Mark Swinton PhD
In 2003, Mark entered into RPI’s PhD program studying Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake George under the direction of Dr. Charles Boylen. Prior to joining the Darrin Fresh Water Institute team, Mark was working on his Master’s degree at SUNY Albany investigating behavioral changes of fruit flies at various levels of lead burden and the presence of hormesis, characterized by a beneficial effect at low dose and inhibitory effect at high dose.
Mark’s doctoral research initially focused on examining how Eurasian watermilfoil changed the primary production and consumption within a dense Eurasian watermilfoil bed compared to the native macrophyte habitat. Unfortunately due to the relative small size of the beds and heavy wind and wave action few differences were able to be discerned. The focus then turned to investigating how sediment and porewater nutrients varied between milfoil and native sites, and how these variations related to macrophyte tissue nutrients. The findings indicated that spring precipitation increased the porewater nutrient concentrations available to the macrophytes resulting in additional uptake of phosphorus by both milfoil and native plants, while nitrogen uptake remained constant. This study further exemplified that Lake George is phosphorus limited.
Upon the completion of Mark’s PhD he was kept on as a postdoctoral researcher taking over the Lake George Watershed study investigation how land-use and climate influence the water quality and quantity entering the lake. This study sampled eight tributaries around Lake George comprising approximately half of the land catchment and varying in degree of development from pristine to urban. The four year report is currently being written and will be available for review once completed.
Currently, Mark is working with the FUND for Lake George to write their 30 year report focusing on chemical monitoring program they have funded since 1980. Mark’s participation focuses on the statistical and trend analysis of the 30 year data set, as well as, writing technical sections of the report. The publication is planned to be distributed to Lake George residents and interested entities in the spring of 2012.
View Marks CV Resume