Robert E Zuellig, Ph.D.
Bob Zuellig obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology at Colorado State University in 2006. He is an Ecologist at the Colorado Water Science Center stationed at the Fort Collins Science Center in northern Colorado. Since 2001, his research has focused on stream insect, fish, and diatom communities and how they respond and recover from human induced stressors. Other research interests include aquatic insect taxonomy, distribution, and biogeography as well as the ecology of plains stream fishes. Currently, Bob is the ecology trend analyst for the Surface-Water Trends Team of the National Water Quality Project of the National Water Quality Program. You can find more information about it here http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/swtrends/
- Ph.D. Ecology, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 2006
- M.S. Entomology, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, 2001
- B.S. Fishery Biology, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, 1999
- A.S. Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, Front Range Community College, 1996
- 2006 to present: Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center, Denver, Colorado
- 2004 to 2006: Ecologist Student Trainee, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center, Denver, Colorado
- 2001 to 2003: Biologist Student Trainee, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center, Denver, Colorado
- 2000 to 2001: Aquatic Biologist, Department of Public Works, Water Quality and Environmental Services, Boulder, Colorado
- 1999 to 2002: Aquatic Biologist, Department of Water Quality Services, City of Fort Collins, Colorado
- 1997 to 1999: Research Assistant, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
- 1997 to 2001: Fishery Biology and Aquaculture Instructor, Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, Colorado
- May 2007 to present: Affiliated Faculty, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Science and Products
Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The U.S. Geological Survey Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) at the Fort Collins Science Center has developed the North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) to provide users with a graphic tool to aid in the identification and verification of aquatic macroinvertebrates.
AXL has developed a method for cataloging and digitizing reference specimens in such a way that a series of digital images provides enough information on key structures so a physical specimen is no longer necessary for verification. By using the most advanced and widely used taxonomic keys available, we have annotated important defining characteristics of each specimen so that non-expert technicians can more easily identify invertebrates found in aquatic samples.
North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC)
Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and an understanding of aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is central to freshwater science. The North American Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Digital Reference Collection (NAAMDRC) was created by the USGS Aquatic Experimental Lab (AXL) to provide users with high-quality digital microscopy photographs.
Changes in biological communities of the Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado, 2003–2016, in relation to antecedent streamflow, water quality, and habitat
The analysis described in this report is part of a longterm project monitoring the biological communities, habitat, and water quality of the Fountain Creek Basin. Biology, habitat, and water-quality data have been collected at 10 sites since 2003. These data include annual samples of aquatic invertebrate communities, fish communities, water...Roberts, James J.; Bruce, James F.; Zuellig, Robert E.
Holy flux: Spatial and temporal variation in massive pulses of emerging insect biomass from western U.S. rivers
The river stonefly, Pteronarcys californica (aka salmonfly), is an iconic insect in rivers of western North America due to its large size and its support of economically important species like wild trout (Nehring et al. 2011). Their emergence generates a large economic subsidy to local communities, as anglers from around the world...Walter, W. David; Wesner, Jeff S.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Kowalski, Dan A.; Kondratieff, Matt C.
A rare and cryptic endemic of the Central Rocky Mountains, U.S.A: The distribution of the Arapahoe snowfly, Arsapnia arapahoe (Nelson & Kondratieff, 1988) (Plecoptera: Capniidae)
The Arapahoe snowfly, Arsapnia arapahoe (Nelson & Kondratieff, 1988) (Plecoptera: Capniidae) is a candidate species warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Prior to this study, A. arapahoe was known from only two tributaries of the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado: Young Gulch and Elkhorn Creek. The objectives...Fairchild, Matthew P.; Belcher, Thomas P.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Vieira, Nicole K.M.; Kondratieff, Boris C.
A digital reference collection for aquatic macroinvertebrates of North America
Aquatic invertebrates are a key component of freshwater ecosystems, and understanding aquatic invertebrate taxonomy is a cornerstone of freshwater science. Physical reference collections of expertly identified voucher specimens are the ‘gold-standard’ used to confirm specimen identifications. However, most biologists lack access to such...Walter, W. David; Ford, Morgan A; Zuellig, Robert E.
Ecological community datasets used to evaluate the presence of trends in ecological communities in selected rivers and streams across the United States, 1992-2012
In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began a study of more than 50 major river basins across the Nation as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project of the National Water-Quality Program. One of the major goals of the NAWQA project is to determine how water-quality and ecological conditions change over time. To support...Zuellig, Robert E.; Riskin, Melissa L.
Water-quality trends in the nation’s rivers and streams, 1972–2012—Data preparation, statistical methods, and trend results
Since passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, Federal, State, and local governments have invested billions of dollars to reduce pollution entering rivers and streams. To understand the return on these investments and to effectively manage and protect the Nation’s water resources in the future, we need to know how and why water quality has been...Oelsner, Gretchen P.; Sprague, Lori A.; Murphy, Jennifer C.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Johnson, Henry M.; Ryberg, Karen R.; Falcone, James A.; Stets, Edward G.; Vecchia, Aldo V.; Riskin, Melissa L.; De Cicco, Laura A.; Mills, Taylor J.; Farmer, William H.
Macroinvertebrate community sample collection methods and data collected from Sand Creek and Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado, 2005–07
This report provides a table of site descriptions, sample information, and semiquantitative aquatic macroinvertebrate data from 105 samples collected between 2005 and 2007 from 7 stream sites within the Sand Creek and Medano Creek watersheds in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Saguache County, Colorado. Additionally, a short...Ford, Morgan A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Walters, David M.; Bruce, James F.
Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs
Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and...Kraus, Johanna M.; Walters, David M.; Wesner, Jeff S.; Stricker, Craig A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Zuellig, Robert E.
Comparability among four invertebrate sampling methods, Fountain Creek Basin, Colorado, 2010-2012
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Colorado Springs City Engineering and Colorado Springs Utilities, designed a study to determine if sampling method and sample timing resulted in comparable samples and assessments of biological condition. To accomplish this task, annual invertebrate samples were collected concurrently using four...Zuellig, Robert E.; Bruce, James F.; Stogner, Sr., Robert W.; Brown, Krystal D.
Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs
The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed...Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walter, W. David; Wanty, Richard B.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Wolf, Ruth E.
Barriers impede upstream spawning migration of flathead chub
Many native cyprinids are declining throughout the North American Great Plains. Some of these species require long reaches of contiguous, flowing riverine habitat for drifting eggs or larvae to develop, and their declining populations have been attributed to habitat fragmentation or barriers (e.g., dams, dewatered channels, and reservoirs) that...Walters, David M.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Crockett, Harry J.; Bruce, James F.; Lukacs, Paul M.; Fitzpatrick, Ryan M.
Variance partitioning of stream diatom, fish, and invertebrate indicators of biological condition
Stream indicators used to make assessments of biological condition are influenced by many possible sources of variability. To examine this issue, we used multiple-year and multiple-reach diatom, fish, and invertebrate data collected from 20 least-disturbed and 46 developed stream segments between 1993 and 2004 as part of the US Geological Survey...Zuellig, Robert E.; Carlisle, Daren M.; Meador, Michael R.; Potapova, Marina