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Heather Bechtold

Dr. Heather Bechtold

207 East Campus Science Center
(570) 484-2558

Courses Most Commonly Taught

  • BIOL 101, Basic Biology
  • BIOL 107, Principles of Biology
  • BIOL125, Topics in Biology (Plants and Society)
  • BIOL 140, Intro to Watershed Ecology
  • BIOL 141, Advanced Watershed Ecology
  • BIOL 206, Botany
  • BIOL 432, Ecosystems
  • BIOL 450, Senior Seminar “Understanding Novel Environmental Contaminants”
  • BIOL 499, Independent Studies

Areas of Expertise

My research focuses on the effect of human impact and natural disturbances on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function. I am examining how changing forest structure (due to climate change, pest invasions, acid deposition, and restoration) alters stream nutrient dynamics and metabolism. I also am working to understand how natural disturbances (i.e., hurricanes, landslides), and novel contaminants (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) both alter aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function. My work addresses these issues in watersheds and streams located in natural and agricultural areas and urban centers.


  • Post Doctoral Researcher, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Millbrook, NY
  • Ph.D.,  Ecosystem Science and Pedagogy, Idaho State University
  • M.S.,  Plant Community Ecology, Idaho State University
  • B.S., University of Colorado, Boulder

Courses/Syllabi Developed

  • BIOL 206, Botany
  • BIOL 125, Topics in Biology
  • BIOL 141/141 Watershed Ecology
  • BIOL 432 Ecosystems

Professional Publications

24. Warren, D.R., Bechtold, H.A., Kraft, C., Keeton, W. Book Chapter: Stream Ecosystems in eastern old-growth forests. In: Old Growth in the Eastern US. W. Keeton and A. Barton (editors). October 2018. 

23. Rosi, E.J., H.A. Bechtold, D. Snow, M. Rojas, A.J. Reisinger, J.J. Kelly. (2018). Urban stream microbial communities show resistance to pharmaceutical exposure. Ecosphere 9(1):e02041. 10.1002/ecs2.2041

22. *Fetterman, J.A., S.A. Seiler, H.A. Bechtold. (2018). Analyzing the impact of natural gas pipeline corridors on headwater stream productivity in central Pennsylvania.—(Student research project—Keystone Journal of Undergraduate Research 4(2):86-92.

21. *Hough, Z., H. *Walters, H.A. Bechtold. (2017). Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) more strongly affects bacteria compared to algae in stream ecosystems. Journal of Student Research 6:103-108.

20. Reisinger, A.J., E.J. Rosi, P.M. Groffman, H.A. Bechtold. (2017). Recovery and resilience of urban stream metabolism following Superstorm Sandy and other floods. Ecosphere, DOI:10.1002/ecs2.1776.

19. Bechtold, H.A., Rosi-Marshall E.J., Warren D.R., Keeton W. (2017). Forest age influences in-stream ecosystem processes in Northeastern US. (Ecosystems doi:10.1007/s10021-016-0093-9)

18. Warren, D.R., Collins, S.M., Purvis, E.M., Kaylor, M.J., Bechtold, H.B. Ecosystems. (2016). doi:10.1007/s10021-016-0024-9

17. Warren, D. R., W. S. Keeton, P. M. Kiffney, M. J. Kaylor, H. A. Bechtold, and J. Magee. (2016). Changing forests— changing streams: riparian forest stand development and ecosystem function in temperate headwaters. Ecosphere 7(8):e01435. 10.1002/ecs2.1435

16. Small, G., Baulch H., Bechtold H., Holzer, K., Newell, S., Vaquer R. (2014). Headwaters to estuaries: Complex responses to cultural eutrophication at the watershed scale. Eco-Das IX Chapter 6, 106-118.

15. Seiler, S. and H. Bechtold (2013). Summary of Fish Populations for Unassessed Streams near Renovo, PA: Final Report Prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

14. Roales, J., Duran J., Bechtold H.A., Groffman, P.M., Rosi-Marshall, E.J. (2013). High resolution measurement of light in terrestrial ecosystems using photodegrading dyes. PLOSONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075715

13. Warren, D.R., W. S. Keeton, Bechtold, H.A., E.J. Rosi-Marshall. 2013.  Comparing streambed light availability and canopy cover in streams with old-growth versus early-mature riparian forests in western Oregon. Aquatic Sciences DOI 10.1007/s00027-013-0299-2

12. Rosi-Marshall, E.J., D. Kincaid, H.A. Bechtold, T.V. Royer, M. Rojas and J.J. Kelly. 2013. Pharmaceuticals suppress algal growth and microbial respiration and alter bacterial communities in stream biofilms. Ecological Applications 2013 Apr; 23(3):583-93.

11. Bechtold, H.A., A.M. Marcarelli, C.V. Baxter, R.S. Inouye. 2012. Effects of N, P, and organic carbon on stream biofilm nutrient limitation and uptake in a semi-arid watershed. Limnology and Oceanography 57:1544-1554.

10. Bechtold, H.A., E. Rosi-Marshall, D.R.Warren, J.J. Cole. 2012. A practical method for measuring integrated solar radiation reaching streambeds using photodegrading dyes. Freshwater Science 31:1070-1077.

9. Bechtold, H.A., J. Durán, D.L. Strayer, K.C. Weathers, A. Alvarado, N.D. Bettez, M.H. Hersh, R.C. Johnson, E.G. Keeling, J.L. Morse, M.A. Previtali, A. Rodríguez. 2012. Chapter 17: Frontiers in Ecosystem Science. In: Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science (eds) K.C. Weathers, D.L. Strayer, G.E. Likens. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-088774-3. (In press: October 2012)

8. Hoppe, P., E.J. Rosi-Marshall, H.A. Bechtold. 2012. The antihistamine cimetidine alters stream invertebrate growth and production in artificial streams. Freshwater Science 31: 370-388.

