Steven Thomas

Steven Thomas

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Expertise & Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title River/Stream Ecologist
Address 403 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
68583-0974
Phone 402-613-0043
FAX 402-472-2946
E-mail sthomas5@unl.edu
Vitae Download file
Contact Preference

email, phone

Office Hours

Flexible

Hi, I'm Steven Thomas, a river/stream ecologist with the School of Natural Resources.

Simply put, I'm interested in understanding how the properties of one location impact the ecological properties of another. The flow of water links upstream and downstream habitats and longitudinal connection is a fundamental, though often ignored, aspect of ecology.

Steven Thomas

My research combines ecology and hydrology to address nutrients in streams, microbiological activity and organic matter production, transport and processing.

These interests have led me to research topics such as organic particle dynamics in stream ecosystems, in-stream nitrogen removal and transport; hydrology, remote sensing and thermal heterogeneity in floodplain river ecosystems; flow paths and the formation of biogeochemical hotspots; and other areas.

My research is nested within the broader intellectual pursuit of understanding landscape integration at the watershed scale.

I came to UNL as an assistant professor of stream ecology in January 2006. Previously, I've been a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University and formerly a research hydrologist in the private sector.

I've taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels in biology, limnology and the use of stable isotopes in ecology, among other topics.

Selected Publications

2005 Brookshire, J.D., H. M. Valett, S. A. Thomas, and J.R. Webster. Cycling of dissolved organic nitrogen in a forested headwater stream. Ecology. 86:2487-2496.
2005 Cross, W.F., J.P. Benstead, P.C. Frost, and S.A. Thomas. 2005. Applying principles of ecological stoichiometry to freshwater benthic ecology: recent progress and future potential. Freshwater Biology. 50:1985-1912.
2005 Newbold, J.D., S.A. Thomas, G.W. Minshall, C.E. Cushing, and T. Georgian. Deposition, benthic residence, and resuspension of fine organic particles in a mountain stream. Limnology and Oceanography. 50:1571-1580.
2005 Schade, J., J. Espeleta, C.A. Klausmeier, M.E. McGroddy, S.A. Thomas, and L. Zhang. A conceptual framework for ecosystem stoichiometry: balancing resource supply and demand. Oikos. 109:40-51.
2005 Thomas S.A., T.V. Royer, E.B. Snyder, and J,C, Davis. Organic carbon spiraling in the Snake River, Idaho, USA. Aquatic Sciences. 67:424-433.
2004 Mulholland, P.J., H.M. Valett, J.R. Webster, S.A. Thomas, L. Cooper, S. Hamilton and B.J. Peterson. Stream denitrification and total nitrate uptake rates measured using a field 15N isotope tracer approach. Limnology and Oceanography 49(3) 809-820.
2003 Thomas, S.A. T.V. Royer, and G. W. Minshall. Assessing the Role of Marine Derived Nutrients in Idaho Streams. Pages 41-55 in J.G. Stockner, editor. Nutrients in Salmonid Ecosystems; Sustaining Productivity and Biodiversity. American Fisheries Society, Syposium 34, Bethesda, Maryland.
2003 Thomas, S.A., H.M. Valett, P.J. Mulholland, and J.R. Webster. A regression approach to estimating reactive solute uptake in advective and transient storage zones of stream ecosystems. Advances in Water Resources. 26: 965-976.
2001 Thomas, S.A., H.M. Valett, P.J. Mulholland, and J.R. Webster, C.S. Fellows, C.N. Dahm, and C.G. Peterson. 2001. Nitrogen retention in headwater streams: the influence of groundwater - surface water interaction. In: Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy Production and Environmental Protection: Proceedings of the 2nd International Nitrogen Conference on Science and Policy. TheScientificWorld 1:623-631.
2001 Thomas, S.A., J.D. Newbold, G.W. Minshall, T. Georgian, M.T. Monaghan, and C.E. Cushing. Transport and deposition of fine and very-fine organic particles in streams: implications for deposition mechanisms in turbulent environments. Limnology and Oceanography. 46:1415-1424.

Educational Background

  • BS - University of New Hampshire, Botany
  • MS - University of Wyoming
  • PhD - Idaho State University

Awards

  • 2010 – Recognition of Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research awarded by Agricultural Research Division of UNL 

SNR Faculty Area(s)

Notable Websites

Other Areas of Interest

Spatial dynamics of biogeochemical cycling in ecosystems, stream ecosystems

SNR Areas of Expertise

Keyword Expert Level

10 - Top Expert
1 - Mild Interest

Population Dynamics, Distribution

9

Rivers

9

Aquatic Ecosystems

8

Streams

8

Ecohydrology

7

Freshwater

6

Resilience

6

Water

6

Watersheds

6

Insect Ecology

5

Select a keyword and see other SNR faculty and staff with this interest or expertise.

