Scientists & Staff

Sue Eggert

Research Aquatic Ecologist
1831 Highway 169 East
Grand Rapids, MN, 55744
Phone: 218-326-7135

Contact Sue Eggert

Current Research

My research focuses on the effects of change on invertebrate ecology, food webs, organic matter dynamics, and nutrient cycling in freshwater ecosystems, particularly small streams which are most tightly linked to the terrestrial environment. My colleagues and I employ functional measures such as leaf and wood processing rates, secondary production, and diet analyses to assess ecosystem response to a variety of management practices over long time periods and large scales. Our current projects include:

  • Linking the complexity of terrestrial leaf inputs with stream ecosystem function
  • Examining faunal diversity in peatland watersheds at Marcell Experimental Forest
  • Comparing the capacity of forest streams for nutrient uptake in a high and low nitrogen ecosystem
  • Quantifying headwater stream food webs in the Salmon Trout River, home to a threatened population of coaster brook trout
  • Evaluating impacts of riparian timber harvesting on aquatic organisms and habitat

Why This Research is Important

Water quality and quantity has become a critical issue for a growing population. Properly managed forests provide a variety of goods and services including clean water for people and wildlife. Small streams, tightly linked to forests and the larger river network, are often overlooked components of the landscape. Understanding the functional responses of stream ecosystems to local and global changes are key to better management decisions and the protection, maintenance, or restoration of the ecosystem services they provide.


  • University of Georgia, Ph.D. Ecology,
  • Michigan State University, M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife,
  • University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, B.S. Biology,

Professional Organizations

  • American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • Ecological Society of America
  • North American Benthological Society
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
  • Michigan Entomological Society

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

A wood frog sitting within decaying black ash leaves in a wetland forest in northern Minnesota on the Chippewa National Forest. 

In Minnesota, Anticipating the Loss of a Million Acres of Ash Forests to Emerald Ash Borer

Year: 2019

Black ash is a foundational species in the wetland forests of the northern Great Lakes region, affecting nearly all aspects of ecosystem function. A nonnative insect that has killed millions of ash trees in more than 25 states is edging closer to Minnesota’s black ash forests. USDA Forest Service scientists have unraveled the complex relationships between black ash and ecosystem functions and how loss of the species from emerald ash borer, and potential replacement by new tree species, will impact these relationships.

Last modified: Wednesday, October 14, 2020