Jerry L. Kaster
Jerry L. Kaster
Associate Professor
Aquatic Invertebrate Biology

B.A., Winona State Univ. 1972
M.S., Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens Pt. 1976
Ph.D., Univ. of Colorado 1978

Office: Lapham S287
Phone: 414-229-4889
WATER Institute: 414-382-1733
FAX: 414-229-3926
Personal Homepage:

Research InterestsAquatic Invertebrate Biology

Structure, function and evolution of freshwater and marine invertebrates, especially with reference to the origin and adaptations of the freshwater fauna. Investigation of biological patterns, especially the historical role of megaleaps in seeding fast lane evolution in the invertebrates. Also, invertebrate mediated processes at the water-sediment bemthic interface.

Current Studies
  • Developing a theory of biological hierarchical function.
  • A hypothesis of matter and spacial continuity.
  • Bridging the gap between knowledge and creativity in learning.
  • Water Resource Sustainability: Lessons from the Jungle.

Prospectus Dr. Kaster has spearheaded numerous projects over his career.

  • He founded an international, professional scientific journal, now in its 28th year. In June, 2001, He was honored by the society for “providing the foundation for the Journal of the North American Benthological Society”, at the 49th Annual Meeting.
  • Initiated the National Geographical Society funded discovery and exploration of the underwater hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake; 20+ years running and now researched by scientists from around the world.
  • Explored some of the premier lakes in the world, including the famed Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia where his group was the first western scientists to circumnavigate the lake. This led to a long-term scientific exchange between US and Russian scientists.
  • Received continuous scientific funding for 30 years from corporate, government and private sources, resulting in a host of publications and opportunity for graduate students.
  • Two scientific patents in biofiltration and nuisance mussel control.
  • Founded the Laguna Bacalar Institute in 2007, that is dedicated to preserving the pristine waters of Laguna Bacalar, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico (
  • Selected as a Sotl Scholar in Teaching and Learning 2009-10; His study is titled “Bridging the Gap Between Knowledge and Creativity”.

Selected Publications

Seaman M and Kaster JL. Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) biofilter reduction of waterborne microbes. National Undergraduate Research Conference Proceedings, 1995.

Klump V, Remsen T, Lovalvo D, Anderson P, Cuhel R, Kaplinski M, Kaster JL, Maki J, and Paddock R. 20,000 leagues under Yellowstone Lake. Yellowstone Science 3(4):10-14, 1995.

Bardygula-Nonn L, Kaster JL, and Glonek T. Phospholipid profiling of sediments using phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance. Lipids 30(11):1047-1051.