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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

Eutrophication (impacts created by excessive inputs of plant nutrients, especially phosphorus, to surface waters) remains an important global issue in spite of the wealth of attention paid to it in the last 50 years. In particular, blooms of algal-like cyanobacteria in eutrophic lakes and rivers remain a serious water quality problem globally because they often produce nerve and liver toxins and chemicals that alter the taste and odour of drinking waters. My research explores how ferrous iron diffusing from anoxic sediments promotes blooms of nuisance cyanobacteria in eutrophic waters (e.g., Molot et al., Freshwater Biology 2014, Lake & Reservoir Management 2021) and how blooms can be mitigated by managing redox levels at the sediment-water boundary. Now retired, I no longer supervise graduate students but will co-supervise.

Selected Publications

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, accepted.

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,

Verschoor, M.J., L.A. Molot and A. Zastepa. 2022. Acid volatile sulfides and acid extractable iron do not track changes in trophic status and atmospheric sulfur deposition. Journal of Paleolimnology, 68: 189-201,

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.

Mahdiyan, O., A. Filazzola, L.A. Molot, D. Gray and S. Sharma. 2021. Drivers of water quality changes in North American lakes over the past 40 years. Limnology and Oceanography, 66: 237-254.

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.

Lukawiecki, J., R. Gagnon, C. Dokis, D. Walters and L.A. Molot. 2019. Meaningful engagement with Indigenous groups: a case study of Ontario’s Great Lakes Protection Act. International Journal of Water Resources Development. doi:10.1080/07900627.2019.1681261

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.


Eutrophication and cyanobacteria bloom formation

Research Areas

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology