Robert Michael McKay

Dr. Robert Michael McKay

Executive Director of the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research; University of Windsor

Ph. D., McGill University  

Office:     None
Phone:   1-419-372-2332

Research: Environmental Microbiology, winter limnology, Harmful Algal Blooms, Great Lakes, Viruses

Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research


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Research Interests:

Professor McKay’s research is focused on large lakes where he studies the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, harmful algal blooms and winter limnology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, McKay's group pivoted to conduct wastewater-based epidemiology to detect SARS-CoV-2 to assist public health decision-making.

Selected Publications:

McKindles, K.M., Manes, M.A., DeMarco, J.R., McClure, A., McKay, R.M., Davis, T.W., and G.S. Bullerjahn. 2020. Dissolved microcystin release coincident with lysis of a bloom dominated by Microcystis spp. in western Lake Erie attributed to a novel cyanophage. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 86: e01397-20. doi:10.1128/AEM.01397-20.

Davis, T.W., Stumpf, R., Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M.L., Chaffin, J.D., Bridgeman, T.B., and C. Winslow. 2019. Science meets policy: a framework for determining impairment designation criteria for large waterbodies affected by cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. Harmful Algae 81: 59-64.

Chik, A.H.S., Glier, M.B., Servos, M., Mangat, C.S., Pang, X.L., Qiu, Y., D’Aoust, P.M., Burnet, J.-B., Delatolla, R., Dorner, S., Geng, Q., Giesy Jr., J.P., McKay, R. M., Mulvey, M.R., Prystajecky, N., Srikanthan, N., Xie, Y.-W., Conant, B., Hrudey, S.E., and Canadian SARS-CoV-2 Inter-Laboratory Consortium. 2021. Comparison of approaches to quantify SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater using RT-qPCR: Results and implications from a collaborative interlaboratory study in Canada. Journal of Environmental Sciences 107: 218-229.

Impact Publications:

Bullerjahn, G.S., McKay, R.M.L., Davis, T.W., Baker, D.B., Boyer, G.L., D’Anglada, L.V., Doucette, G.J. et al. 2016. Global solutions to regional problems: Collecting global expertise to address the problem of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. A Lake Erie case study. Harmful Algae 54: 223-238.

Beall, B.F.N., Twiss, M.R., Smith, D., Oyserman, B., Rozmarynowycz, M.J., Binding, C., Bourbonniere, R.A., Bullerjahn, G.S., Palmer, M., Reavie, E.D., Waters, M.K., Woityra, W.C., and R.M.L. McKay. 2016. Ice cover extent drives phytoplankton- and bacterial community structure in a large north-temperate lake: Implications for a warming climate. Environmental Microbiology 18: 1704–1719.

D’souza, N.A.D., Kawarasaki, Y., Gantz, J.D., Lee, R.E. Jr., Beall, B.F.N., Shtarkman, Y.M., Kocer, Z.A., Rogers, S.O., Wildschutte, H., Bullerjahn, G.S., and R.M.L. McKay. 2013. Diatom assemblages promote ice formation in large lakes. ISME Journal 7: 1632-1640.

Boyd, P.W., Watson, A., Law, C.S., Abraham, E., Trull, T., Murdoch, R., Bakker, D.C.E., Bowie, A.R., Buesler, K.O., Chang, H., Charette, M., Croot , P., Downing, K., Frew, R., Gall, M., Hadfield, R., Hall, J., Harvey, M., Jameson, G., La Roche, J., Liddicoat, M., Ling, R., Maldonado, M., McKay, R.M., Nodder, S., Pickmere, S., Pridmore, R., Rintoul1, S., Safi, K., Sutton, P., Strzepek, R., Tannenberger, K., Turner, S., Waite, A. and J. Zeldis. 2000. A mesoscale phytoplankton bloom in the polar Southern Ocean stimulated by iron fertilization. Nature 407: 695-702.

LaRoche, J., Boyd, P.W., McKay, R.M.L., and R.J. Geider. 1996. Flavodoxin as an in situ marker for iron stress in phytoplankton. Nature 382: 802-805.

Updated: 06/09/2021 10:41AM