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.
June 2014: Hannah Passolt began graduate work in WERG.
May 2014: Carrie Werkmeister passed her preliminary examinations and is now a PhD candidate. Congratulations!
April 2014: Carrie Werkmeister received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award from Gamma Sigma Delta.
March 2014: Sullivan, Kissoon, Jacob, Hanson, and Fischbach, Otte publish an article in March issue of Wetland Science and Practice. This article prominently features the work of Ryan Sullivan, a former undergraduate student (see link)
October 2013: La Toya Kissoon received the NIEHS PhytoScholar travel award to present her work at a meeting of the International Phytotechnology Society in Syracuse, New York.
August 2013: Steph (Longstaff) Hummel joined WERG.
July 2013: Alex Yellick SUCCESSFULLY defended his Master's Thesis. Congratulations!
June 2013: La Toya Kissoon, Carrie Werkmeister, Alex Yellick, and Hannah Passolt receive travel awards to present their work at a meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Duluth, MN.
April 2013: Aida Asgary SUCCESSFULLY defended her Master's Thesis. Congratulations!
February 2013: Carrie Werkmeister is featured on the website of The Wetland Foundation (see link)