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Emiquon Preserve in Fulton County

Bryon Jorjorian

Emiquon Preserve in Fulton County

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UIS faculty and alumni’s research on the Illinois River floodplain will soon be published in a special issue of the international journal of aquatic sciences, Hydrobiologia.
Biology professor Michael Lemke co-edited the issue and either authored or co-authored five of the articles. Other UIS contributors include Keenan Dungey, associate professor of chemistry, as well as Hua Chen and Amy McEuen, associate professors of biology. Alumni Doyn Kellerhals, Michelle Randle, and Sara Paver also contributed to the research.
The articles focus on the ecosystem of the Emiquon Preserve, located 55 miles northwest of Springfield, in Fulton County.
Emiquon is considered the largest floodplain restoration projects in the Midwest, and ecologists have recently implemented a new water management structure as part of their conservation efforts.
Lemke and others discuss how the floodplain, which had been repurposed as farmland for nearly a century, has responded to restoration efforts. Specifically, the research looks at how changes in the aquatic environment can support biological diversity.
“The 200-page special issue represents a significant documentation of restoration of floodplain lakes,” said Lemke.
Hydrobiologia is a peer-reviewed scientific journal specializing in the study of freshwater and marine environments. The publication began in 1948 and currently prints 25 issues a year.
Lemke hopes to tie his research to a new UIS elective that will compare the Illinois River to the Upper Parana River in Brazil. The course, called Brazil and US Rivers, will be offered in the 2018 spring semester, and will look at restoration efforts and how human activity has affected river ecosystems in North and South America.
Course registration is now open, and the class is set to begin in February, depending on interest.

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Professors’ environmental research published internationally