Kathryn L. Cottingham

Academic Appointments
  • Dartmouth Professor in the Arts & Sciences

  • Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

  • Professor, Ecology, Evolution, Environment and Society (EEES) Graduate Program

  • Fellow, Ecological Society of America

  • Editor-in-Chief, Ecology

Connect with Us

My research interests include the dynamics of lake plankton communities, linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the applications of ecological principles to public and environmental health.  Lab members typically work collaboratively on topics of mutual interest using observations, experiments, and models.  Our work often has a strong statistical component.

My teaching responsibilities reflect these interests, as my courses involve immersive, hands-on engagement with either biostatistics (Biology 29, EEES 127) or ecological research (Biology 22).


124 Life Sciences Center
HB 6044


  • B.A. Drew University
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin at Madison

Selected Publications

  • Broadley, H.J., K.L. Cottingham, N.A. Baer, K.C. Weathers, H.A. Ewing, R. Chaves-Ulloa, A.M. Wilson, J. Chickering, J. Shrestha, and C.Y. Chen. 2019. Factors affecting MeHg bioaccumulation in stream biota: the role of dissolved organic carbon and diet. Ecotoxicology 28(8):949-963. DOI 10.1007/s10646-019-02086-2

  • Vacca, A.J. and K.L. Cottingham. 2019. No detectable changes in crayfish behavior due to sublethal dietary methylmercury exposure. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 182:109440.

  • Nachman, K.E., T Punshon, L. Rardin, A.J. Signes-Pastor, C.J. Murray, B.P. Jackson, M.L. Guerinot, T.A. Burke, C.Y. Chen, H. Ahsan, M. Argos, K.L. Cottingham, F. Cubadda, G.L. Ginsberg, B.C. Goodale, M. Kurzius-Spencer, A.A. Meharg, M.D. Miller, A.E. Nigra, C.B. Pendergrast, A. Raab, K. Reimer, T. Schwerdtle, V.F. Taylor, E.J. Tokar, T.M. Warczak, and M.R. Karagas. 2018. Opportunities and challenges for dietary arsenic intervention. Environmental Health Perspectives 126(8):084503. DOI 10.1289/EHP3997

  • Signes-Pastor, A.J., K.L. Cottingham, M. Carey, V. Sayarath, T. Palys, A.A. Meharg, C.L. Folt, and M.R. Karagas. 2018. Infants’ dietary arsenic exposure during transition to solid food. Scientific Reports 8(1):7114. DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-25372-1

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Speaking Engagements

August 2014:  Delivered the Scientific Plenary talk at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA:  "Wearing an ecologist’s hat and facing a world of change"


Selected Works & Activities

Cyanobacterial blooms in low-nutrient lakes - including analysis with satellite remote sensing, drones, and autonomous surface vehicles

Methylmercury in the freshwater environment

Food borne exposure to arsenic during pregnancy and early childhood

Brook trout selection of nest sites and how that impacts population dynamics

Ecology of Lyme disease, particularly tick behavior and physiology