Kathryn L. Cottingham

Academic Appointments
  • Dartmouth Professor in the Arts & Sciences

  • Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

  • Professor, Ecology, Evolution, Environment and Society (EEES) Graduate Program

  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

  • Fellow, Ecological Society of America

  • Editor-in-Chief, Ecology

Connect with Us

My research interests include the dynamics of lake plankton communities, linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the applications of ecological principles to public and environmental health.  Lab members typically work collaboratively on topics of mutual interest using observations, experiments, and models.  Our work often has a strong statistical component.

My teaching responsibilities reflect these interests, as my courses involve immersive, hands-on engagement with biostatistics (Biology 29, EEES 127), the ecology of infectious disease (Biology 50.02), and ecological research (Biology 22).


Life Sciences Center, Room 008A
HB 6044


Biological Sciences


The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding


  • B.A. Drew University
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin at Madison

Selected Publications

  • Ghosh, S., K.L. Cottingham, and D.C. Reuman. 2021. Species relationships in the extremes and their influence on community stability. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 376(1835):20200343. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0343

  • Walter, J.A., L.G. Shoemaker, N.K. Lany, M.C.N. Castorani, S.B. Fey, J.C. Dudney, L. Gherardi, C. Portales-Reyes, A.L. Rypel, K.L. Cottingham, K.N. Suding, D.C. Reuman, and L.M. Hallett. 2021. The spatial synchrony of species richness and its relationship to ecosystem stability. Ecology 102(11):e03486. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.3486

  • Trout-Haney, J.V. and K.L. Cottingham. 2021. Microcystins in planktonic and benthic communities of Greenlandic lakes. Ecosphere 12(6):e03539. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3539

  • Rubin, H.J., D.A. Lutz, B.G. Steele, K.L. Cottingham, K.C. Weathers, M.J. Ducey, M. Palace, K.M. Johnson, and J.W. Chipman. 2021. Remote sensing of lake water clarity: performance and transferability of both historical algorithms and machine learning. Remote Sensing 13(8):1434. DOI 10.3390/rs13081434

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Speaking Engagements

Plenary talk at the 2014 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting


Selected Works & Activities

Cyanobacterial blooms in low-nutrient lakes - including analysis with satellite remote sensing, drones, and autonomous surface vehicles

Human perceptions of these blooms

Methylmercury in the freshwater environment

Food borne exposure to arsenic during pregnancy and early childhood

Brook trout selection of nest sites and how that impacts population dynamics

Ecology of Lyme disease, particularly tick behavior and physiology

Misinformation about ticks and Lyme disease