William D. Taylor


Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567 x 2556

Present Research Activities:

My research interests are within several areas of aquatic ecology, including nutrient cycles, the fate of aquatic bacteria, the ecology of protozoa, and human effects on water quality. Research venues include: the Laurentian Great Lakes, with Ontario Ministry of the Enviroment; small lakes of the Canadian Shield through OMOE's Dorset Environmental Science Centre; the Grand River, including partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority; and East African Lakes, with collaborators in several countries. The focus of my research at the current time is human impact on lakes and rivers through changes in freshwater nutrient cycles and in the fate of bacteria, including pathogens.

Investigating the fresh water phosphorus cycle and the role and fate of bacteria in freshwater environments improves our understanding of eutrophication and of pathogens found in surface waters used for drinking. Eutrophication, the pollution of surface waters by excess nutrients, is a pervasive threat to freshwater and coastal ecosystems worldwide. In Canada, eutrophication negatively affects the environment, human health, and the economy. Phosphorus is the nutrient primarily responsible for eutrophication, and it also has several properties that make it a useful currency for studying the structure and dynamics of freshwater ecosystems and the impact of other environmental stresses. My current research aspires to address important gaps in our knowledge of the freshwater phosphorus cycle, including the nature and dynamics of dissolved organic phosphorus compounds, and factors affecting the total phosphorus concentration in lakes. My lab is examining the fate of phosphorus and bacteria added to rivers from sources such as agriculture, the processes that are responsible for the their removal, and how these processes influence water quality in rivers.

Selected Publications

Taylor, W.D. 2009. Nature of dissolved P regenerated by plankton: implications for the ssPO4 radiobioassay and for the nature of dissolved P. Aquat. Sci. 72:13-20.

Mohamed, M.N. and W.D.Taylor. 2009. Relative contribution of autochthonous and allochthonous carbon to limnetic zooplankton: A new cross-system approach. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 175: 113-124.

Sereda, J.M., J.J. Hudson, W.D. Taylor, and E. Demers.   2008. Fish as sources and sinks of nutrients in lakes: direct estimates, comparison with plankton and stoichiometry.   Freshwater Biol. 53: 278-289.

Guildford, S.J,   H.A. Bootsma, W.D. Taylor and RE Hecky.   2007. High variability of phytoplankton photosynthesis in response to environmental forcing in oligotrophic Lake Malawi/Nyasa.   J. Great Lakes Res. 33: 170-185

Barlow-Busch, L., H. M. Baulch, and W.D. Taylor.   2006.   Phosphate uptake by seston and epilithon in the Grand River, southern Ontario. Aquat. Sci. 68: 181-192.

Malkin, S., O.E. Johannsson and W.D. Taylor.   2006. Small-bodied zooplankton communities yet strong top-down effects on phytoplankton in the absence of fish.   Arch. Hydrobiol. 165: 313-338.

Hudson, J and W.D. Taylor. 2005. Phosphorus sedimentation during stratification in two small lakes. Arch. Hydrobiol.162: 309-325.

Hecky, R.E., R.E.H. Smith, D.R. Barton, S.J. Guildford, W.D. Taylor, M.N. Charlton and T. Howell. 2004. The near shore phosphorus shunt: a consequence of ecosystem engineering by dreissenids in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 1285-1293 .

Carr, G.M., H.C. Duthie and W.D. Taylor. 2003. Macrophyte biomass and water quality in Ontario Rivers. J. North Am. Benthol. Soc. 22: 182-193.

Yasindi, A.W., D.H. Lynn and W.D. Taylor. 2002. Ciliated protozoa in Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline-saline lake in Kenya: seasonal variation, potential production and role in the food web. Arch. Hydrobiol. 154: 311-325.

Higgins, S.N., R.E. Hecky and W.D. Taylor. 2001. Epilithic nitrogen fixation in the rocky littoral zones of Lake Malawi, Africa. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46: 976-982.

Hudson, J.J., W.D. Taylor and D.W. Schindler. 2000. Phosphate concentration in lakes. Nature 406: 54-56.

Full Publication List

Recent and Current Graduate Students

University of Waterloo Ecology Group (UWEG)