Henry A. Vanderploeg

Hank Vanderploeg is a Research Ecologist and Ecosystem Dynamics Branch Chief at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, where he has spent most of his career studying the lower food web, invasive species, and spatial interactions of the food web. He is particularly interested in lab and field experimental work to define important processes such feeding and nutrient cycling that connect different components of the food web to each other.


Ph.D., Oregon State University, 1973, Biological Oceanography
M.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1968, Zoology
B.S., Michigan Technological University, 1966, Biological Sciences

Research Interests

Interests are food web interactions, particularly feeding mechanisms and life cycle strategies of plankton and benthos; and spatial distribution and interactions of all food web components. Current research projects include: zooplankton feeding and mechanisms; dreissenid mussel feeding behavior, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem effects; long-term trends in zooplankton populations; impacts of the invasion of predatory cercopagids (Bythotrephes and Cercopagis) on Great Lakes food webs; and changes in spatial structure and function of Great Lakes food webs as driven by stressors such as hypoxia and invasive species.