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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences
Charles Boylen
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Department of Biological Sciences
1W14 Jonsson-Rowland Science Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590

Phone: (518) 276-6446
Fax: (518) 276-2344

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Biology Home Undergraduate Graduate Faculty Research News and Events Contacts
Charles Boylen

Professor of Biology
Associate Director of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute

Education and Training

B.A. Indiana University - Bloomington
Biological Sciences

M.S. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Ph.D. University of Wisconsin – Madison

Postdoctoral Associate, Life Detection Branch, NASA-Ames Research Center

Postdoctoral Associate, University of Wisconsin - Madison


Tel: (518) 276-8430
Fax: (518) 276-2696

Office: Materials Research Center Rm. 201

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY12180

Research Interests

Anthropogenic impacts on freshwater ecosystems, nutrient eutrophication, invasive aquatic species (Eurasian watermilfoil).

The Northeast is represented by numerous ecosystems experiencing early stages of adverse anthropogenic stress. This region has a unique glaciated topography within which exists several types of fragile ecosystems. My research interests lie in understanding the role and activities of organisms in nature. My research is important in understanding how ecosystems function and how they are altered by human interaction with the environment. Current research interests involve studies of physiological responses of microorganisms and aquatic angiosperms to environmental stress. One project involves an investigation of acid-stressed, freshwater environments in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. The effects of acidic precipitation on primary productivity and the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and sulfur (major components of acid rain) are being studied.

A second research area involves the ecological alteration of regional lakes (specifically Lake George) by the introduction of exotic, invasive aquatic plant species, most notable being the Eurasian watermilfoil. The ecology of this species and the mechanisms by which it out-competes native species is my lab's current emphasis. The fundamental goal of these programs has been to document, predict, and mitigate the human impact on these various ecosystems, with the intent that solutions can be developed which will be more universally applied.

Selected Publications

Daniels, R.A., R.T. Bombard, J.W. Sutherland and C.W. Boylen. 2011. Status of fishes in selected Adirondack lakes: Eight decades of changing assemblage composition. The Open Fish Science Journal 4: 21-39.

Nierzwicki-Bauer, S.A., C.W. Boylen, L.W. Eichler, J.P. Harrison, J.W. Sutherland, W. Shaw, R. A. Daniels, D. F. Charles, F. Acker, T.J. Sullivan, B. Momen, and P. Bukaveckas.  2010. Acidification in the Adirondacks: Defining the biota in trophic levels of 30 chemically diverse acid-impacted lakes. Environmental Science and Technology 44: 5721-5727.

Porter-Goff, E.R., C.W. Boylen and S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer. 2010. Periphyton dynamics along a stream with a gradient of human impact. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 25: 385-394.

Swinton, M.W. and C.W. Boylen. 2009. Alteration of sediment porewater associated with a Eurasian watermilfoil invasion. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 47: 26-31.

Percent, S.F.,  M.E. Frischer,  P.A. Vescio,  E.B. Duffy,  V.Milano,  M.McLellan,  B.M. Stevens,  C.W. Boylen and  S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer.  2008.  Bacterial community structure of acid impacted lakes: What controls diversity? Accepted with revision October 2007 to Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Lawrence, G.B., J.W. Sutherland, C.W. Boylen, S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer, B. Momen, B.P. Baldigo, and H.A. Simonin,  2007.  Acid rain effects on aluminum mobilization clarified by inclusion of strong organic acids.  Environmental Science and Technology 41:93-98.

Sullivan, T,J.,  B.J. Cosby, A.T. Herlihy, C.T. Driscoll, I.J. Fernandez, T.C. McDonnell, C.W. Boylen, S. A. Nierzwicki-Bauer, and K.U. Snyder.  2007. Assessment to the extent to which intensively-studied lakes are representative of the Adirondack region. Water Air and Soil Pollution 185:279-291.

Boylen, C.W., L.W. Eichler, J.S. Bartkowski and S.M. Shaver.  2006.  Use of Geographical Information Systems to monitor and predict non-native aquatic plant dispersal through north-eastern North America. Hydrobiologia 570:243-248.

Momen, B., G.B. Lawrence, J.W. Sutherland, L.W. Eichler, J.P. Harrison, S.A. Nierzwicki-Bauer and C.W. Boylen.  2006.  Trends in summer chemistry linked to productivity in lakes recovering from acid deposition in the Adirondack Region of New York, USA.  Ecosystems 9:1306-1317.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biological Sciences