Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters, Ph.D

Professor of Limnology and Paleolimnology
Department of Biology
229-333-5759 (office phone)

Dr. Matt Waters

Areas of Expertise:

  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • History of lake systems

Brief Bio

Dr. Matt Waters, professor of paleolimnology and aquatic ecology, seeks to discover how human impact can directly and indirectly affect inland waters such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers. His findings can be used to explain climate and environmental changes as well as possible damage to aquatic systems. His projects integrate intensive field research with complimentary laboratory experimentation, photosynthetic pigment analysis and organic matter analysis to examine how primary producer community structure can be used to infer ecosystem change as well as forecast future aquatic ecosystem states.


  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Mercer University
  • Master of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida
  • Ph. D. in Environmental Science and Engineering, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Environmental Science, University of South Florida


Waters is currently conducting extensive research on the waters of Lake Seminole. This research is made possible through a grant from Georgia Power. As part of his study, Waters will take sediment cores from different parts of the lake, including water flowing in from the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. He will examine the cores in hopes of identifying when the exotic species, hydrilla, came into existence and what may have caused the species to grow in the water.

Hydrilla is a non-toxic, invasive plant and has become a widespread nuisance throughout the nation, particularly in Florida. The plant replaces native vegetation in water and prevents travel through waterways. Attempts to control the spread of the plant have been unsuccessful, as hydrilla has become resistant to certain herbicides.

Waters will pass his findings from Lake Seminole along to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist the corps with its Aquatic Management Plan.

In Summer 2011, Waters provided 11 of his students with the opportunity to get firsthand experience studying the quality of inland waters during a Maymester trip to Ireland. Students studied the water quality by looking at the nutrients, algae and zooplankton with testing and sampling equipment.