Welcome to the Wet Ecosystem Research Group (WERG)
Dr. Marinus Otte
Dr. Donna Jacob
Marinus Otte and Donna Jacob brought WERG to the Department of Biological Sciences in the Fall of 2006. Prior to that, the research group had been going strong at University College Dublin, Ireland, since 1992.
The aims for the research group are to train graduate and undergraduate students in scientific research, particularly wetlands, plants, biogeochemistry, watershed ecology and metals in the environment. WERG research covers a wide range of scales, from microscopic (e.g. biogeochemical processes in the rhizosphere of plants) to landscape (e.g. chemical and ecological connectivity between prairie potholes across North Dakota). Regardless of the scale, the central theme is biogeochemistry and the interactions between multiple elements in wet environments.
The group works to collaborate with a variety of researchers, including soil scientists, geologists, environmental engineers, microbiologists, as well as with groups underpinning management of natural resources, such the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Natural Resources of Red Lake Indian Reservation, and the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Water Quality.
Currently, WERG has several projects, mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota. Otte and Jacob are also Co-directors of the North Dakota INBRE Metal Analysis Core, providing laboratory facilities and mentoring for researchers in undergraduate colleges throughout the state. Otte and Jacob are also members of the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium.
October 2012: Aida Asgary presents her work at the Environmental and Conservation Science Greenbag Seminar Series; Undergrads Hannah Passolt and Aude Monthean present their research at the Annual INBRE Conference
September 2012: La Toya Kissoon presents her research at the ND EPSCoR Conference; Aida Asgary receives the 2nd Annual Yellick Award!; Jacob, Otte and Larry Cihacek receive EPA/ND DoH funding for Carrie Werkmeister's project; Khurram Sheikh joins the lab for collaborative research with Bezbaruha in Civil Engineering
September 2012: Jacob, Otte, Navaratnam, Borchardt, and Bezbaruah publish an article in the International Journal of Phytoremediation. This article prominently features research done by Josh Borchardt, an undergraduate student
August 2012: La Toya Kissoon receives her Doctoral degree
June 2012: undergrads Hannah Passolt and Aude Monthean present their research at the 4th Biennial National IDeA Symposium, Washington DC, and Aude received a travel award
June 2012: La Toya Kissoon, Aida Asgary, Alex Yellick, Alex Stalboerger present their work at the SWS/INTECOL International Meeting in Orlando, FL. Kissoon received the North Central Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists Student Travel Grant, and Stalboerger received INTECOL Service Volunteer Award
April 2012: Marinus Otte presents invited seminar at Tiawan Normal University, Taipei
April 2012: The graduate students host a workshop for the Expanding Your Horizons program, science for girls
April 2012: Aida Asgary, Alex Stalboerger, and Alex Yellick present their work at the Northern Plains Biological Symposium
March 2012: Marinus Otte presents invited seminar at the ND 319 Water Conference
February 2012: Marinus Otte presents invited seminar at the ND Water Monitoring Conference
February 2012: Alex Stalboerger receives ND WRRI Fellowship
January 2012: Marinus Otte becomes Editor-in-Chief of the journal Wetlands
October 2011: Aida Asgary and Emily Fischbach won the coveted 2011 YELLICK AWARD for biggest fieldwork faux pas. See the award ceremony!