Dr. Jamie Lau


Assistant Professor
Office: 177 Center for the Sciences
Lab: 168 Center for the Sciences
Box 6931, Radford University
Radford, VA 24142-6939, U.S.A.
Tel:(540) 831-5639
E-mail: jlau@radford.edu 



Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 131 - Ecology and Adaptation 
  • BIOL 493 - Apprenticeship in Teaching 

Planned courses:

  • BIOL 390 - Conservation Biology 
  • BIOL 392 - Environmental Toxicology 
  • BIOL 462 - Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 481 - Special Topics - Stream Ecology


I am a stream ecologist, who plans to focus my research efforts in three broad areas of freshwater ecology. First, I plan to establish a freshwater monitoring program using local streams. The purposes of this program are to build a historical archive and formulate research questions that require longitudinal datasets. In addition to answering ecological questions, students in my lab will have the opportunity to conduct assessments of water quality using the stream’s physical habitat and its inhabitants. Students can get involved with this program by assisting with the selection of streams and collection of physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrates (although we may have the opportunity to extend our research to other assemblages, such as benthic algae, aquatic plants, or fish). Initially, students and I will focus on establishing monitoring sites and developing standard protocols for these sites. Once these sites are established, students interested in developing research questions using longitudinal datasets will collect and analyze data at these fixed sites. Students will have available to them both the historical datasets and the data that they collect during their time in my lab. 

Second, stream ecology is not necessarily limited to surface waters; therefore, I plan to extend my stream research to include groundwater impacts on stream communities.  Specifically, I am interested in whether groundwater inputs affect the development of stream assessments or improve stream quality in areas highly impacted by anthropogenic activities (e.g., agriculture, urbanization, deforestation, or mining). Students can get involved with this type of project by using Geographic Information Systems to identify upwelling (streams that receive groundwater) and downwelling (streams that provide surface water to groundwater reservoirs) streams. Then, students will collect and analyze data in both types of streams to determine any impacts of groundwater on the physical habitat or benthic macroinvertebrates (again, we may be able to collect data on other aquatic assemblages). 

Finally, students with their own interests and ideas regarding stream ecology are also welcome to develop and complete research projects in my lab. Ecology covers a range of topics including (but not limited to) community interactions, trophic relationships, energy dynamics, or ecosystem processes, all of which can be studied in local streams. OR if a student loves a particular aquatic insect or a particular stream then he/she could conduct a life history study on his/her favorite insect or conduct a case study on his/her favorite stream.

If you are a student who is excited about any of the research areas presented above, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.