Joseph Holomuzki

Dr. Joseph Holomuzki is Chief of the Hydro-Ecological Interactions Branch of the USGS Water Mission Area Earth System Processes Division, where he oversees USGS research and development on important water-resources topics such as lake and estuarine systems, wetlands, the relationships between water and land use, water quality, and contaminant transport and fate.


Dr. Joseph Holomuzki is the Chief of the Hydro-Ecological Interactions Branch in the Water Mission Area of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. The Branch has 50 highly-skilled scientists studying topics such as estuarine and river ecology, fate and transport of contaminants and pathogens, contaminant biogeochemistry and bioavailability, groundwater and surface water exchange in watersheds, climate and cryospheric change, and biological and microbiological processes that affect water quality and ecosystem health. Holomuzki’s research focused on community dynamics in riverine and wetland ecosystems in New Zealand and the United States (mainly the Laurentian Great Lakes region and northern California). In New Zealand, he studied how flooding and species interactions (typically predation by fishes and competition for benthic algae) regulate populations of freshwater macroinvertebrates. His research in Ohio centered on how invasive plants alter food web structure and ecosystem function in Lake Erie coastal wetlands. He has worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to provide baseline data on practical economic strategies to limit expansion of Phragmites australis (common reed) and to restore biodiversity in reed-dominated wetlands. Holomuzki has published >60 peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, served on review panels or reviewed proposals for the National Science Foundation and Sea Grant, reviewed manuscripts for 30 different journals, and served on the editorial board for Copeia (1994–1998) and for the Journal of the North American Benthological Society (J-NABS; now titled Freshwater Science) (2001–2004). His professional-society service has centered mainly on operations of the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) (formerly known as the North American Benthological Society [NABS]), where he served as President from 2011 to 2012. Prior to coming to the USGS, he was in academia, where he was honored with several teaching awards, including the Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2011.