Gene Turner headshotR. Eugene Turner

Position: LSU Boyd Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Phone: 225-578-6454

Fax: 225-578-6326


Office: 1205 Energy, Coast and Environment Building

Bachelor's Degree(s): B.S. Monmouth College, 1967

Master's Degrees(s): M.S. Drake University, 1969

Ph.D.(s): Ph.D. University of Georgia, 1974

Research Interests

Biological oceanography, conservation, environmental management, estuarine ecology, fisheries ecology, restoration, sustainable systems, wetlands.

Classes Taught

Wetland Loss, Restoration, and Management (every other year)
Restoration Ecology/Ecological Restoration (every other year)

Awards & Honors

2020 – Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin “Top downloaded paper 2018-2019, with N. Rabalais
2017 – Monmouth College, Distinguished Alumni Award
2017 – Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists, Best Paper Award, for Olin et al. 2016
2016 – Society of Wetland Scientists, Fellow
2013 – Boyd Professor, Louisiana State University (April 17, 2013)
2012 – INTECOL Wetlands Lifetime Achievement Award
2011 – American Chemical Society Publications, Certificate of Appreciation, for peer review of manuscripts
2010 – Shell Endowed Chair in Oceanography/Wetlands Studies, Louisiana State University
2010 – Marine Pollution Bulletin: “Top-50 most cited articles” 2005-2009
2010 – Distinguished Faculty Award, Louisiana State University
2009 – Joe and Richard Lipsey Professional Educator’s Award, Teaching and Professional Achievement Dept. Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University
2009 – Environmental Science & Technology Top Paper Award – Science (for 2008)
2006 – Estuaries: Second Most Cited paper 1985-2005
2005 – Distinguished Research Master, Louisiana State University
2004 – “Thanks” INTECOL Wetland Working Group
2002 – Certificate of Appreciation, Ecological Society of Korea
2002-06 Distinguished Professor in Louisiana Environmental Studies, Louisiana State University
2002 – Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service in 1999-2001, National Academies, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
2000 – Pirogue Award, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
1999 – Blasker Award for Environmental Science and Engineering, shared with N.N. Rabalais
1998 – National Wetlands Award, Science Research (co-sponsors: Environmental Law Institute, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA National Resources Conservation Service, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service), Washington, D.C.

Recent Publications

Google Scholar Profile

Yin, S., G. Gao, Y. Li, Y.J. Xu, R.E. Turner, L. Ran, X. Wang, B. Fu 2023. Long-term trends of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes from the Mississippi River Basin: Impacts of climate change and human activities. Journal of Hydrology 616: 128822.

Turner, R.E. 2023. Total ammonia and coliform concentrations at the end of the Mississippi River from 1900 to 2019. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 195: 278. 

McClenachan G., R.E. Turner 2023. Disturbance legacies and shifting trajectories: Marsh soil strength and shoreline erosion 11 years after Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental Pollution 322: 121151. 

Turner, R.E. 2023. Missing in action: Reference sites. Ecological Engineering 191: 106948.

Whigham, D., K. McKee, I. Mendelssohn, B. Mitsch, C. Richardson, G. Turner, A. van der Valk, J. Verhoeven 2023. A Tribute to Jan Kvet (“Hony”) on his 90th Birthday – Remembrances by SWS Friends. Wetland Science and Practice July, 105-109.

Zengel, S., J. Weaver, I.A. Mendelssohn, S.A. Graham, Q. Lin, M.W. Hester, J. Willis, B.D. Silliman, J.W. Fleeger, G. McClenachan, N.N. Rabalais, R.E. Turner, R. Hughes, J. Cebrian, D.R. Deis, N. Rutherford, B.J. Roberts 2022. Meta-analysis of salt marsh vegetation impacts and recovery: a synthesis following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ecological Applications 32(1): e02489. doi: 10.1002/eap.2489

Turner, R.E., C.S. Milan, E.M. Swenson, J.M. Lee 2022. Peak chlorophyll a concentrations in the lower Mississippi River from 1997 to 2018. Limnology and Oceanography 67: 703-712.  

