Gaston “Chip” Small

Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award 2011

Gaston “Chip” Small, a recent doctoral graduate in ecology, studies the effects of nutrient loading on aquatic ecosystems. His dissertation research focused on phosphorus cycling in tropical stream food webs. So far, his work has resulted in 10 manuscripts that have been published, submitted, or are in preparation. One study, published in the journal Ecology, identified a single species of fish as playing a critical role in tropical stream ecosystems through recycling a limiting nutrient.

Small is now a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Minnesota, where he studies the role of microbes in causing long-term nitrogen increases in Lake Superior. He also leads a network of researchers working to synthesize our understanding of the role of tropical rivers in the global carbon cycle.