Jake Vander Zanden is the Wayland Noland Distinguished Chair, Director of the Center for Limnology, and Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is a fourth generation Wisconsinite from the Fox River Valley. He received his Bachelor's degree in Geography (1994) and PhD in Biology (1999) from McGill University in Montreal.
Jake studies the factors that degrade freshwater ecosystems, most recently focusing on the role of aquatic invasive species. He has authored >125 scientific studies on a wide range of topics including lake food webs, limnology, water quality, invasive species, climate change impacts, and managing sustainable fisheries. While the primary emphasis is the study of Wisconsin’s lakes, he has also conducted research in Mongolia, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, New Zealand, and Mexico. He maintains an active outreach program, and teaches courses at UW-Madison, including 'Ecology of Fishes', as well as the world’s largest ‘Limnology’ course.
Jake was a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Fellow, A Leopold Leadership Fellow, and is recipient of many awards and honors including the IRPE Prize in Limnetic Ecology, The J.C. Stevenson Memorial Award, and the UW-Madison Chancellor's Teaching Award. He has given invited plenary talks at conferences worldwide.