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Danelle Marie Larson, PhD

Danelle serves as the long-term aquatic vegetation monitoring and research lead for the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program since 2019. Her research team is multidisciplinary and includes peer scientists, resource managers, University faculty, and students from around the world.

We collect and analyze aquatic vegetation survey data each year throughout the Upper Mississippi River System to describe the status and trends through time because plants are indicators of ecosystem health and the quality of waterfowl habitat. Our research uses a combination of field and laboratory experiments and long-term monitoring data to understand the impacts of natural and human disturbances on aquatic plant diversity and resiliency. The results help restoration practitioners select the best management tools and techniques for restoring aquatic plants to this unique, large floodplain river.  

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Biology, Kansas State University, 2014

  • Applied Statistics Certificate, Kansas University, 2014

  • B.S.  Ecology & Conservation Biology, cum laude, University of Idaho, 2010

  • A.S. Wilderness Management, cum laude, Vermilion Community College, 2007

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, graduate faculty. 2020 – Present

  • Bemidji State University, graduate faculty. 2016 – Present

  • Ducks Unlimited member. 2016 – Present

  • Ecological Society of America member. 2012 – Present

  •  Mississippi River Research Consortium. 2012 – Present

  •  Society of Freshwater Science member. 2011 – Present

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government