Turner, R.E. 2022. Wetland restoration progress 39 years after canal backfilling. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10: 899596. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2022.899596

Quiñones-Rivera, Z.J., B. Wissel, R.E. Turner. N.N. Rabalais, D. Justic, K.P. Finlay, C.S. Milan 2022. Divergent effects of biological and physical processes on dissolved oxygen and dissolved inorganic carbon dynamics on a eutrophied and hypoxic continental shelf.  Limnology and Oceanography 67: 2603–2616.

Turner, R.E. 2022. The discharge of the Mississippi River and tributaries from 1817 to 2020. PlosOne 17(12): e0276513. 

Turner, R.E. and E.M. Swenson 2020. The life and death and consequences of canals and spoil banks in salt marshes.  Wetlands in press.

Mozdzer, T.J., E.B. Watson, W.H. Orem, C. Swarzenski and R.E. Turner 2020. Unraveling the Gordian Knot: Eight testable hypotheses on the effects of nutrient enrichment in wetlands. Science of the Total Environment in press

Newton, A., J.D. Icely, S. Cristina, G.M.E. Perillo, R.E. Turner, D.A. Ashan, S.M. Cragg, Y. Luo, H. Zhang, C. Tu, Y. Li, H. Zhang, R. Ramesh, D.L. Forbes, C. Solidoro, B. Béjaoui, S. Gao, R. Pastres, H. Kelsey, D. Taillie, N.J. Nhan, A.C. Brito, R.F. de Lima, C. Kuenze 2018. Anthropogenic pressures on coastal wetlands. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution  8: article 144; DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.00144

Ren, L., N.N. Rabalais, and R.E. Turner 2020. Effects of Mississippi River water on phytoplankton growth and composition in the upper Barataria estuary, Louisiana. Hydrobiologia 847: 1831–1850. 

Mo, Y., M. Kearney, R.E. Turner 2020. Excess nutrient impairs the resilience of coastal ecosystems to hurricanes: a long-term satellite and ground-based study for Louisiana coastal marshes. Environment International 138: 105409.

Turner, R.E., C. Swarzenski, and J.E. Bodker 2020. Fresh marsh soil strength losses with small increases in N and P loading. Wetlands on line.

Rabalais, N.N., R.E. Turner 2019. Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia: Past, Present and Future. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin 28: 117-124.

Turner, R.E., M. Layne, Y. Mo, E.M. Swenson 2019. Net land gain or loss for two Mississippi River diversions: Caernarvon and Davis Pond. Restoration Ecology 27: 1231–1240.

Bortolus, A., P. Adam, J.B. Adams, M.L. Ainouche, D. Ayres, M.D. Bertness, T.J. Bouma, J.F. Bruno, I. Caçador, J.T. Carlton, J.M. Castillo, C.S.B. Costa, A.J. Davy, L. Deegan, B. Duarte, E. Figueroa, J. Gerwein, A.J Gray, E.D. Grosholz, S.D. Hacker, A.R. Hughes, K. McKee, E. Mateos-Naranjo, I.A. Mendelssohn, J.T. Morris, A.F. Muñoz-Rodríguez, F.J. Nieva, L.A. Levin, B. Li, W. Liu, S.C. Pennings, A. Pickart, S. Redondo-Gómez, D.M. Richardson, A. Salmon, E. Schwindt, B.R. Silliman, E. Sotka, C. Stace, D.R. Strong, M. Sytsma, S. Temmerman, R.E. Turner, I. Valiela, M.P. Weinstein, J.S. Weis 2019. Supporting Spartina: Interdisciplinary perspective shows Spartina as a distinct solid genus. Ecology 100(11), 2019, e02863  DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2863  Cover of issue.

Ballard, T.C., A.M. Michalak, G.F. McIsaac, N.N. Rabalais, R.E. Turner 2019. Comment on “Legacy nitrogen may prevent achievement of water quality goals in the Gulf of Mexico”. Science 365: 10.1126/science.aau8401. doi:10.1126/science.aar4462pmid:29567808

Hollis, L.O., and R.E. Turner 2019. The tensile root strength of Spartina patens varies with soil texture and atrazine concentration. Estuaries and Coasts 42: 1430–1439. doi: 10.1007/s12237-019-00591-5

Turner, R.E., N.N. Rabalais, E.B. Overton, B.M. Meyer, G. McClenachan, E.M. Swenson, M. Besonen, M.L. Parsons, J. Zingre 2019. Oiling the continental shelf and coastal wetlands over eight years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental Pollution 252: Part B: 1367-1376.

