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Lisa Lucas

General Engineer

Contact Info

Short Biography

Lisa uses numerical models and field observations to understand how coupled physical-biological processes influence (1) the food web base (phytoplankton), (2) water quality, and (3) inter-habitat connectivity in aquatic ecosystems. With colleagues, she is also studying how aquatic ecosystem functions and services may shift in future decades in response to changes in climate, management, or physical configuration. In particular, she studies interactions between hydrodynamic transport, light availability, filter feeding by consumers (e.g. clams), and system geometry and their collective influence on biomass and productivity of phytoplankton.  Her focus tends to be on tidal systems like the San Francisco Bay-Delta, although some of her work applies to rivers and lakes as well. She thinks of herself as an "Ecohydrodynamicist", but some of her friends like to call her things like "Hydro-phydamicist" (which she doesn't mind). 

  • I love being a member of Jim Cloern's Plankton Dynamics Team. Check out our website at
  • I'm psyched to be part of the USGS-led CASCaDE Project (Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem). Check us out at
  • I did my graduate work at Stanford University in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory with Jeff Koseff and Stephen Monismith  (
  • My undergrad alma mater is University of Notre Dame (the one in South Bend, Indiana)--GO IRISH!

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My Science Topics

Science Topic
Water Resourcesestuaries
Water Resourcessurface water quality
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentestuarine ecosystems
Ecology and Environmentfreshwater ecosystems

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

A Water Census of the United States

Contact Information

Lisa Lucas
345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-329-4327 - Fax
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