Chris Peterson received his PhD in Aquatic Ecology in 1989 from the University in Louisville. He has been a member of Loyola's faculty since 1991 and generally teaches 'Evolution & Genetics,' 'Plants & Civilization,' and 'Human Impact on the Environment.' Peterson is also a member of the Graduate School and advises Masters students through the Department of Biology. He regularly mentors undergraduate students through their independent research projects and is always eager to mentor students on the topic of ecology through his research.
Peterson's research focuses on understanding how the structure, dynamics, and function of attached microalgal communities, the primary transducers of sunlight energy in aquatic systems, vary with spatial and temporal change in chemical, physical, and biological attributes of the environment. Because of their small size and rapid turnover, algal communities within biofilms are an ideal model system for addressing general ecological questions. Within a week of biofilm development, microalgal communities can support >1 million cells/cm2 of colonization surface and contain dozens or even hundreds of species that differ widely in growth habit, resource requirements, and susceptibility to removal by physical disturbance or ingestion by grazing macro- or microinvertebrates, fish, or amphibians. Because algae are microscopic, cells residing within developing algal mats experience significant changes in availability of light or dissolved nutrients as communities thicken; successional processes are driven by these internal changes. Community attributes at any given time are a product of the interaction between these internal factors and external factors such as the density and identity of grazers, heterogeneity in nutrient supply, variation in current regime, and the timing and magnitude of physical disturbance events.
- ENVS 280： 生态学实验室的原则
- ENVS 390： 综合研讨会
- ENVS 207： 植物和文明
- 在流生物膜调节脱氮藻类/细菌相互作用的重要性。 (in collaboration with Drs. John Kelly [LUC—Biology] & Kimberly Gray [Northwestern Univ.])
- 纳米钛的上流社区的结构和功能的影响。 (in collaboration with Drs. John Kelly [LUC—Biology], Kimberly Gray & Jean-Francois Gaillard [Northwestern Univ.])