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Director Lars Rudstam diving for mussels in Oneida Lake

Director Lars Rudstam diving for mussels




Staff taking water samples

gill net processing

gill net processing

gill net

gill net

Sampling aboard the Lake Guardian

Sampling aboard the Lake Guardian

Cornell Boat on Oneida Lake

Cornell Boat on Oneida Lake

2019 Intern Emily banding Tern chick

2019 Intern Emily banding Tern chick

Interns Stephanie and Emily processing samples

Interns Stephanie and Emily processing samples

Tern count on Little Island

Tern count on Little Island

Interns Omisha And Ria processing sediment samples

Interns Omisha And Ria processing sediment samples

Shackelton Point Boats

Boats docked


For more than 60 years, the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point has addressed issues of changing ecosystems within the lakes of New York State and beyond. We continue to collaborate with groups to explore the effects of invasive species and climate change, and the effects on aquatic ecosystems. 

In Memoriam

Cornell University Biological Field Station mourns the loss of a valued staff member and friend

Gabriella, in front, sampling benthic invertebrates on the Great Lakes from the R/V Lake Guardian with Susan Daniel and Toby Holda
Gabriella, in front, sampling benthic invertebrates on the Great Lakes from the R/V Lake Guardian with Susan Daniel and Toby Holda

With great sadness, we announce the passing of one of our research technician's, Gabriella Doud.

Gabriella, who specialized in Great Lakes invertebrate ecology, joined the field station in February of 2016 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in ecology from SUNY Plattsburgh.

Always with a smile on her face, Gabriella once described herself using these words "My passion is the environment. I love learning about ecosystems, how they work, and what would happen if there were to be a collapse in an ecosystem. I love to get outside and be hands on with work. I hope to one day educate others about how important it is to preserve the world we live in, and what an impact us humans can have."

Gabriella loved going out on the R/V Lake Guardian and traveling to different cities, always meeting and supporting those she met along the way.  She continued to develop her skills over time and became very confident on deck. In terms of biology, she favored Lake Ontario and the complex interactions of predatory cladocerans however; Gabriella once said that Lake Huron was her favorite due to that breathtaking sky blue.

Gabriella left a lasting impact through her research and her friendship…she will be missed.


In the News

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CBFS Scientist Watkins sampling aboard The Guardian

The State of Lake Huron in 2018

Nov 13, 2020

Cornell Biological Field Station scientists teamed up with colleagues from the US and Canada to analyze data on lower trophic levels in Lake Huron. The report in the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission special publication series is available on line. These analyses shows relatively stable nutrient, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos in Lake Huron since 2006 after a rather sharp decline in all but the benthos in 2003-2004. The report is based on data collected by the EPA Biomonitoring Program (Cornell for zooplankton, mysids, and deep chlorophyll layers - Watkins, Rudstam and Scofield, Buffalo State for benthos – Karatayev and Burlakova; University of Minnesota for phytoplankton – Reavie, EPA for nutrients and satellite data – Barbiero, Lesht and Hinchey, and nearshore data from Ontario – Howell). There collaborations among Great Lakes scientists is a hallmark of CBFS’s Great Lakes program.

Scientists aboard the R/V Lake Guardian use the rosette sampler to record measurements and take water samples from the lake surface to the bottom. Photo credit: Kristy Phillips

Effect of Lake Trophic State on Great Lakes Chlorophyll Distribution and Implications for Long-Term Trends

Oct 2, 2020

CBFS graduate student now Dr. Annie Scofield working with Watkins and Rudstam from CBFS and Eric Osantowski from EPA recently published a study in the journal Limnology and Oceanography that highlights the importance of comparing how chlorophyll distributions vary in the Great Lakes, both across lakes and over time.  The study is based on data collected from the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office vessel R/V Lake Guardian.  Deep chlorophyll layers contribute to the productivity of these lakes and affect distributions of zooplankton and fish.  Given the current ecological changes in the Great Lakes, it is important to better understand how these deep chlorophyll are affected by nutrients and water clarity, and the ultimate effects on the food web. This paper is the first study to compare the formation and extent of these deep chlorophyll layers across the five Great Lakes. The authors found that light determines the depth of the DCL and the productivity of the layer is higher in Lake Ontario than in the upper Great Lakes. Dr. Scofield also worked with undergraduate interns on this project, including Kayden Nasworthy and Catherine Louie (summer ’15). 

Scientists pictured aboard the R/V Lake Guardian include the author of the study Annie Scofield along with former Cornell Biological Field Station intern and Duke Fellow Catherine Louie (summer '15). 

Barcoding Workshop held at Shackelton Point

Jul 9, 2020

At the end of February 2020, scientists as well as EPA representatives managing or participating in the GLRI Barcoding Initiative project gathered at Cornell Biological Field Station to share updates with the group. 

The fisheries and limnology of Oneida Lake 2019

May 7, 2020

Oneida Lake is New York State’s 3rd most heavily fished lake. Walleye have historically received the majority of targeted effort, with black bass increasing in importance in recent years. Long-term monitoring of the fisheries and limnology of Oneida Lake has captured a series of changes in recent decades that have resulted in pronounced changes in the lake’s physical and biological characteristics, including reductions in nutrient inputs resulting from the Great Lakes Basin water quality agreements;  establishment of invasive dreissenid mussels resulting in increases in water clarity; increases in summer water temperatures and decreases in duration of ice cover; establishment of a breeding population of double-crested cormorants; and increases in populations of white perch and gizzard shad. 

Anna Poslednik

Recent Cornell Biological Field Station intern Awarded Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Apr 15, 2020

Congratulations to recent Cornell Biological Field Station intern Anna Poslednik ’21 in receiving the Goldwater Scholarship.  The Goldwater Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards available to sophomores and juniors across U.S. colleges who show exceptional promise in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.
As one of the selected 396 recipients from approximately 5,000 nominees, she will receive up to $7,500 to cover expenses like tuition, books and room and board for her senior year. As part of the selection process, colleges nominate up to four students who intend to pursue a career in research and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Anna first started her research at her summer 2019 internship guided by Postdoc Tom Evans and Senior Research Associate Randy Jackson. The following is an excerpt taken from the Cornell Daily Sun.

What We Don't Know (About Lakes) Could Hurt Us

Mar 6, 2020

As the power of extreme weather events increase with climate change, a team of scientists warn that lakes around the world may dramatically change, threatening ecosystem health and water quality.

The Spiny Water Flea, Bythotrephes Longimanus

Sep 23, 2019

The spiny water flea, Bythotrephes longimanus, a predatory zooplankton species native to lakes in Europe, has been found for the first time in Oneida Lake this week.  

Comparison of Great Lakes Zooplankton Communities/Great Lakes restoration Initiative

Jul 26, 2019

(July 25, 2019) A new paper published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, authored by U.S. EPA contract scientists Rick Barbiero and Barry Lesht and Cornell University researchers Lars Rudstam and Jim Watkins, offers an unprecedented look at zooplankton communities across the Great Lakes during a period of great change in the lakes.

Record Sturgeon

Recent Sturgeon Catch May Be the Largest Fish Ever Recorded From Oneida Lake

Jun 19, 2019

Last week, researchers at the Cornell University Biological Field Station may have set a new mark 
for the largest fish ever recorded from Oneida Lake. A netting survey for lake sturgeon resulted in 
the tagging and release of a 139 pound sturgeon, the largest sturgeon handled since the sturgeon 
netting survey began 17 years ago in 2002, and possibly the largest fish ever documented in Oneida Lake.