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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Jaeger Lab Current Members


Jaeger Lab Current Members


Ellen Comes, MS Student

Ecogeomorphic response to dam removal in a mid-sized urban river
Research: My research interests focus on the ecological restoration of ecosystems and habitats, specifically mid-size rivers and riparian zones within an urban setting. My master’s research project looks at the short-term (approx. 2 years) geomorphologic changes of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers in response to the removal of a low-head dam on each river. The objective is to track the changes in stream bottom morphology and stream velocity, which affect the availability and structure of aquatic habitat for invertebrates and fish. This is achieved through periodic channel bed mapping and sediment sampling of reaches above and below a removed dam and an existing dam. The topography of the stream bottom is collected using an Acoustic Doppler Profiler (ADP), which collects depth and water column velocity data while kayaking transects in the stream channel. A McNeil sampler is used to collect sediment samples within each of the reaches in order to analyze changes in particle size distribution. Even though dam removal is becoming a more common practice as their original function is no longer needed, very little is known about short-term and long-term effects the removal has on the geomorphology and ecology of river and riparian ecosystems. This project is in coordination with Co-PI Dr. Mazeika Sullivan and is supported in part by NSF and USGS.

My career goal is to one day work on restoration projects focusing on severely disturbed and/or urbanized landscapes, either on public or private lands (such as parks or military bases) in collaboration with city planning. I am also interested in land management practices that uphold the ecological function of an ecosystem while also being accessible to the public. I want to be a part of developing and conducting practical and applicable restoration methods.


Matt Pollock, MS Student

Geomorphic response to surface mining

Research: I earned my B.S. Natural Resources at the University of Arizona. During my time in the Southwest, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several groups who actively participate in landscape and stream restoration programs. As an intern with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, I assisted with the designs of several restoration plans for riparian corridors, wetlands and upland habitats. I also worked with wildlife and habitat specialists to identify species of concern within proposed reclamation sites.

My project “Geomorphic Differences between Unmined and Reclaimed Surface Mined Lands in southeastern Ohio” explores the linkages between landscape-scale watershed attributes and their influence on stream morphology. For this work, I’m using a variety of techniques in GIS coupled with detailed field investigations. My goal in doing this research is to enable more effective restoration strategies by improving our understanding of geomorphic processes as they apply to reclaimed landscapes.


Katie Costigan, Post-Doc

Hydrogeomorphic controls on intermittent streams flow

Research: In general my research follows three themes: human modification and management of water resources, ecohydrology, and basic hydrology and geomorphology of rivers. My basic research on geomorphology and hydrology is the foundation for improved practices in areas such as river restoration and dam removal. By studying fluvial geomorphologic and hydrologic processes I work to advance the fundamental knowledge base behind river form and change. My research can be viewed on Research Gate (

My research at OSU is to better understand the hydrogeomorphic controls on intermittent streams flow. We have 80 electrical resistance (ER) sensors deployed in ten headwater streams in the Killbuck River watershed. I am studying the drivers of flow continuity and connectivity in intermittent streams. We are also studying macroinvertebrate and salamander communities and food-chain lengths in intermittent streams.

I will be starting a faculty position January 2015 as Assistant Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette (