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Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens

Clinical Associate Professor
School of Biological Sciences
School of Earth and Environmental Science Science
Washington State University - Vancouver 


Water Quality / Education
Phone Number:
360 546-9115
Email Address:

Education Background

Ph.D. Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2003.

M.S. Biological Oceanography, University of Hawaii, 1996.

B.A. cum Laude Biology, Harvard University, 1985.

Research Interests


My research interests fall broadly within Biological Oceanography and Aquatic Ecology, with a focus on the community ecology of zooplankton, in particular the role of mesozooplankton (organisms < 2mm in size) and microzooplankton (organisms <200 µm in size) in pelagic food webs. I have investigated the distribution, composition and trophic ecology of meso- and microzooplankton in a range of aquatic environments, from the open ocean (equatorial Pacific) to coastal and estuarine regions (coastal CA, San Francisco Estuary, Columbia River Estuary) to freshwater rivers and lakes (Columbia River, Vancouver Lake). I am especially interested in how microzooplankton impact the flow of energy through the lower food web through their behavior as predators and grazers, as well as prey for higher organisms. I am currently funded by the Office of Naval Research (behavior and grazing by zooplankton on phytoplankton thin layers), as well as the Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership and the State of Washington Water Research Center (biological assessment of plankton in Vancouver Lake).

In addition to my scientific research activity, I am also very interested in science education and pedagogy, in particular training science graduate students as educators and providing professional development for in-service science teachers. I am currently lead PI and Project Director for a $2.7 million National Science Foundation “GK-12” grant that partners WSUV environmental science graduate students with public school teachers in the Vancouver, Camas and La Center school districts in SW Washington (see the GK-12 website for more information: I also teach science pedagogy courses for graduate students at WSUV, and in the past at UC Berkeley.