Dr. Robert Michael McKay

Dr. McKay on a ship writing notes wearing an orange jacket

Director and Professor,
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research,
School of the Environment

Phone:  519-253-3000 x 2797
Office:  GLIER Rm. 247 D
E-mail:  Mike McKay

In 2019, Robert Michael McKay joined the University of Windsor where he serves as the Director of the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and Professor in the School of the Environment. Professor McKay’s research is focused on large lakes where he studies environmental microbiology including harmful cyanobacterial blooms and blooms of ice-associated algae in the Great Lakes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, his lab group made a successful transition to wastewater surveillance in support of public health. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and currently serves as an investigator on grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, U.S. National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Professor McKay serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Great Lakes Research and as a member of the International Joint Commission’s Science Advisory Board’s Science Priority Committee.


Harmful Algal Blooms
Winter Limnology
Environmental Microbiology


Ph.D. 1991, Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
B.Sc. (Hon) 1986, Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Academic Positions:

Director, 2019-present, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

Professor, 2019-present, School of the Environment, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

Adjunct Professor, 2019-present, Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH USA

Ryan Professor, 1997-2018, Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA

Visiting Scholar, 2013, Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN, USA

Humboldt Scholar, 2005, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

Post-doctoral Fellow, 1994-1997, Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Lab, Upton, NY, USA

NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow, 1991-1994, Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA


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