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Robert Hecky

McKnight Endowed Presidential Professor in Lake Ecology

Large Lakes Observatory
University of Minnesota Duluth
2205 E. 5th St.,
Research Laboratory Building 109
Duluth, MN 55812

Fax: (218) 726-6979

email: rehecky at


  • Nutrient and carbon cycling in aquatic systems
  • Limnology and paleolimnology of the African Great Lakes.
  • Phytoplankton-nutrient interactions.
  • Nutrient biogeochemistry.
  • Stable isotope applications to ecology.
  • Hg and organochlorine contamination of food webs.


Duke University, Ph.D.
Kent State University, B.Sc.


  • Canadian Commissioner for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission
  • Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Great Lakes Research


208 total (including 97 on African lakes) Complete list available upon request. Some recent publications below:

Dobiesz, N. and R.E. Hecky. 2011. Ecosystem Health of the World's Great Lakes and Its Influence on the Sustainability of their Fisheries. In Sustainable Fisheries: Multi-Level Approaches to a Global Problem, 51-83. American Fisheries Society.

Depew, D. C., Houben, A. J., Ozersky, T., Hecky, R. E., and Guildford, S. J. 2011. Submerged aquatic vegetation in Cook's Bay, Lake Simcoe: Assessment of changes in response to increased water transparency. J. Great. Lakes Res. 37, 72-82.

Poste, A. E, Hecky, R.E., Guildford, S.J. 2011. Evaluating microcystin exposure risk through fish consumption. Environ. Sci. & Technol. 45(13) 5806-5811.

Witte, F., Silsbe, G.M., Hecky, R.E., Goudswaard,P.C., Guildford, S.J., Kishe-Machumu, M.A., and Wanink, J.H. 2011. Did the loss of phytoplanktivorous fish contribute to algal blooms in the Mwanza Gulf of Lake Victoria? Hydrobiologia DOI 10.1007/s10750-011-0893-z

Otu, M, P. Ramlal, P. Wilkinson, R.I. Hall and R.E. Hecky. 2011 Paleolimnological evidence of the effects of recent cultural eutrophication during the last 200 years in Lake Malawi, East Africa. J. Great Lakes Res. 37:61-74.

Gondwe, M.J.S., S.J. Guildford, R.E. Hecky. 2011. Physical-chemical measurements in the water column along a transect through a tilapia cage fish farm in Lake Malawi, Africa. J. Great Lakes Res. 37:102-113.

Gondwe, M.J.S., S.J. Guildford, R.E. Hecky. 2011. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus loadings from tilapia fish cages in Lake Malawi and factors influencing their magnitude. J. Great Lakes Res. 37: 93-101.

Jamu, D., M. Banda, F. Njaya, R.E. Hecky. 2011.Challenges to sustainable management of the lakes of Malawi. J. Great Lakes Res. 37:3-14.

Malkin, S.Y., A. Dove, D.Depew, R.E.H. Smith, S.J. Guildford and R.E. Hecky. 2010. Spatiotemporal patterns of water quality in Lake Ontario and their implications for nuisance growth of Cladophora. J. Great Lakes Research 36:477-489.

Hecky,R.E., R. Mugidde, P. S. Ramlal, M. R. Talbot and G. W. Kling. 2010. Multiple stressors cause rapid ecosystem change in Lake Victoria. Freshwater Biology 55 (Suppl. 1): 19-42.

Dobiesz, N.E., R.E. Hecky, T.B. Johnson, J. Sarvala, J.M. Dettmers, M. Lehtiniemi, L.G. Rudstam, C.P. Madenjian and, F.Witte. 2010. Metrics of ecosystem status for large aquatic systems - A global comparison. J. Great Lakes Research 26:123-138.

Stager, J.C., R.E. Hecky , D. Grzesik, B.F. Cumming and Hedy Kling. 2010. Diatom evidence for the timing and causes of eutrophication in Lake Victoria, East Africa. Hydrobiologia 636: 463-478.

Mbabazi, D., B. Makanga, F. Orach-Meza, R. E. Hecky, J.S. Balirwa, R. Ogutu-Ohwayo, P. Verburg, L. Chapman and E. Muhumuza. 2009. Intra-lake stable isotope ratio variation in selected fish species and their possible carbon sources in Lake Kyoga (Uganda): implications for aquatic food web studies. African Journal of Ecology 48: 667-675.

Schindler, D.W. and R.E. Hecky. 2009. More nitrogen data needed. Science 324:721-722.

Puchniak, M.K., F.E. Awortwi, P.O. Sanful, E. Frempong, R.I. Hall and R.E. Hecky. 2009. Effects of physical dynamics on the water column structure of Lake Bosomtwe/Bosumtwi, Ghana (West Africa). Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 30 (7):1077-1081.