Mo, Y., M., M.S. Kearney, R.E. Turner, B. Momen 2019. Feedback of coastal marshes to climate change: Long-term phenological and area changes. Ecology and Evolution 9: 6785–6797. doi: 10.1002/ece3.5215

Gardner, R.C., E. Okuno, S. Tai, M.S. Fennessy, C.A. Johnston, M.L. Otte, M. Palmer, J.E. Perry, C. Simenstad, B.R. Tanner, D. Tufford, R.E. Turner, K. Work, S.C. Yaich, and J.B. Zedler 2019. Advocating for science: amici curiae brief of wetland and water scientists in support of the Clean Water Rule. Wetlands 39: 403–414.

Turner, R.E., E.M. Swenson, C. Milan, and J.M. Lee 2019. Spatial variations in Chlorophyll a, C, N, and P in a Louisiana estuary from 1994 to 2016. Hydrobiologia 834(1), 131-144.  DOI 10.1007/s10750-019-3918-7 

Hollis, L.O., and R.E. Turner 2019. The tensile root strength of Spartina patens: Response to atrazine exposure and nutrient addition. Wetlands 39(4): 759-775. Doi:10.1007/s13157-019-01126-1

Turner, R.E., N.N. Rabalais 2019. The Gulf of Mexico. Chapter 18, in: C. Shepard, Ed. ‘World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation’, Volume I: Europe, The Americas and West Africa. Elsevier. pp. 445-464.

Turner, R.E. and G. McClenachan 2018. Reversing wetland death from 35,000 cuts: opportunities to restore Louisiana’s dredged canals. Plos One 13(12): e0207717.

Turner, R.E. 2018. Response to the letter on Turner (2017). Geo: Geography and Environment 5: 2018;e62.

Hollis, L.O. and R.E. Turner 2018. The tensile root strength of five emergent coastal macrophytes. Aquatic Botany 146: 39-46.

Price, A.M, M.M. Baustian, R.E. Turner, N.N. Rabalais, and G.L. Chmura 2018. Dinoflagellate cysts track eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries and Coasts 41(5): 1322-1336.

Rabalais, N.N., L.M. Smith, and R.E. Turner 2018. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Gulf of Mexico shelf hypoxia. Continental Shelf Research 152: 98-107.

Turner, R.E. 2017. The mineral sediment loading of the modern Mississippi River Delta: What is the restoration baseline? Journal Coastal Conservation 21(6): 867-872 doi: 10.1007/s11852-017-0547-z

Parkinson, R.W., C. Craft, R. DeLaune, J.F. Donoghue, M. Kearney, J.F. Meeder, J. Morris and R.E. Turner 2017. Correspondence regarding Kirwan, M.L., Temmerman, S., Skeehan, E.E., Guntenspergen, G.R., & Fagherazzi, S. (2016). Overestimation of marsh vulnerability to sea level rise. Nature Climate Change 6(3): 253-2601. Nature Climate Change 7: 756.

Summers Engel, A., C. Liu, A.T. Paterson, L.A. Anderson, R.E. Turner, and E.B. Overton 2017. Salt marsh bacterial communities before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 83(20) pii: e00784-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00784-17

Olin, J. A., Bergeon Burns, C. M., Woltmann, S., Taylor, S. S., Stouffer, P. C., Bam, W., Hooper-Bui, L., Turner, R. E. (2017). Contrasting food web responses to different large-scale stressors in coastal Louisiana saltmarshes using the Seaside Sparrow. Ecosphere, 8(7), e01878.

Scavia, D., Bertani, I., Obenour, D. R., Turner, R. E., Forrest, D. R., Katkin, A. (2017). Ensemble modeling informs hypoxia management in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA), 114, 8823-8828.

Hu, X., Li, Q., Huang, W. J., Chen, B., Cai, W. J., Rabalais, N., Turner, R. E. (2017). Eutrophication, storm, and benthic respiration – a case study on carbonate chemistry in a traditional hypoxic zone in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Chemistry, 190, 33-42.

