Jacques Finlay is broadly interested in the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their interaction with surrounding natural and human-altered landscapes. He pursues research questions at many scales and levels of organization using experimental, comparative, and stable isotope approaches. Finlay is particularly excited by interdisciplinary, collaborative research that integrates across spatial and temporal scales.                                                  

His group’s current research areas include investigation of productivity and energy flow in river food webs, impacts of introduced species on aquatic ecosystems, effects of human land use modification on stream biogeochemistry and food web structure, and nitrogen cycling in lakes.  Ongoing projects include a UMN Institute on the Environment Discovery Grant to examine how human modifications to land-water interfaces change nutrient sources and fluxes to streams,  an NSF-funded study of ecosystem regulation of nitrate accumulation in the Laurentian Great Lakes, and a long-term study of ecological processes in a model stream network in northern California with collaborators in NCED.