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant Title Chlorophyll in Nebraska Lake Samples
Starting Date 1/1/2014
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 12/31/2015
Funding Level $4,050.00
Funding Source Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

 
Grant Title Understanding Cyanobacteria Blooms in Willow Creek Reservoir
Starting Date 8/1/2012
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Co-PIs
Amy Burgin
Ending Date 7/31/2014
Funding Level $79,860.00
Funding Source Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District

 
Grant Title Fremont Water Quality (additional funding)
Starting Date 4/13/2012
Principal Investigators
Amy Burgin
Co-PIs
Mark Pegg
Steven Thomas
Kevin Pope
Ending Date 6/30/2015
Funding Level $23,700.00
Funding Source Nebraksa Department of Environmental Quality

 
Grant Title RAPID: Using Drought-enhanced Nitrate Pulse to Understand Stream N Retention and Processing
Starting Date 10/1/2012
Principal Investigators
Amy Burgin
Co-PIs
Steven Thomas
Terry Loecke
Diego Riveros-Iregui
Ending Date 9/30/2013
Funding Level $198,949.00
Funding Source National Science Foundation

 
Grant Title Dimensions: Stream Biodiversity: Supp. (additional funding)
Starting Date 6/6/2012
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 3/31/2016
Funding Level $20,582.00
Funding Source National Science Foundation

 
Grant Title Fremont Water Quality
Starting Date 4/6/2012
Principal Investigators
Amy Burgin
Co-PIs
Mark Pegg
Kevin Pope
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 6/30/2014
Funding Level $240,448.00
Funding Source Nebraksa Department of Environmental Quality

 
Grant Title Chlorophyll in Nebraska Lake Samples
Starting Date 3/1/2012
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 12/31/2013
Funding Level $4,013.00
Funding Source Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

 
Grant Title FIBR: Linking Genes to Ecosystems (additional funding)
Starting Date 10/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 9/30/2011
Funding Level $10,000.00
Funding Source University of California-Riverside

 
Grant Title Cyanobacteria Bloom
Starting Date 3/1/2011
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Co-PIs
Kyle Hoagland
Ending Date 2/28/2013
Funding Level $178,376.00
Funding Source Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality

 
Grant Title FIBR: Linking Genes to Ecosystems (additional funding)
Starting Date 10/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 9/30/2011
Funding Level $81,018.00
Funding Source University of California-Riverside

 
Grant Title An Integrative Traits-Based Approach to Predicting Variation in Vulnerability of Tropical and Temperate Stream Biodiversity to Climate Change (additional funding)
Starting Date 4/1/2011
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 3/31/2016
Funding Level $290,229.00
Funding Source National Science Foundation

 
Grant Title FIBR: Linking Genes to Ecosystems (additional funding)
Starting Date 10/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Steven Thomas
Ending Date 9/30/2010
Funding Level $126,570.00
Funding Source University of California-Riverside

 

Undergraduate Majors Bachelor of Science in
  • Water Science
Graduate Program(s)

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences


including specializations in
  • Applied Ecology

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences


including specializations in
  • Applied Ecology

Courses Taught in the Current Semester
Course Number Course Title Day Time Cross Listing
GEOG 281 Introduction to Water Science TR 1230-0145 P GEOG/NRES/WATS 281
NRES 281 Introduction to Water Science TR 1230-0145 P GEOG/NRES/WATS 281
NRES 498 Special Topics in Natural Resources: Stream and River Ecology MW 1100-1215 P NRES 498/898
NRES 898 Special Topics in Natural Resources: Stream and River Ecology MW 1100-1215 P NRES 498/898
WATS 281 Introduction to Water Science TR 1230-0145 P GEOG/NRES/WATS 281
WATS 299 Career Experiences ARR ARR n/a
WATS 498A Senior Project I ARR ARR None
WATS 498B Senior Project II ARR ARR None
Courses Taught
Course Number Course Title Fall Even Years Fall Odd Years Spring Even Years Spring Odd Years Summer Session Cross Listing
GEOG 281 Introduction to Water Science X X X X NRES/WATS 281
NRES 281 Introduction to Water Science X X X X GEOG/WATS 281
WATS 281 Introduction to Water Science X X X X GEOG/NRES 281
WATS 299 Career Experiences X X X X n/a
WATS 496 Principles and Problems in Water Science X X X X None
WATS 498A Senior Project I X X X X None
WATS 498B Senior Project II X X X X None
WATS 499H Honors Thesis X X X X None