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Lewis A. Molot

Lewis A. Molot

Picture of Lewis A. Molot
Lewis A. Molot
Full Professor

Eligible to Supervise

Biology Graduate Program

Research Focus

Impacts created by excessive inputs of plant nutrients, especially phosphorus, to surface waters (called eutrophication) remain an important global issue in spite of the wealth of attention paid to it over the last 50 years. In particular, increasing incidence of dense blooms of algal-like cyanobacteria in nutrient-rich as well as nutrient-poor waters are a serious problem around the world because of their production of nerve and liver toxins and other compounds that negatively affect the taste and odour of drinking waters.
My research explores how development of anaerobic sediments and subsequent diffusion of ferrous iron into overlying waters promotes cyanobacteria blooms. I have also been examining how blooms can be mitigated by managing redox levels at the sediment-water boundary (see Molot et al., 2014, Freshwater Biology; Molot et al., 2021, Lake & Reservoir Management). Now retired, I no longer supervise graduate students but I sit on student advisory committees.

Selected Publications

Molot, Lewis A., Schiff, S.L., Baulch, H.M., Curry, R.A., Depew, D.C., Dove, A., Higgins, S.N., Kidd, K.A., Korosi, J.B., Paterson, A.M., Pick, F.R., Venkiteswaran, J.J., Walters, D., Watson, S.B. and Zastepa, A. 2024. Survey of metabolically essential trace metals in inland lakes and reservoirs across Canada: What constitutes a low metal system? Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Submitted.

Jabbari, A., L. Boegman and L.A. Molot. 2024. Modeling future dissolved oxygen and temperature profiles in small temperate lake trout lakes. Aquatic Sciences. Under revision.

Shah, P., J.J. Venkiteswaran, L.A. Molot, S.N. Higgins, S.L. Schiff, H.M. Baulch, S.B. Watson and A. Zastepa. 2024. Cobalt as a potential limiting factor for heterocyst frequency in nitrogen-limited systems: Evidence from experimental and field studies. Freshwater Biology. Accepted pending revisions.

Shah, P., S.K. McCabe, J.J. Venkiteswaran, L.A. Molot and S.L. Schiff. 2023. Monod parameterization and competition at low iron among freshwater cyanobacteria and chlorophytes. Hydrobiologia, 850: 1141–1157.

Liu, K., L. Wu, S.L. Schiff, L.A. Molot, J.J. Venkiteswaran, M.J. Paterson, R. Elgood, J.M. Tsuji and J.D. Neufeld. 2022. Large fractionation in iron isotopes implicates novel metabolic pathways for iron cycling in boreal shield lakes. Environmental Science & Technology, 56(20): 14840-14851.

Molot, L.A. D.C. Depew, A. Zastepa, G.B. Arhonditsis, S.B. Watson and M.J. Verschoor. 2022. Long-term and seasonal nitrate trends illustrate potential prevention of large cyanobacterial biomass by sediment oxidation in Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 48: 971-984,

Molot, L.A., S.N. Higgins, S.L. Schiff, J.J. Venkiteswaran, M.J. Paterson and H.M. Baulch, 2021. Phosphorus-only fertilization rapidly initiates large nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria blooms in two oligotrophic lakes. Environmental Research Letters, 16: 12 pgs,

Molot, L.A., S.L. Schiff, J.J. Venkiteswaran, H.M. Baulch, S.N. Higgins, A. Zastepa, M.J. Verschoor, and D. Walters. 2021. Low sediment redox promotes cyanobacteria across a trophic range: implications for bloom management. Lake and Reservoir Management, 37, Awarded LRM’s Jim LaBounty Best Paper Award 2021.

Tsuji, J.M., N. Tran, S.L. Schiff, J.J. Venkiteswaran, L.A. Molot and J.D. Neufeld. 2020. Genomic potential for photoferrotrophy in a seasonally anoxic Boreal Shield lake. The ISME Journal, doi: 10.1038/s41396-020-0725-0.

Schiff S.L., J.M. Tsuji, L. Wu, J.J. Venkiteswaran, L.A. Molot, R.J. Elgood, M.J. Paterson and J.D. Neufeld. 2017. Photoferrotrophy in an anoxic Boreal Shield lake can be used to probe the evolution of Archaean Life. Science Reports, 7:46798: 1-11, DOI: 10.1038/srep46708

Molot, L.A. 2017. The effectiveness of cyanobacteria nitrogen fixation: Review of bench top and pilot scale nitrogen removal studies and implications for nitrogen removal programs. Environmental Reviews. 25: 292-295.

Verschoor, M.J., C.R. Powe, E. McQuay, S.L. Schiff, J.J. Venkiteswaran, J. Li and L.A. Molot. 2017. Reduced iron and warm temperatures as pre-conditions for cyanobacterial dominance in embayments along Georgian Bay, Great Lakes. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 74: 1439-1453. Molot, L.A., S.B. Watson, I.F. Creed, C.G. Trick, S.K. McCabe, M.J. Verschoor, R.J. Sorichetti, C. Powe, J.J. Venkiteswaran and S.L. Schiff. 2014. A novel model for cyanobacteria bloom formation: The critical role of anoxia and ferrous iron. Freshwater Biology. 59(6): 1323-1340, DOI 10.1111/fwb.12334.


limnology: eutrophication and cyanobacteria bloom formation

Research Areas

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology