Faculty profile

Richard Back

Associate Professor


320 Shineman Center

Office hours

Mon 1-3, Th 10-12, and by appointment.

Richard Back


Flux of materials through aquatic ecosystems.

Specialty areas:

  • plankton ecology
  • limnology
  • aquatic entomology


* indicates undergraduate research student

  • Omara, M., B.S. Crimmins, R.C. Back, P.K. Hopke, F.-C. Chang, T.M. Holsen. 2015. Mercury biomagnification and contemporary food web dynamics in lakes Superior and Huron. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41:473-483
  • Keller, B.J., R.C. Back, J. Westrick, M. Werner, B. Evans, A. Moerke, G. Zimmerman, D.D. Wright, E. Grenfell, J. Courneya. (2011)  Sediment quality at select sites in the St. Marys River Area of Concern. J. Great Lakes Res. 37:12-20.
  • Walsh, M.G., B.F. Lantry, B. Boscarino, K. Bowen, J. Gerlofsma, T. Schaner, R.C. Back, J. Questel*, A.G. Smythe, R. Cap, M. Goehle, B. Young, M. Chalupnicki, J. H. Johnson and J.E. McKenna Jr. (2010)  Early observations on an emerging Great Lakes invader Hemimysis anomala in Lake Ontario. J. Great Lakes Res. 36:499-504.
  • Kennedy, A.J., R.W. Griel, R.C. Back, and T.M. Sutton.  (2005)  Population characteristics and spawning migration dynamics of pink salmon in the U.S. water of the St. Marys River.  J. Great Lakes Res. 31:11-21.
  • Kreutzweiser, D.P., R.C.Back, T.M. Sutton, K.L. Pangle and D.G. Thomspon.  (2004)  Aquatic mesocosm assessments of neem (azadirachtin) insecticide at environmentally realistic concentrations - 2: zooplankton community reponses and recovery.  Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety  59:194-204.
  • Back, R.C., P.R. Gorski, L.B. Cleckner and J.P. Hurley.  (2003)  Mercury content and speciation in the plankton and benthos of Lake Superior. Science of the Total Environment 304-349-354.
  • Cleckner, L.B., R.C. Back, P.R. Gorski, J.P. Hurley and S. Byler.  (2003)  Seasonal and size-specific distribution of methylmercury in seston and zooplankton of two contrasting Great Lakes embayments.  Journal of Great Lakes Research.  29:134-144.
  • Rolfhus, K.R., H.E. Sakamoto, L.B. Cleckner, R.W. Stoor, C.L. Babiarz, R.C. Back, H. Manolopoulos and J.P. Hurley.  (2003)  The distribution of mercury in Lake Superior.  Environmental Science and Technology 37:865-872.
  • Back, R.C., J.P. Hurley and K.R. Rolfhus.  (2002)  Watershed influences on the transport, fate and bioavailability of mercury in Lake Superior: Field measurements and modeling approaches.  Lakes and Reservoirs 7:210-206.
  • Kreutzweiser, D.P., R.C. Back, T.M.Sutton, D.G. Thompson and T.A. Scarr.  (2002)  Community-level disruptions among zooplankton of pond enclosures treated with neem (azadirachtin) insecticide.  Aquatic Toxicology 56:257-273.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
MS, Clemson University
BS, Syracuse University

Classes taught

HON300 TR 1120-1240 in Lanigan 106. BIO110 91F is W 330-425 in Shineman 122. BIO110 85F is R 100-155 in Shineman 172