspects of ecological economics and resilience in social-ecological systems. See his web page for more information.



Zoology 535 - Ecosystem Analysis
Zoology 725 - Ecosystem Concepts
Zoology 911 - Limnology and Marine Science Seminar
Zoology 955 - Seminar - Limnology

Graduate students currently supervised:

Jereme Gaeta (
    Climate, fisheries and habitat change as drivers of change in freshwater fish communities.

Amy Kamarainen (
    Zoology - Long-term dynamics of phosphorus recycling in the Madison-area lakes

Nick Preston (
    Limnology and Marine Science - Processing of terrigenous organic carbon in freshwater ecosystems

Matthew Van de Bogert (
    Limnology and Marine Science - Modeling of hydrologic, organic carbon and phosphorus linkages in lake-dominated landscapes

Recent Graduate Students who earned degrees:

Reinette Biggs, Ph.D. Limnology and Marine Sciences 2008
Owen Langman, M.S. Limnology and Marine Sciences 2008
Pieter Johnson, Ph.D., Zoology, 2006
Darren Bade, Ph.D., Limnology and Marine Sciences, 2004
Paul C. Hanson, Ph.D. Limnology and Marine Sciences 2003
Elena Bennett, Ph.D. Limnology and Marine Sciences 2002

Selected Publications

See Steve Carpenter's web page for a complete list.

Click Here for "Future of Synthesis in Ecology" (2008).

  • Biggs, R., S.R. Carpenter and W.A. Brock. 2009. Turning back from the brink: Detecting an impending regime shift in time to avert it. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(3): 826-831. View it online.
  • Carpenter SR, Mooney HA, Agard J, Capistrano D, DeFries R, Diaz S, Dietz T, Duriappah A, Oteng-Yeboah A, Pereira HM, Perrings C, Reid WV, Sarukhan J, Scholes RJ, Whyte A. 2009. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106: 1305-1312.
  • Carpenter, S.R. and R.C. Lathrop. 2008. Probabilistic estimate of a threshold for eutrophication. Ecosystems 11: 601-613.
  • Carpenter, S.R., W.A. Brock, J.J. Cole, J.F. Kitchell and M.L. Pace. 2008. Leading indicators of trophic cascades. Ecology Letters 11: 128-138.
  • Ives, A.R. and S.R. Carpenter. 2007. Stability and diversity of ecosystems. Science 317: 58-62.
  • Carpenter, S.R., B.J. Benson, R. Biggs, J.W. Chipman, J.A. Foley, S.A. Golding, R.B. Hammer, P.C. Hanson, P.T.J. Johnson, A.M. Kamarainen, T.K. Kratz, R.C. Lathrop, K.D. McMahon, B. Provencher, J.A. Rusak, C.T. Solomon, E.H. Stanley, M.G. Turner, M.J. Vander Zanden, C.-H. Wu and H. Yuan. 2007. Understanding regional change: Comparison of two lake districts. BioScience 57: 323-335.
  • Carpenter, S.R., R. DeFries, H.A. Mooney, S. Polasky, W. Reid and R. Scholes. 2006. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Research Needs. Science 313: 257-258.
  • Carpenter, S.R. and W.A. Brock. 2006. Rising variance: A leading indicator of ecological transition. Ecology Letters 9: 311-318.
  • Carpenter, S.R., J.J. Cole, M. L. Pace, M. Van de Bogert, D.L. Bade, D. Bastviken, C.M. Gille, J. R. Hodgson, J. F. Kitchell, and E. S. Kritzberg. 2005. Ecosystem subsidies: terrestrial support of aquatic food webs from 13C addition to contrasting lakes. Ecology 86: 2737-2750.
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