Laurie S. Eberhardt


Laurie S. Eberhardt Professor of Biology 219.464.5388 Neils Science Center, 303D and CFS 106


Ph.D. – University of Florida (1994)
M.A – University of Florida (1990)
B.S. – Earlham College (1985)


Laurie Eberhardt is trained as a behavioral ecologist and has worked on plant-bird interactions in the past. Most recently she and her students have been studying the impacts of microplastic pollution on the behavior of aquatic organisms, especially mollusks.  Microplastics come in many forms including fibers from synthetic clothing and textiles, microbeads in cosmetics, and tiny broken pieces of larger plastic debris.  This is an emerging environmental concern as we learn more about the negative impacts that microplastics can have on living organisms. Molllusks appear to be especially vulnerable and the focus of the Eberhardt lab is currently on both zebra mussels and freshwater snails.

Research Interests

Plant/animal interactions, bird behavior, microplastic pollution impacts on aquatic animals


Peller, J, C Iceman, L Eberhardt, R Clark, E Kostelnik*, &C Nelson. 2019. Tracking the distribution of microfiber pollution in a southern Lake Michigan watershed through the analysis of water, sediment and air. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. DOI: 10.1039/C9EM00193J

Peller, JR, L Eberhardt, E Argyilan, C. Sanidas.  2019. Educational partnerships combined with research on emerging pollutants for long-term water-quality monitoring in Evaluating Water quality to Prevent Future Disasters (S.Ahuja, ed) Separation Science and Technology, v. 11

Herakovitch*, H, M DeVries*,.and LS Eberhardt. 2015. Branch morphology of nonnative Eleagnus shrubs and potential consequences for avian activity in Midwestern habitats.  Natural Areas Journal 36:323-327.              

Eberhardt, LS, RJ Swanson, GS Dulin, 2015 Using behavioral bioassays of aquatic macroinvertebrates to engage students in an inquiry-based introductory laboratory. American Biology Teacher 77: 681–688,

Eberhardt, LS. 2015 Do it again: repeating methodology from published literature to learn field biology.

American Biology Teacher 77: 532-537.

Eberhardt, LS 2000. Use and selection of sap trees by yellow-bellied sapsuckers. The Auk 117 (1): 41-51.

Eberhardt, LS. 1997.A test of an environmental advertisement hypothesis for the function of drumming in yellow-bellied sapsuckers.  Condor 99: 798-803.