7. Hopkins, J.M., Marcarelli, A.M., Bechtold, H.A., 2011. Ecosystem structure and function are complementary measures of water quality in a polluted, spring-influenced river. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. DOI 10.1007/s11270-010-0432-y

6. Marcarelli, A.M., Bechtold, H.A., Rugenski, A.T., Inouye, R.S., 2009. Nutrient limitation of biofilm biomass and metabolism in the Upper Snake River basin, southeast Idaho, USA. Hydrobiologia 620: 63-76.

5. Suding, K.N., Ashton, I.W., Bechtold, H.A., Bowman, W.D., Mobley, M.L., Winkleman, R., 2008. Plant and microbe contribution to community resilience in a directionally changing environment. Ecological Monographs 78: 313-329.

4. Rugenski, A.T., Marcarelli, A.M., Bechtold, H.A., Inouye, R.S., 2008. Effects of temperature and concentration on nutrient release rates from nutrient diffusing substrates. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27: 52-57.

3. Bechtold, H.A., Inouye, R.S., 2007. Distribution of carbon and nitrogen in sagebrush steppe after six years of nitrogen addition and shrub removal. Journal of Arid Environments 71: 122-132.

2. Suding, K.N., Miller, A.E., Bechtold, H.A., Bowman, W.D., 2006. The consequence of species loss on ecosystem nitrogen cycling depends on community compensation. Oecologia 149:141-149.

1. Bechtold, H. A., Forbis, T. A., Bowman, W.D, Diggle, P.K. 2002. Lack of reproductive plasticity in alpine Saxifraga rhomboidea Greene (Saxifragaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 22:316-368.

Professional Publications

Bechtold, H.A. (2018). Investigating novel contaminants and light regimes on ecosystem function. Invited seminar, Bloomsburg University.

Bechtold, H.A. (2014). The effects of forest structure on aquatic ecosystem function. Invited seminar, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Bechtold, H.A (2013). “Sanitation: the real poop”. Invited Seminar, Lycoming College, Williamsport PA.

Bechtold, H.A (2013). Novel contaminants in aquatic ecosystems: inputs fate and potential ecology effects. Invited seminar. LHU Biology Club

Presentations in Last 2 Years

Bechtold H.A., and Seiler SS (2018). Stream Ecosystem health and fish diversity in Alleghany National Forest. Annual Meeting with the Forest Service, Warren Pa.

Ghaner, A., M. Arnold, H.A. Bechtold* (2018) The Effect of Invasive Worms on Plant Growth and Soil Nutrient Availability. CPUB, Mansfield University AND Celebration of Scholarship LHUP.

Iannozzi, C. and H.A. Bechtold* (2018) Effects of firing range projectiles on Marsh Creek water quality, Howard, PA. CPUB, Mansfield University AND Celebration of Scholarship LHUP.

Sprout, B., H.A. Bechtold, S. Seiler, C. Keeports, N. Welker, A. Gilles* (2018). Assessment of Stream Communities in the Allegheny National Forest (2015-2017). CPUB, Mansfield University AND Celebration of Scholarship LHUP.

Iannozzi and H.A. Bechtold* (2018). Effects of firing range projectiles on Marsh Creek water quality, Howard, PA American Fisheries Society, Lycoming College (Feb. 8th 2018)

Jones, and H.A. Bechtold (2018). Measuring Biomass using Aquatic Algae. American Fisheries Society, Lycoming College (Feb. 8th 2018)

Kelly, JJ., Rojas, M., Bechtold HA, Snow, D., Reisinger, AJ., Rosi, EJ. (2017) Benthic Microbial communities in urban streams are impacted by anthropogenic contaminants linked to sewage infrastructure. Navigating the Future of Water Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. October 18-20. Talk.

Belson, G.D., Seiler, S., Bechtold, H (2017). Use of Invertebrate Samples as Indicators of Stream Community Health in the Allegheny National Forest. CPUB Annual meeting @ Kutztown University.

Tripoli, B.A., and H. Bechtold (2017). Pesticides and Algae: A look at the effects on GPP. Celebration of Scholarship, LHUP.

Iannozzi, C., and H. Bechtold (2017). Pavlovian Plants: Behavioral response of plants to caterpillar pheromones. Celebration of Scholarship, LHUP.

Arnold, M. and H. Bechtold. (2017). The Impact of Invasive Worm Species on Soil Nutrients and the Native Flora Within an Ecosystem. Celebration of Scholarship, Capstone presentation.LHUP.

Sette, S., Hulings, Z. Hough, H. Walters, H. Bechtold (2017). Microbeads, BPA and Nanoparticles: ow small novel contaminants affect stream ecosystem function in the West Branch of the Susquehanna watershed. Society of Toxicology 56th Annual Meeting, Baltimore MD. March 12-17, 2017.

Belson, G. Rocco, C., Bechtold H., Seiler, S., Keeports, C., Welker, N. (2017). Use of Invertebrate samples as indicators of stream community health in the Allegheny national forest. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Cal U of PA February 2017.

Fetterman, JA, Seiler, S., Bechtold H. (2017). Analyzing the impact of pipeline corridors on headwater stream productivity in Central Pennsylvania. American Fisheries Annual Society Meeting. Cal U of PA February 2017.

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