Patrick Kelly

Assistant Professor of Biology
(901) 843-3338

I study how carbon and nutrients move through local lakes and reservoirs,
 with a focus on how ecosystem characteristics influence the relative balance
 among elements, and how that balance impacts ecosystem functioning. I am also
 interested in better understanding aquatic food webs, including where energy
 in food webs comes from, and what the eventual fate is. This work has real
 world implications for understanding how lakes process, transport, and store
 elements, and their roles in the global carbon and nutrient cycles.

I am currently involved in a number of projects looking at how fish serve as
 nutrient transporters in lakes, how terrestrial resources influence lake and
 food web productivity, and how climatic and land use changes alter nitrogen
 and phosphorus transport in the watershed of an agricultural reservoir. While
 most of this research is empirical, I am also interested in developing
 mathematical models to explore watershed and ecosystem processes at a
 theoretical level.

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame where I studied the
 role of terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in shaping lake food webs, and
 completed my M.S. from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse where I
 explored variability in aquatic insect emergence in the Upper Mississippi and
 Illinois Rivers.

For any questions about my research or copies of my publications, please
 visit my webpage ( You can also find me on
 Twitter @DrChaborus

Selected publications
Kelly, P.T., M.J. Gonzalez, W.H. Renwick, and M.J. Vanni. 2018. Increased
 light availability and nutrient cycling by fish provide resilience against
 reversing eutrophication in an agriculturally impacted reservoir. Limnology &

Kelly, P.T., C.T. Solomon, J.A. Zwart, and S.E. Jones. 2018. A framework for
 understanding variation in pelagic gross primary production of lake
 ecosystems. Ecosystems.

Kelly, P.T., M.J. Vanni, and W.H. Renwick 2018. Assessing uncertainty in
 nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended sediment loads in three agricultural
 streams using a 21-year dataset. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment.

Jones, S.E., J.A. Zwart, P.T. Kelly, C.T. Solomon. 2018. Hydrologic context
 constrains lake heterotrophy and terrestrial carbon fate. Limnology &
 Oceanography Letters

Kelly, P.T., B. Weidel, M. Paufve, B. O’Malley, J. Watkins, L. Rudstam, and
 S.E. Jones. 2017. Concentration and biochemical gradients of seston in Lake
 Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 43:795-803.

Kelly, P.T., N. Craig, C.T. Solomon, B.C. Weidel, J.A. Zwart, and S.E. Jones.
 2016. Experimental whole-lake increase of dissolved organic carbon
 concentration produces unexpected increase in crustacean zooplankton density.
 Global Change Biology. 22:2766-2775.

Kelly, P.T., C.T. Solomon, B.C. Weidel, and S.E. Jones. 2014. Terrestrial
 carbon is a resource, but not a subsidy, for lake zooplankton. Ecology.