Turner, R. E. (2017). Just Us. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability, 3(12), 1-4.

Turner, R. E. (2017). Smaller size-at-age menhaden with coastal warming and fishing intensity. Geo: Geography and Environment, 4(2), e00044.

Turner, R. E., Verhoeven, J., Grobicki, A., Davis, J., Liu, S. R., An, S. Q. (2017). The Changshu Declaration on Wetlands. Ecological Engineering, 101, 1-2.

Mertens, K. N., Gu, H., Tankano, Y., Price, A. M., Pospelova, V., Bogus, K., Versteegh, G., Marret, F., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N., Matsuoka, K. (2017). The cyst-theca relation of Trinovantedinium pallidifulvum, with erection of Protoperidinium lousianensis sp. nov. and their phylogenetic position within the Conica group. Palynology, 41, 183-202.

Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N., Justic, D. (2017). Trends in summer bottom-water temperatures on the Northern Gulf of Mexico continental shelf from 1985 to 2015. Plos One, 12(9), e0184350. https://

Turner, R. E. (2017). Sea level rise tipping point of delta survival. Journal of Coastal Research 34: 470-474.

Turner, R. E., Bodker, J. E., Schulz, C. (2018). The belowground intersection of nutrients and buoyancy in a freshwater marsh. Wetlands Ecology and Management 26(2): 151-159. Doi: 10.1007/s11273-017-9562-y;

D'Sa, E. J., Overton, E. B., Lohrenz, S. E., Maiti, K., Turner, R. E., Freeman, A. (2016). Changing dynamics of dissolved organic matter fluorescence in the northern Gulf of Mexico following the DwH oil spill. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(10), 4940-4950.

Rabalais, N., Turner, R. E. (2016). Effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coastal habitats and fauna. Oceanography, 29, 150-159.

Bonisoli-Alquati, A., Stouffer, P. C., Turner, R. E., Woltmann, S., Taylor, S. S. (2016). Incorporation of Deepwater Horizon oil in a terrestrial bird. Environmental Research Letters, 11, 114023.

Bargu, S., Baustian, M. M., Rabalais, N., Del Rio, R., Von Korff, B., Turner, R. E. (2016). Influence of Mississippi River on Pseudo-nitzschia spp. abundance and toxicity in Louisiana coastal waters. Estuaries and Coasts, 39, 1345-1356.

Turner, R. E., McClenachan, G., Tweel, A. W. (2016). Islands in the oil: Quantifying salt marsh shoreline erosion after the Deepwater Horizon oiling. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 110, 316-323.

Price, A. M., Baustian, M., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N., Chmura, G. L. (2016). Melitasphaeridium choanophorum – a living dinoflagellate cyst fossil in the Gulf of Mexico. Palynology, 351-358.

Kearney, M. S., Turner, R. E. (2016). Microtidal marshes: Can these widespread marshes made fragile by low tidal range survive increasing climate-sea level variability and human action? J. Coastal Research, 32, 686-699.

Luo, Z., Krock, B., Mertens, K. N., Price, A. M., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N., Gu, H. (2016). Morphology, molecular phylogeny and azaspiracid profile of Azadinium poporum (Dinophyceae) from the Gulf of Mexico. Harmful Algae, 55, 56-65.

Wong, D., Rabalais, N., Turner, R. E. (2016). Size-dependent top-down control on phytoplankton growth by microzooplankton in eutrophic waters. Hydrobiologia, 763, 97-108.

Turner, R. E., Bodker, J. E. (2016). The effects of N, P and oil on the decomposition of Spartina alterniflora belowground biomass. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 24(3), 373-380.

Fry, B., Justic, D., Riekenberg, P., Swenson, E. M., Turner, R. E., Wang, L., Pride, L., Rabalais, N., Kurtz, J. C., Lehrter, J. C., Murrell, M. C., Shadwick, E. H., Boyd, B. (2015). Carbon dynamics on the Louisiana continental shelf and cross-shelf feeding of hypoxia. Estuaries and Coasts, 38, 703-721.

Kearney, K. S., Riter, J., Turner, R. E. (2015). Comment on: “Integrating successional ecology and the delta lobe cycle in wetland research and restoration” by Nyman (2014). Estuaries and Coasts, 38, 1821-1823.

