nick with his puppy
Ph.D. Student
Environmental Studies


MS, Florida International University (2016)
BS, Teessee Technological University (2012)

Major Field/Concentration

Aquatic ecology, phycology, taxonomy

Research Interests

  • Improving algae-based ecological assessments of streams
  • Effects of anthropogenic distirbances (e.g., urbanizations, agriculture) on algae community structure and function
  • Stream drift and wind dispersal as contributor to small- and large-scale algae biogeography


Nick Schulte is a PhD student in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Nick is investigating (1) ways to improve the use of algae in water quality monitoring and assessment in streams and (2) the processes underlying microbial diversity in aquatic systems. Nick’s research is grounded in three broad questions: (1) How can ecological complexity be translated to ecological assessments usable by ecosystem managers and policymakers? (2) What are the mechanisms that influence microbial metacommunity diversity over space and time? (3) How do anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., nutrient enrichment) affect microbial community structure and function in aquatic systems? Within this framework, Nick is researching algal species distributions along environmental and urbanization gradients in U.S. streams; molecular methods for identifying algal (specifically diatom) taxa; and wind dispersal of algae in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Nick’s research is applied within the context of improving algae-based ecological assessment of streams.