Interdisciplinary Research Talk Series
by students & for students

Speakers: Carly Feiro (’12)

Date: October 26, 2011

Time and Place: 12:15pm; Hugel 100

Title: Status and trends of macroinvertebrate communities as indicators of water quality: a tool for assessing dam removal

Advisers: Professor Megan Rothenberger (Dept. of Biology)


Working together with the City of Easton, the Nurture Nature Center (NNC) and American Rivers, a proposal was submitted under the federal “2010 Open Rivers Initiative” for several dam removals along the Bushkill Creek between 3rd and 13th Street.  My research is part of a broader think tank that includes research being conducted by the Civil and Environmental Engineering, Film & Media Studies, Geology, Biology, Chemistry and History departments with the ultimate goal of turning it into a documentary.  I conducted monitoring studies of macroinvertebrate composition above and below five dams along the Bushkill Creek in relation to environmental parameters to provide insight on the biological impact of the removal of those dams.  Multivariate statistics revealed significant seasonal differences in macroinvertebrate species composition, as well as compositional differences above and below the dams.   The research shows that species richness and pollution-sensitive taxa are more abundant in waters below the dams.  Baseline data collected prior to dam removal represent the current health of the Bushkill watershed and can be used to assess potential impact through comparison to the macroinvertebrate community data collected during and after dam removal.  After dam removal, we expect environmental conditions and macroinvertebrate species composition and biodiversity to be more similar to the current macroinvertebrate communities below the dams.

Sponsored by Lafayette Dean of The College, the Department of Computer Science, The Health and Life Science Program, and the National Science Foundation. Contact Person: Xiaoyan Li, Computer Science,, 610-330-5416