I’m Chase Rakowski, a PhD candidate studying aquatic ecology.

I research how changes in biodiversity and species interactions can directly and indirectly affect the stability of key ecosystem functions.

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Research projects

I am studying indirect effects of predators on the base of the food web using “miniature pond” experiments and theoretical models. Besides classic trophic cascades, I am investigating the effects of predator diversity and intraguild predation strength (essentially, how much predators eat each other) on both the central tendency and the stability of basal ecosystem properties like phytoplankton biomass.

I use experiments and theory to study the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity change. Within this realm I am especially interested in ecosystem stability and incorporating food web interactions.

I am testing methods for biological zooplankton control using multiple predators in algae cultivation ponds. The goal is to improve the reliability of phytoplankton cultivation for environmental technologies by reducing the impacts of zooplankton in a budget- and environmentally-friendly manner.


  • PAT 506B, University of Texas at Austin