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Climate Change Institute

Robert Northington

Research Assistant Professor

Robert Northington

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202 Sawyer Research Center
University of Maine 
Orono, ME  04469


I am an ecosystem ecologist with broad interests in aquatic-terrestrial linkages and the interactions between climate change and biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, I am interested in the human influence on ecosytem processes, and the role of restoration on linking structure and function in disturbed systems. My current research focuses on climate change and its influence on altering production and nutrient cycling in warming high Arctic lakes. Through collaborations with contemporary ecologists and paleoecologists, I have become interested in the role that climate change may have on the invasion of forests by insect pests and the regulation of aquatic systems as a result of the death of key tree species (e.g. Hemlock woolly adelgid).



  • Northington R.M., J.R. Webster, E.F. Benfield, B.M. Cheever, and B.R. Niederlehner. 2013. Ecosystem function in headwater streams during active infestation by hemlock woolly adelgid. PLOS ONE 8: 1-8, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061171.t001

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  • Hershey A.E., R.M. Northington, and S.C. Whalen. 2013. Methane processing in a small arctic lake: temporal variation in production, methanogensis pathways, and methane oxidation. Biogeochemistry, In Press.

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  • Northington, R.M., J.R. Webster, E.F. Benfield, S.H. Shoenholtz, A.J. Timpano, and C. Zipper. 2011. An assessment of structural attributes and ecosystem function in restored Virginia coalfield streams. Hydrobiologia 671: 51-63.

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  • Northington, R.M., M.D. Keyse, S.R. Beaty, S.C. Whalen, E.R. Sokol, and A.E. Hershey. 2010. Benthic secondary production in eight oligtrophic arctic Alaskan lakes. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 465-479.

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  • Hershey, A.E., E. Binkley, K. Fortino, M.D. Keyse, C. Medvedeff, and R.M. Northington. 2010. Utilization of carbon sources of allochthonous and autochthonous origins by Chironomus in arctic lakes. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 30: 1321-1325.

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  • Hershey, A.E., G.A. Lamberti, D.T. Chaloner, and R.M. Northington. 2010. Aquatic insect ecology. Pages 659-694 in Thorp, J.H. and A.P. Covich (eds.), Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. 3rd Edition., Elsevier Press.

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  • Northington, R.M., and A.E. Hershey. 2006. Effects of stream restoration and wastewater treatment plant effluent on fish communities in urban streams. Freshwater Biology 51: 1959-1973.

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  • 2010 to 2011 — $482.00 — • “The effect of flow reduction on organic matter decomposition in stream ecosystems,” from Virginia Tech Graduate Research Development Program


Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 2013; M.S., UNC-Greensboro, 2005; B.S., Longwood University, 2003

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