hits counter

Welcome to Limnology Laboratory at Iowa State University!


Iowa State University Limnology Laboratory is directed by Dr. John Downing and staffed by 4 professional and scientific employees. It is housed in the ISU Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Established in 1995, the ISULL has been implemental in training 12 graduate students in addition to 200 undergraduate students.

Our research in aquatic ecology and limnology focuses on eutrophic to hypereutrophic lakes and streams of the US Midwest. We also engage in a whole watershed analyses to understand the tight links between land use and water quality. We have been the home of the Iowa state lake water quality monitoring program for nearly a decade and collect annual data on the water quality of 130+ lakes across the region, yielding an important understanding of the consequences of nutrient enrichment.

The ISU Limnology Laboratory maintains fully equipped laboratories for analyzing chemical and biological constituents in surface water samples. We will soon be State of Iowa certified in number of critical analytes. Our goal is to provide high quality data and research on water quality to a wide range of project partners. We continue to build a strong reputation with our commitment and adherence to high quality standards in our chemistry and biology laboratories, field measurements, and data management system. As a result, our data are used with confidence by many natural resource agencies, scientists, and researchers worldwide. We offer:

  • EPA-level Quality Assurance Project Plan
  • Certified laboratory analysis through the Iowa DNR Lab Certification Program.
  • Custom web presence: Study plans, data, work in progress, and reports are posted on a web site in a timely manner to allow better visibility and public input to the monitoring program

Advanced High School, Community College, and University students! Take Dr. Downing’s limnology courses on-line!