Depew, D.C., Andrew W. Stevens, R.E.H. Smith, and R.E. Hecky. 2009. Detection and characterization of benthic filamentous algal stands (Cladophora sp.) on rocky substrata using a high-frequency echosounder. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods 7: 693-705.

Muyodi, F.J., R. E Hecky, J. Mukisa Kitamirike and R. Odong. 2009. Trends in health risks from water-related diseases and cyanotoxins in Ugandan portion of Lake Victoria basin. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management 14: 247-257.

Ozersky, T., S.Y. Malkin, D.R. Barton, and R.E. Hecky. 2009. Dreissenid phosphorus excretion can sustain C. glomerata growth along a portion of Lake Ontario shoreline. J. Great Lakes Res. 35:321-328.

Verburg, P. and R.E. Hecky. 2009. The physics of the warming of Lake Tanganyika by climate change. Limnol. Oceanogr. 54(6, part 2):2418-2430.

Malkin, S.Y., R.J. Sorichetti, J.A. Wiklund, and R.E. Hecky. 2009. Seasonal abundance, community composition, and silica content of diatoms epiphytic on Cladophora glomerata. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35: 199-205.

Campbell, L.M., R. Thacker, D. Barton, D.C.G. Muir, D. Greenwood, and R. E. Hecky. 2009. Re-engineering the eastern Lake Erie littoral food web: The trophic function of non-indigenous Ponto-Caspian species. Journal of Great Lakes Research 35: 224-231.

Gikuma-Njuru, P., R. E. Hecky, and S. J. Guildford. 2009. Surficial sediment phosphorus fractions along a biogeochemical gradient in Nyanza (Winam) Gulf, northeastern Lake Victoria, and their possible role in phosphorus recycling and internal loading. Biogeochemistry, 97:247-261.

Squires, M.M., L. F.W. Lesack, R. E. Hecky, S. J. Guildford, P. S. Ramlal, and S. N. Higgins. 2009. Primary Production and Carbon Dioxide Metabolic Balance of a Lake-Rich Arctic River Floodplain: Partitioning of Phytoplankton, Epipelon, Macrophyte, and Epiphyton Production Among Lakes of the Mackenzie Delta. Ecosystems 12:853-872.

Gondwe, M.J., S.J. Guildford and R.E. Hecky. 2009. Sandy shore benthic N2-fixation in Lake Malawi, Africa. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 30 (6): 941-944.

Kolding , J., van Zwieten, P., Mkumbo, O. , Silsbe, G. and Hecky, R. 2008. Are the Lake Victoria fisheries threatened by exploitation or eutrophication? Towards an ecosystem based approach to management, pp. 309-354. In Bianchi, G. and Skjoldal, H.R. (eds.) The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. CAB International. ISBN: 978-1-84593-414-9.

Beeton, A.M., R.E. Hecky, and K.M. Stewart. 2008. Chapter 6. Environmental trends and potential future states of large freshwater lakes, pp. 81-93. In Polunin, N.V.C. (ed.) Aquatic Ecosystems and Global Prospects. Cambridge University Press, UK.

Verburg, P., J.P. Antenucci and R.E. Hecky. 2008. Large scale overturning circulation in Lake Tanganyika against the direction of the wind. Verh. Verein. Theor. Angew. Limnol. 30 (part 4):619-622.

Poste, A.E., R.E. Hecky and D.C. Muir. 2008. Biomagnification of mercury in a west African crater lake, Lake Bosomtwe (Ghana). Verh. Verein. Theor. Angew. Limnol. 30 (part 4):647-650.

Hiriart-Baer, V., T.J. Arciszewski, S.Y. Malkin, S.J. Guildford and R.E. Hecky. 2008. Use of pulse amplitude modulated fluorescence to assess the physiological status of Cladophora sp. along a water quality gradient. J. Phycol. 44:1604-1613.

Higgins, S., S. Malkin,Y., E.T. Howell, S.J. Guildford, L.M. Campbell, V. Hiriart-Baer, and R.E.Hecky. 2008. An ecological review of Cladophora glomerata (Chlorophyta) in the Laurentian Great Lakes. J. Phycol. 44:839-854.

Schindler, D.W., R.E. Hecky, D.L. Findlay, M.P. Stainton, B.R. Parker, M.Paterson, M. Lyng, and S. Kasian. 2008. Controlling Eutrophication by Controlling Nitrogen Input: Results of a 37 Year Experiment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 105(32):11254-11258. Chosen as one of the 100 most important science stories of 2008 by Discover magazine.

Campbell, L., P. Verburg, D.G. Dixon and R.E. Hecky. 2008. Mercury biomagnification in the food web of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzania, East Africa). Science of the Total Environment.

Malkin, S.Y., S.J. Guildford and R.E. Hecky. 2008. Modeling the growth of Cladophora in a Laurentian Great Lake in response to changes due to the exotic invader Dreissena and to lake warming. Limnol. Oceanogr. 53: 1111-1124.

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