John A. Downing

John Downing headshot
Professional Title


  • Limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, fisheries, lake management and restoration, eutrophication, harmful algae blooms, groundwater, biodiversity, endangered species, carbon cycling, global role of lakes and streams
  • Research, education and science policy
  • Professor, Department of Biology and with Large Lakes Observatory (UMD)
  • Immediate past chair, Council of Scientific Society Presidents
  • Immediate past president, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography



MNSG Leadership

  • Director


Ph.D. - Biology
McGill University
M.S. - Zoology
North Dakota State University
B.S. - Biology
Hamline University

Earth's Eye: Director's Column

The open water of Lake Superior (right) and the frozen water of the Duluth-Superior harbor (left). Image credit: M. Thoms

Plate ice, cracked ice, and refrozen plate ice on a Minnesota lake. Image credit: John A. Downing.

Image credit: Igor Pushkarev. All AdobeStock images in this story are protected by copyright.

Image credit: ©diyanadimitrova.

Image credit: ©Mariana.

Image credit: M. Thoms

Image credit: ©besjunior.

Outreach Projects

Minnesota Sea Grant supports the Habitattitude, Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!, and CD3 campaigns to slow and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) is a three-year (2019-2022) project to create a regionwide group to foster relevant, science-based initiatives that support aquaculture industries.

The Aquaculture Market Study is a three-year (2020-2023), $250,000 project led by the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program that was crea

History, prevention, kits, rescue, field treatment and more about hypothermia.

Research Projects

Upcoming Events