Gregory Lewis

Professor and Chair of Biology

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Dr. Gregory Lewis' decision to pursue a career in ecology was influenced strongly by his early work as an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL). At SREL, he assisted in research by Dr. Barbara Taylor on zooplankton in artificial reservoirs and in Carolina bay wetland ponds, as well as in studies by Dr. J. Vaun McArthur of stream bivalves and leaf decomposition. Lewis also conducted research with Dr. Wade Worthen on the influence of ant predation on the survival of Drosophila larvae developing in mushrooms. After earning his bachelor of science in biology from Furman, he began his doctoral studies in ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, where he was supported in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. His doctoral research, under the supervision of Dr. Gene Likens (of the Cary Instit ute of Ecosystem Studies) and Dr. Bob Howarth, examined the influences of forest insect defoliation, forest species composition, and soil types on stream chemistry in the Allegheny National Forest of northwestern Pennsylvania. After completing his Ph.D., Lewis worked as a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. Barbara Taylor at SREL, examining the long-term fate of radiocesium in artificial reservoirs that had received heated effluents from nuclear reactors. Dr. Lewis joined the Furman Biology faculty in 2000.

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Lewis has led or participated in several study away programs in the Biology Department, including travel to Costa Rica (Tropical Ecology), Ecuador (Biology of the Andes and Galápagos Islands), and Belize (Marine Biology). He also is an Affiliate Faculty member with the David Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman.


  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • B.S., Furman University


Dr. Lewis conducts research within the River Basins Research Initiative, which involves close collaboration with students and fellow faculty in the Biology and Earth and Environmental Science Departments. Broadly speaking, Dr. Lewis is interested in how land cover and human activity within watersheds influences stream and river ecosystems. He is especially interested in how land cover (both urban and rural) influences the biogeochemistry of elements such as nitrogen and carbon in watersheds in the piedmont and Blue Ridge regions of South Carolina. Although he focuses on patterns in stream chemistry, he also is interested in how air pollution (in both rain and dust) may enhance the supply of nitrogen and other elements to streams in urban watersheds. Dr. Lewis also collaborates with Dr. Min-Ken Liao on studies of how both point and non-point sources of pollution in urban areas affect the abundance and genetic diversity of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in headwater streams. Further, Dr. Lewis has conducted research on the influence of wastewater treatment plant effluent on river chemistry and on riparian vegetation and woody debris in urban and rural streams.


* Denotes undergraduate coauthor

  • Lewis, G. P., A. M. Weigel*, K. M. Duskin*, and D. C. Haney.  2021. Wood abundance in urban and rural streams in northwestern South Carolina. Hydrobiologia 848 (18): 4263–4283. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-021-04638-2
  • Liao, M.-K., G. Lewis, and M. Winiski. 2020.  Do students learn better with Pecha Kucha, an alternative presentation format? Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 21(3): doi:10.1128/jmbe.v21i3.2111
  • Hager et al. 2017. Continent-wide analysis of how urbanization affects bird-window collision mortality in North America.  Biological Conservation 212: 209-215.
  • Lewis, G. P., C. B. Andersen, T. P. Moloney*, and S. Muthukrishnan. 2015. Relationships between dry deposition of ions and urban land cover in the South Carolina piedmont. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 226:266
  • Anderson, B. W.*, S. McCauley*, G. P. Lewis, and M.-K. Liao. 2014. Impacts of a poultry processing plant on the diversity of Escherichia coli populations and transferability of tetracycline resistance genes in an urban stream in South Carolina. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 225:2030.
  • Andersen, C.B., G. P. Lewis, M. Hart*, and J. Pugh*. 2014. The impact of wastewater treatment effluent on the biogeochemistry of the Enoree River, South Carolina, during drought conditions. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 225:1955.
  • Dripps, W., G. P. Lewis, R. Baxter*, and C. B. Andersen. 2013 Hydrogeochemical characterization of headwater seepages inhabited by the endangered Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata) in the upper piedmont of South Carolina. Southeastern Naturalist 12(3)619-637.
  • Williams, A.*, C. B. Andersen, and G. P. Lewis. 2009. Evaluating the effects of sample processing treatments on alkalinity measurements. Journal of Hydrology 377:455-464.
  • Muthukrishnan, S., G. P. Lewis, and C. B. Andersen. 2007. Relations among land cover, vegetation index, and nitrate concentrations in streams of the Enoree River Basin, piedmont region of South Carolina, USA. In D. Sarkar, R. Datta, and R. Hannigan, editors. Developments in Environmental Science, vol. 5. Elsevier.
  • Lewis, G. P., J. Mitchell*, C. B. Andersen, D. C. Haney, M.-K. Liao, and K. A. Sargent. 2007. Influence of urbanization on stream chemistry and biology in the Big Brushy Creek watershed, South Carolina, USA. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 182:303-323.
  • Lewis, G. P., and G. E. Likens. 2007. Changes in stream chemistry associated with insect defoliation in a Pennsylvania hemlock-hardwoods forest. Forest Ecology and Management 238:199-211.
  • Andersen, C.B., G. P. Lewis, and K. A. Sargent. 2004. Influence of wastewater treatment effluent on concentrations and fluxes of solutes in the Bush River, South Carolina, during extreme drought conditions. Environmental Geosciences 11:28-41.
  • Lewis, G. P., and G. E. Likens. 2000. Low stream nitrate concentrations associated with oak forests on the Allegheny High Plateau of Pennsylvania. Water Resources Research 36:3091-3094.
  • Lewis, G. P., B. E. Taylor, J. E. Pinder III, and P. M. Dixon. 2000. Apparent decline of the sediment 137Cs inventory of an abandoned reactor cooling reservoir: export or uncertainty? Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 49:293-306.
  • Lewis, G. P., and W. B. Worthen. 1992. Effects of ant predation and mushroom desiccation on survivorship of mycophagous Drosophila tripunctata larvae. Oikos 64:553-559.