Christopher Klausmeier

Christopher A.  Klausmeier
  • Professor
  • Plant Biology
  • W.K. Kellogg Biological Station



Our laboratory group seeks to uncover the general principles that organize ecological communities and ecosystems. We focus on phytoplankton and zooplankton, the microscopic plants and animals at the base of lake and ocean food webs. Plankton communities are an ideal focus for this work, because they show striking patterns in space, time, and organization, and are easily manipulated in the lab and field. From a practical point of view, freshwater plankton are important determinants of water quality and marine phytoplankton play major roles in global biogeochemical cycles and perform about half the planet’s primary productivity.


  • developing and testing models of the vertical distribution of phytoplankton
  • understanding the role of spatial heterogeneity on species competition and coexistence
  • determining the causes of seasonal succession in plankton communities
  • applying game theoretical approaches to models of community assembly
  • explaining different sources of variation in the elemental stoichiometry of phytoplankton
  • exploring the dynamics of nonlinear food web modules.