Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens

Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens

Field of Study: Aquatic Ecology
Title: Associate Professor
Degrees: PhD, Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley; MS, Biological Oceanography, University of Hawaii; AB (honors), Biology, Harvard University
Homepage: Homepage/Lab Web Site Link
Google Scholar:  Google Scholar
Office: 230A Science and Engineering Building (VSCI), WSU Vancouver
Phone: 360-546-9115
Fax: nan
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman,WA 99164-4236


My research interests fall broadly within Biological Oceanography and Aquatic Ecology, with primary expertise in the population and community ecology of plankton. In particular, I am interested in the trophic role of heterotrophic planktonic protists 2-200 µm in size (“microzooplankton”) and metazoan planktonic animals 200-2,000 µm in size (“mesozooplankton”) as mediators of carbon and energy flow from primary producers to higher trophic levels such as invertebrates and fish, and especially how these small grazers influence the dynamics of harmful algal blooms and impact ecosystems when introduced to novel environments.

I am the Co-Director of the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory at WSU Vancouver, where I serve as Principal Investigator for two major research strands:
1) Ecology of freshwater harmful algal blooms, and associated plankton trophic dynamics.
2) Research at the intersection of science and pedagogy, in particular how participation in authentic research improves academic outcomes for diverse students.

As PI, I am responsible for securing extramural funding for these research strands and serve as the primary advisor for MS and PhD students pursuing their studies in these areas.

I also serve as Co-PI on a third research strand: ecology, behavior and invasions of zooplankton, and am actively involved in interdisciplinary studies across the domains of aquatic science, political science, and science education.

Representative Publications:

  • Bolam* B, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S. (In Press) Feeding rates and prey selection of the invasive Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, on microplankton in the Columbia River, USA. Hydrobiologia.
  • Perkins K+, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Harrison J, Bollens S (In Press) Variability in the vertical distribution of chlorophyll in a spill-managed temperate reservoir. Lake and Reservoir Management.
  • Rollwagen-Bollens G, Lee* T, Rose* V, Bollens S (2018) Beyond Eutrophication: Vancouver Lake, WA, USA as a Model System for Assessing Multiple, Interacting Biotic and Abiotic Drivers of Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms. Water 10(6), 757.
  • Dexter* E, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S (2018) The trouble with stress: A flexible method for the evaluation of nonmetric multidimensional scaling. Limnology & Oceanography Methods 16: 434-443.
  • Rose+ V, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S. (2017) Interactive effects of phosphorus and zooplankton grazing on harmful algal blooms in a shallow temperate lake. Hydrobiologia 788: 345-359. 10.1007/s10750-016-3011-4
  • Rollwagen-Bollens G, Thiers P. (2017) Teaching socio-environmental synthesis to undergraduates: A case study with non-traditional college students. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology Vol. 12: Practice #4 [online].
  • Lee* T, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Emerson J. (2016) The effects of eutrophication and invasive species on zooplankton community dynamics in a shallow temperate lake. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 188: 215-231. 10.1127/fal/2016/0816
  • Bowen* A, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Zimmerman J. (2015) Feeding of the invasive copepod Pseudodiaptomus forbesi on natural microplankton assemblages within the lower Columbia River. Journal of Plankton Research 37: 1089-1094.
  • Lee* T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S. (2015) ¬¬¬The influence of water quality variables on cyanobacteria blooms and phytoplankton community composition in a shallow temperate lake. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187: 315.
  • Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Gonzalez A, Zimmerman J, Lee* T, Emerson J. (2013) Feeding dynamics of the copepod Diacyclops thomasi before, during and following filamentous cyanobacteria blooms in a large, shallow temperate lake. Hydrobiologia 705: 101-118.