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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Michelle R. BartschMichelle R. Bartsch

Position title: General Biologist

Phone: 608.781.6285
Fax: 608.783.6066

1990 B.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1995 M.S., Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 

Primary Responsibilities/Activities:
Research within the Mussel Team focuses on identifying factors limiting the distribution, abundance, and species richness of native freshwater mussels in large floodplain rivers.  For the last 5 y, we focused on the roles that hydraulics and shell morphology had on structuring the distribution and abundance of mussels in large rivers.  We are currently addressing the potential for food to limit the distribution of mussels in the UMR. 

As the lead analyst within the River Productivity Team, I assist with the development and implementation of biochemical analyses of fatty acids in biological samples collected from a large river system to identify and compare production pathways between main channel and backwater habitats.

Research Interests:

Active Projects:

Select Publications:
Steingraeber, M.T., M.R. Bartsch, J.E. Kalas, and T.J. Newton.  2007.  Thermal criteria for early life stage development of the winged mapleleaf mussel (Quadrula fragosa).  American Midland Naturalist 157:297-311.

Gooding, M.P., T.J. Newton, M.R. Bartsch, and K.C. Hornbuckle. 2006. Toxicity of synthetic musks to glochidia and juvenile life stages in the freshwater mussel Lampsilis cardium. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 51:549-558.

Cope, W.G., M.R. Bartsch, J.E. Hightower.  2006.  Population dynamics of zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) during the initial invasion of the upper Mississippi River.  Journal of Molluscan Studies 72:179-188. 

Bartsch, M.R., L.A. Bartsch, and S. Gutreuter.  2005.  Strong effects of predation by fishes on an invasive macroinvertebrate in a large floodplain river.  Journal of North American Benthological Society 24:168-177.

Bartsch, M.R., T.J. Newton, J.W. Allran, J.A. O'Donnell, and W.B. Richardson.  2003.  Effects of pore-water ammonia on in situ survival and growth of juvenile mussels (Lampsilis cardium) in the St. Croix Riverway, Wisconsin, USA.  Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 22:2561-2568.

Landscape analysis of freshwater mussels in the Upper Mississippi River System

Density and size distribution of zebra mussels in the Upper Mississippi River, Pool 8 and effects of predators

Sediment-contaminant database for the Upper Mississippi River System

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