Rebecca North, PhD

Associate Professor

Water Quality

Contact Information

Phone 573-882-2832
Address 303L Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Websites Limnology at the University of Missouri
Google Scholar


Ph.D., 2008, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


Limnology; Aquatic Ecology and Biogeochemistry

Research Summary

Research in the North group is focussed on addressing the question: What controls algal biomass of inland waters? North’s team focuses on the effects of multiple stressors on nutrient cycling, bioavailability, and primary production in Missouri water bodies with particular attention to the source and timing of nutrient loading and the response of the receiving water body. Ecosystem stressors include, but are not limited to: climate change, landscape modification (i.e., agricultural, urban, and industrial applications), eutrophication, and invasive species (i.e., zebra mussels). North’s research is conceptually driven and applies field, lab, and quantitative approaches to studying issues in watershed and lake management on a year-round basis.


Water Quality and Natural Resource Management
Advanced Limnology
Methods in Aquatic Ecology

Selected Publications

Read Publications (PDF)

*Indicates mentored student co-author

  • J. R. Jones, D. Obrecht & R. L. North. 2022. Influence of fisheries and shoreline management on limnological characteristics of three Missouri reservoirs, Inland Waters, DOI: 10.1080/20442041.2022.2037991
  • Reinl, K.L., Harris, T.D., Elfferich, I., Coker, A., Zhan, Q., De Senerpont Domis, L.N., Morales-Williams, A.M., Bhattacharya, R., Grossart, H.P., North, R.L., Sweetman, J.N. 2022. The role of organic nutrients in structuring freshwater phytoplankton communities in a rapidly changing world. Water Research.
  • Knott, K., Coleman, E., Cianci-Gaskill, J., O’Hearn, R., Niswonger, D., Brockman, J.D., Argerich, A., North, R.L., Wenzel, J. 2022. Mercury, selenium, and fatty acids in the axial muscle of largemouth bass: evaluating the influence of seasonal and sexual changes in fish condition and reproductive status. Ecotoxicology.
  • Gaskill, J.A., Harris, T.D., and R.L. North. 2020. Phytoplankton community response to changes in light: Can glacial rock flour be used to control cyanobacterial blooms? Frontiers in Environmental Science. 8:540607. DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.540607
  • Petty, E.L., Obrecht, D.V., and R.L. North. 2020. Filling in the flyover zone: High phosphorus in Midwestern (USA) reservoirs results in high phytoplankton biomass but not high primary productivity. Frontiers in Environmental Science. 8 (111). DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.00111.
  • Block, B.D., Denfeld, B.A., Stockwell, J.D., Flaim, G., Grossart, H-P. F., Knoll, L.B., Maier, D.B., North, R.L., Rautio, M., Rusak, J.A., Sadro, S., Weyhenmeyer, G.A., Bramburger, A.J., Branstrator, D.K., Salonen, K., Hampton, S.E. 2018. The unique methodological challenges of winter limnology. Limnology and Oceanography Methods. doi: 10.1002/lom3.10295
  • Whitfield, C.J., Casson, N.J., Baulch, H.M., North, R.L., Venkiteswaran, J.J., Ahmed, O., Leathers, J., Nugent, K., Prentice, T. 2018. The effect of freeze-thaw cycles on phosphorus release from riparian macrophytes in cold regions. Canadian Journal of Water Resources. DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2018.1558115.
  • Casson, N.J., Whitfield, C.J., Baulch, H.M., Mills, Sheryl, North, R.L., Venkiteswaran, J.J. 2018. A model for training undergraduate students in collaborative science. FACETS. 3:818-829. DOI: 10.1 139/facets-2017-0112.
  • Orihel, D.M., Baulch, H., Casson, N., North, R.L., Parsons, C., Seckar, D., Venkiteswaran, J. 2017. Internal phosphorus loading in Canadian fresh waters: a critical review and data analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 74 (12): 2005–2029. Editors Choice award. Authorship order was alphabetical, exclusive of the first author.
