Professional Network

Lake Advocates has engaged a network of professionals to call on to help us accomplish our mission. Through our many affiliations and experiences, we are fortunate to be involved with these dedicated and experienced lake management professionals. And we are especially fortunate for continuing opportunities to include these professionals in Lake Advocates’ ongoing work for scientifically based lake restoration, management and protection.

The network of Lake Management Professionals listed here has endorsed Lake Advocates’ mission and vision and are available to be called on for their valuable expertise and experience.

Lake Advocates’ Professional Network

Mark Hoyer, CLM.  For 35 years, Mark’s primary interests lay in defining relations among nutrients and ecology of Florida streams, lakes and estuaries. These research interests include algal abundances, aquatic plant, fish and aquatic bird communities. During this time frame Mark also worked with thousands of Citizen Scientists, both educating them on the functioning of aquatic systems and using them in the collection of data for many research interests. Mark’s current focus is on examining long-term trends in water chemistry of aquatic systems and determining if significant trends are related to anthropogenic impacts (e.g., land use changes) or long–term cycles in weather patterns.

Dr. Dan Molloy ( is a recognized expert in the biology, ecology, and control of zebra and quagga mussels with over 25 years of experience in North America and Europe.  Dan’s career has been dedicated to the development and use of environmentally safe agents for control of aquatic nuisance species.  Dan is the patent inventor of an eco-friendly biocontrol agent against zebra/quagga mussels.  In addition to his university based research activities, Dan is the principal of Molloy and Associates Consulting, LLC – a consulting firm specializing in advising on how to deal with the challenges faced in the prevention, detection, containment, and control of aquatic nuisance species.  Established in 2011, Molloy Associates specializies in assisting lake associations, businesses, government agencies, infrastructure managers, and others in understanding the biology and ecology of aquatic invasive species (in particular zebra and quagga mussels) as applicable to credible prevention, detection, rapid response, eradication, and control programs.  (

Toni Pennington is an aquatic biologist with 17 years of experience developing and implementing integrated aquatic plant control and research projects with expertise in sampling and analysis plans for freshwater systems; aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention and management programs; water quality data planning, collection, analysis; and data QA/QC; identification of aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial plants; wetland delineations according to USACE guidance; and environmental documentation for large- and small-scale projects in aquatic and upland environments. Ms. Pennington enjoys working closely with a variety of shareholders in a multidisciplinary team to implement science-driven solutions for a range of clients from local to federal. Ms. Pennington is actively involved in numerous regional (e.g., Western Aquatic Plant Management Society, Oregon Lakes Association) and international (North American Lake Management Society, Aquatic Plant Management Society) organizations related to the research and management of aquatic plants, lakes and reservoirs, and invasive species and has published in peer-reviewed journals.

Rob Plotnikoff has more than 27 years of experience in conducting ecological evaluations of aquatic communities and water quality in streams and lakes throughout the United States and Canada. He has developed aquatic community health assessment tools like B-IBI and RIVPACS. He is actively managing and conducting ecological and surface water studies including: collection and description of benthic macroinvertebrate and periphyton communities, physical habitat, and sediment quality to determine impact of stormwater pollutants on aquatic communities, integrating biological information as thresholds for stormwater permits, description of current and past biological conditions in rivers and streams used to determine historical aquatic life uses and that influence designation of water quality criteria, toxicological impacts to receiving water biota, and numerical and conceptual biological modeling. Rob has been designing monitoring programs that meet requirements for compliance with permits, has considerable experience in developing technical documentation like Quality Assurance Project Plans for describing data quality to meet or exceed expectations of compliance monitoring, develops contaminant pathways models as guidance for monitoring program design, has prepared biological evaluations that satisfy requirements for project permitting under the Endangered Species Act, determined effectiveness of TMDL’s using water quality and biological information, and evaluating impacts to benthic communities from mining, forest practices and hydro activities.  Rob has directed multidisciplinary investigations and monitoring programs at larger basin scales and smaller watershed scales. Rob maintains expert skills in applied research including design and analysis of environmental data.

Dana Stephens foci surrounds understanding temporal and spatial shifts in aquatic ecosystems and relationships with natural and anthropogenic drivers. Dana received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from University of Florida in fisheries and aquatic sciences at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation and a B.S. from University of Wisconsin- Madison in biological conservation and zoology. Currently, Dana is the Director of the Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute at Northwest Florida State College with responsibilities in research, teaching, and service to the community. Dana has experience analyzing long-term water quality datasets, fish and vegetation assessments, sediment reconstruction of past environmental conditions, development of lake management plans, and teaching leadership skills to natural resource managers. She served on the North American Lake Management and the Florida Lake Management Society’s board of directors and contributed numerous presentations and publications to both organizations. In 2016, Dana was awarded the Florida Lake Management Society’s Young Professional Award presented to a lake management professional exhibiting professional accomplishments and a commitment to water resource protection and management of lakes and watersheds.