Dr. Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens

Clinical Professor
photo of Dr. Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens
Phone: (360) 546-9115
Fax: (360) 546-9064
Located in Life Sciences (VSCI) 230A
Office Hours: For Fall 2016: Mondays 1-2p, Wednesdays 10-11a
Support Staff: Andrea Hanmann


Course ID Title Meeting Time Location Semester Syllabus
Biology 106 Introductory Organismal Biology Tu,Th 10:35-11:50a amd 1:25-2:40p VUCB 1 Fall 2016
Biology 585 Professional Development for College and University Teaching Fridays 2:10-4:50p VELS 240 Fall 2016


My research interests fall broadly within Biological Oceanography and Aquatic Ecology, with a focus on the community ecology of zooplankton, in particular the role of mesozooplankton (organisms < 2mm in size) and microzooplankton (organisms <200 µm in size) in pelagic food webs. I have investigated the distribution, composition and trophic ecology of meso- and microzooplankton in a range of aquatic environments, from the open ocean (equatorial Pacific) to coastal and estuarine regions (coastal CA, San Francisco Estuary, Columbia River Estuary) to freshwater rivers and lakes (Columbia River, Vancouver Lake). I am especially interested in how microzooplankton impact the flow of energy through the lower food web through their behavior as predators and grazers, as well as prey for higher organisms, and their role in modulating harmful algal blooms. I am currently funded by the Bonneville Power Authority and the National Science Foundation, and in the recent past have been funded by the State of Washington Water Research Center, the WA Department of Ecology, and the Office of Naval Research.

In addition to my scientific research activity, I am also very interested in science education and pedagogy, in particular training science graduate students as educators and providing professional development for in-service science teachers. I was recently the lead PI and Project Director for a $2.7 million National Science Foundation “GK-12” grant that partnered WSUV environmental science graduate students with public school teachers in the Vancouver, Camas, Evergreen, Battle Ground and La Center school districts in SW Washington (see the GK-12 website for more information.  I am now the lead PI for a new National Science Foundation "REU" grant that brings undergraduates from around the region to WSUV to conduct summer research with facutly in the School of the Environment. I also teach science pedagogy courses for graduate students at WSUV, and in the past at UC Berkeley.

Graduate Students

Vanessa Rose, PhD Candidate in Environmental and Natural Resoure Sciences

Ben Bolam, MS Candidate in Environmental Science

Sean Nolan, MS Candidate in Environmental Science

Recent Publications

Lee* T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Emerson J.  (2016)  The effects of eutrophication and invasive species on zooplankton community dynamics in a shallow temperate lake.  Fundamental and Applied Limnology 188: 215-231.

Bowen* A, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Zimmerman J.  (2015)  Feeding of the invasive copepod Pseudodiaptomus forbesi on natural microplankton assemblages within the lower Columbia River.  Journal of Plankton Research 37: 1089-1094 .

 Lee* T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S.  (2015)  ­­­The influence of water quality variables on cyanobacteria blooms and phytoplankton community composition in a shallow temperate lake.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4550-2

 Dexter* E, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Emerson J, Zimmerman J.  (2015)  Persistent vs. ephemeral invasions: 8.5 years of zooplankton community dynamics in the Columbia River.  Limnology & Oceanography 60: 527-539.

 Breckenridge J, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Roegner C.  (2015)  Plankton assemblage variability in a river-dominated temperate estuary during late spring (high flow) and late summer (low flow) periods.  Estuaries and Coasts 38: 93-103.

 Lee* T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Faber-Hammond J.  (2015)  Environmental influences on cyanobacteria abundance and microcystin toxin production in a shallow temperate lake.  Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 114: 318-325.

 Dresner M, Braun S, Handelman C, Rollwagen-Bollens G.  (2014)  Environmental identity, pro-environmental behaviors and civic engagement of volunteer stewards in Portland area parks.  Environmental Education Research doi: 10.1080/13504622.2014.964188

 Chang H, ThiersP, Netusil N, Yeakley A, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Singh S.  (2014) Relationships between environmental governance and water quality in a growing metropolitan area of the Pacific Northwest, USA.  Hydrology and Earth Systems Science 18: 1383-1395.

 Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S, Gonzalez A, Zimmerman J, Lee* T, Emerson J.  (2013) Feeding dynamics of the copepod Diacyclops thomasi before, during and following filamentous cyanobacteria blooms in a large, shallow temperate lake.  Hydrobiologia 705: 101-118.

 Bollens S, Quenette J, Rollwagen-Bollens G.  (2012)  Predator-enhanced diel vertical migration in a planktonic dinoflagellete.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 447: 49-54.

 Friedenberg* L, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G.  (2012)  Feeding dynamics of larval Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) on natural assemblages of microplankton.  Fisheries Oceanography 21: 95-108.

 Bollens S, Breckenridge J, Cordell J, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Kalata O.  (2012)  Invasive copepods in the Lower Columbia River Estuary: Seasonal abundance, co-occurrence and potential competition with native copepods.  Aquatic Invasions 7: 101-109.  doi: 10.3391/ai.2012.7.1.011

 Boyer* J, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S.  (2011)  Microzooplankton grazing before, during and after a cyanobacterial bloom in Vancouver Lake, Washington, USA.  Aquatic Microbial Ecology 64: 163-174.

 Rollwagen-Bollens G, Gifford* S, Bollens S.  (2011)  The Role of Protistan Microzooplankton in the Upper San Francisco Estuary Planktonic Food Web:  Source or Sink?  Estuaries & Coasts 34: 1026-1038.

 Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Quenette* J, Bochdansky A.  (2010)  Cascading migrations and implications for vertical fluxes in pelagic ecosystems.  Journal of Plankton Research 33: 349-355.

 Bochdansky A, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G.  (2010)  The effect of microzooplankton and copepods on vertical carbon fluxes in and around phytoplankton thin layers.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 401: 179-196.


  • Ph.D. Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.S. Biological Oceanography, University of Hawaii
  • A.B. Biology, Harvard University