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Climate Change Institute

Robert Northington

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Robert Northington

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108 Sawyer Research Center
University of Maine 
Orono, ME  04469


I am an aquatic ecosystem ecologist interested in the interactions between climate change, biogeochemical cycles, and water resource quality and quantity. I also have experience in food web analyses and aquatic community responses to disturbance in both restored and natural systems.

Some of my recent work has focused on how decreased water availability translates into alterations in ecosystem function and downstream water quality. Additionally, I examine how changes to both temperature and nutrients may alter Arctic lake ecosystems. Past Arctic work has focused on nitrogen cycling within and between lakes, and the role of methane in lentic food webs. 


  • 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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