Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore

St. Petersburg Campus CHAIR and Professor


St. Petersburg campus
Office: STG 217
Phone: (727) 873-4834

Email: mariedin@usf.edu

Specialty Area Recent Publications

Ecology & Evolution, Conservation & Disease, Marine Biology

Key research areas: Conservation Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Paleolimnology, Phycology, Wetland Ecology

Publications by Melanie Reidinger- Whitmore


Ph.D. Zoology, The Ohio State University, 1983


Principles of Ecology - Introduces students to the history, theory, and application of ecological research, emphasizing the importance of this field is to all areas of biology.

Disease Ecology - This course introduces students to the ecology behind emerging infectious diseases, and how people, ecosystems and wildlife are interconnected.

Stream Ecology – Florida has ~ 1700 rivers and streams. In this course I focus on the ecological factors that influence their structure and function, with an emphasis on their conservation and protection.


I am an aquatic community ecologist, and I use fossil algal and cyanobacterial pigments, and other biological and chemical indicators from lake sediments, to examine historical changes in algal communities in Florida lakes that result from environmental change or anthropogenic activities.

I’ve also assembled fossil diatom records from Amazonian, Andean, and Galapagos lakes, and have used these records to document algal community change in response to natural water-level fluctuations, and to ENSO activity. My areas of specialization include aquatic and wetland ecology, stream ecology, contemporary limnology and paleolimnology.

My research lab is particularly interested in the conservation of aquatic ecosystems, in monitoring the effects of environmental change and anthropogenic impacts on aquatic communities and habitats, and providing data that can be used to protect and restore these ecosystems for the future.

Current projects include the paleolimnology of central Florida lakes, investigating past algal and cyanobacterial blooms using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), and documenting natural variation in contemporary algal communities in freshwater ecosystems.

I teach a variety of ecology courses: conservation biology, restoration ecology, wetland ecology, disease ecology, and urban ecology. I welcome opportunities to conduct research with graduate and undergraduate students interested in limnology, paleolimnology, phycology, or wetland ecology.