  • Dompierre, K.A., Barbour, S.L., North, R.L., Carey, S.K., Lindsay, M.B.J. 2017. Chemical mass transport between fluid fine tailings and the overlying water cover of an oil sands end pit lake. Water Resources Research. 53 (6): 4725–4740. doi:10.1002/2016WR020112.
  • Pernica, P., North, R.L., Baulch, H.M. 2017. In the cold light of day: The potential importance of under-ice convective mixed layers to primary producers. Inland Waters. 7 (2): 138–150.
  • Hampton, S.E. et al. (42 co-authors). 2017. Ecology under lake ice. Ecology Letters. 20 (1): 98–111. doi: 10.1111/ele.12699. Essential Science Indicators highly cited paper (top 1% in Environment/Ecology field).
  • Doig, L.E., North, R.L., Hudson, J.J., Hewlett*, C., Lindenschmidt, K.-E., Liber, K. 2017. Phosphorus release from sediments in a river-valley reservoir in the northern Great Plains of North America. Hydrobiologia. 787 (1): 323–339. doi: 10.1007/s10750-016-2977-2.
  • Abirhire*, O., North, R.L., Hunter*, K., Vandergucht*, D., Hudson, J. 2016. Do human activities affect phytoplankton biomass and composition in embayments on Lake Diefenbaker? Journal of Freshwater Ecology. doi: 10.1080/02705060.2016.1205526.
  • North, R.L., Johansson*, J., Vandergucht*, D., Doig, L., Liber, K., Lindenschmidt, K.-E., Baulch, H., Hudson, J. 2015. Evidence for internal phosphorus loading in a large prairie reservoir (Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan). Journal of Great Lakes Research. 41(Suppl. 2): 91–99. doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2015.07.003
  • North, R.L., Davies, J.M., Doig, L., Lindenschmidt, K.-E., Hudson, J. 2015. Lake Diefenbaker: the prairie jewel. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 41(Suppl. 2): 1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.jglr.2015.10.003
  • Dubourg*, P., North, R.L., Hunter*, K., Vandergucht*, D., Abirhire*, O., Silsbe, G., Guildford, S.J., Hudson, J.J. 2015. Light and nutrient co-limitation of phytoplankton communities in a large reservoir: Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 41(Suppl. 2): 129–143. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2015.10.001
    P. Dubourg and R.L. North contributed equally to this paper.
  • Hewlett*, C., North, R.L., Johansson*, J., Vandergucht*, D., and J. Hudson. 2015. Relevance of shoreline erosion and slumping to the nutrient budget of a large reservoir: Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 41(Suppl. 2): 110–117. doi:10.1016/j.jglr.2014.11.020
  • North, R.L., Khan, N.H., Ahsan, M., Prestie*, C., Korber, D.R., Lawrence, J.R., and Hudson, J. 2014. Relationship between water quality parameters and bacterial indicators in a large prairie reservoir: Lake Diefenbaker, SK, Canada. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 60(4): 243–249.
  • North, R.P., North, R.L., Livingstone, D.M., Köster, O., and Kipfer, R. 2014. Long-term changes in hypoxia and soluble reactive phosphorus in the hypolimnion of a large temperate lake: consequences of a climate regime shift. Global Change Biology. 20: 811–823.
  • North, R.L., et. al. (30 co-authors). 2013. The state of Lake Simcoe (Ontario, Canada): the effects of multiple stressors on phosphorus and oxygen dynamics. Inland Waters. 3: 51–74.
  • North, R.L., Winter, J.G. and Dillon, P.J. 2013. Nutrient indicators of agricultural impacts in the tributaries of a large lake. Inland Waters. 3: 221–234.
  • North, R.L., S.J. Guildford, R.E.H. Smith, M.R. Twiss, and H.J. Kling. 2008. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron colimitation of phytoplankton communities in the nearshore and offshore regions of the African Great Lakes. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 30 (2): 259–264.
  • North, R.L., S.J. Guildford, R.E.H. Smith, S.M. Havens, and M.R. Twiss. 2007. Evidence for phosphorus, nitrogen, and iron colimitation of phytoplankton communities in Lake Erie. Limnol. Oceanogr. 52: 315–328.