Gu, H., Luo, Z., Mertons, K. N., Price, A. M., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N. (2015). Cyst-motile stage relationship, morphology, ultrastructure and molecular phylogeny of the Gymnodinoid dinoflagellate Barrufeta resplendens Comb. nov, formerly known as Gyrodinium resplendens, isolated from the Gulf of Mexico. J. Phycology, 51, 990-999.

Martin, C. W., Hollis, L. O., Turner, R. E. (2015). Effects of oil-contaminated sediments on submerged vegetation: An experimental assessment of Ruppia maritima. PlosOne.

Bodker, J. E., Turner, R. E., Tweel, A. W., Schulz, C., Swarzenski, C. (2015). Nutrient-enhanced decomposition of belowground biomass of a freshwater wetland. Aquatic Botany, 127, 44-52.

Parsons, M. L., Morrison, W. L., Rabalais, N., Turner, R. E., Tyre, K. N. (2015). Phytoplankton and the Macondo oil spill: A comparison of the 2010 phytoplankton assemblage to baseline conditions on the Louisiana Shelf. Environmental Pollution, 207, 152-160.

Turner, R. E., Overton, E. B., Ashton, B. M., Miles, M. S., Hooper-Bui, L. M. (2014). Changes in the concentration and relative abundance of alkane and PAHs from the Deepwater Horizon oiling of coastal marshes. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 86, 291297.

Tweel, A. W., Turner, R. E. (2014). Contribution of tropical cyclones to the sediment budget for coastal wetlands in Louisiana, USA. Landscape Ecology, 29, 1083-1094.

Rabotyagov, S., Campbell, T., White, M., Arnold, J., Atwood, J., Norfleet, L., Kling, C., Gassman, P., Valcu, A., Richardson, J., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N. (2014). Cost-effective targeting of conservation investments to reduce the northern Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Proc. National Academy of Sciences (USA), 111(52), 18530-18535.

Rabalais, N., Cai, W., Carstesen, J., Conley, D., Fry, B., Hu, X., Quiñones-Rivera, Z., Rosenberg, R., Slomp, C., Turner, R. E., Voß, M., Wissel, B., Zhang, J. (2014). Deoxygenation at the coastal ocean margin. Oceanography, 27(1), 172-183.

Turner, R. E. (2014). Discussion of: Olea, A.O. and Coleman, Jr., J.L. 2013. A synoptic examination of causes of land loss in southern Louisiana as they relate to the exploitation of subsurface geological resources. Journal of Coastal Research, 30, 1330-1334.

Turner, R. E., Overton, E. B., Ashton, B. M., Miles, M. S., McClenachan, G., Hooper-Bui, L. M., Summer Engel, A., Swenson, E. M., Lee, J. M., Milan, C. S., Gao, H. (2014). Distribution and recovery trajectory of Macondo (Mississippi Canyon 252) oil in Louisiana salt marshes. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 87, 57-67.

Fodrie, F. J., Able, K. W., Galvez, F., Heck, Jr., K. L., Jensen, O. P., Lopez-Duarte, P. C., Martin, C. W., Turner, R. E., Whitehead, A. (2014). Integrating organismal and population responses of fishes to the Macondo Spill guides research priorities in the Gulf of Mexico. BioScience, 64, 778-788.

Kling, C. L., Panagopoulos, Y., Rabotyagov, S., Valcu, A., Gassman, P. W., Campbell, T., Srinivasan, R., White, M., Arnold, J. G., Jha, M. K., Richardson, J., Moskal, L. M., Turner, R. E., Rabalais, N. (2014). LUMINATE: Linking agricultural land use, local water quality and Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 1-29.

Parsons, M. L., Turner, R. E., Overton, E. B. (2014). Sediment-preserved diatom assemblages can distinguish a petroleum activity signal separately from the nutrient signal of the Mississippi River in coastal Louisiana. Mar. Pollut. Bull, 85, 164-171.

Rabotyagov, S. S., Kling, C. L., Gassman, P., Rabalais, N., Turner, R. E. (2014). The economics of Dead Zones: Causes, impacts, policy challenges and a statistical model of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 8, 58-79.