There were a lot of factors that contributed to Bob Genter’s decision to specialize in the study of algae in graduate school. As a tropical fish hobbyist, he was drawn to marine biology, which in turn led him to take an undergraduate class in limnology (the study of lakes), taught by a professor whose focus was algae. After graduating, he had the chance to work in one of two research labs at the University of Michigan: the zooplankton lab or the algae lab. He started out with zooplankton, but soon decided “the algae lab was more fun!”
Since then, Bob has spent his career studying these organisms and what they can tell us about the environment. He’s currently studying the effects of an abandoned copper mine on the West Branch of the Ompompanoosuc River ecology by looking at the algae there. Outside of academia, Bob keeps busy swing dancing, researching his family’s genealogy, and brewing his own beer.