Walter Boynton, a fixture in the world of Chesapeake Bay science for more than 40 years and a longtime professor and estuarine ecologist at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, received the prestigious Mathias Medal to recognize his distinguished career of outstanding scientific research that has contributed to informed environmental policy in the Chesapeake Bay region.


According to professor Walter Boynton: too much food makes us obese, causing problems with our joints and taxing our hearts. And too much phosphorus and nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay in the water can cause serious problems, such as deadly algae blooms. Listen to Walter explain "nutrient obesity" in this educational video from Spark 101.

Drs. Walter Boynton and Michael Kemp received the Odum Lifetime Achievement Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Both were honored for their excellent individual accomplishments and their combined contributions over the last 30 years. Click here to read in more detail the recognition received by Drs. Boynton and Kemp.

Dr. Walter Boynton was awarded the "Venerable Clam" at an AERS meeting. Click here to read about the award.


Welcome to the homepage of the Gonzo Lab! We are interested in a diverse range of topics under the general scope of ecosystem ecology. Our research focuses specifically on sediment biogeochemistry and the exchanges of dissolved materials between water and sediments; nutrient budgets and systems ecology, where we work towards developing nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the Chesapeake Bay; seagrass ecology, which investigates the relationship between the loss of seagrass and eutrophication; and water quality, where we analyze how algal blooms, runoff, and hypoxia affect the quality of estuaries. Please click on the menu to the left for more information.


We've been calling ourselves The Gonzo Group for many years, mainly because it brings a smile to our sometimes stressed faces. It began in 1986 when several of us were reading Hunter S.Thompson's books and were highly amused by the characters and events portrayed. The notion we took away from these books was the idea of involvement in the action: Gonzo Journalism in the case of Thompson; and, in our case, involvment in many aspects of estuarine ecology including research, teaching, advisory services, and mainly enjoying what we do. Our general policy is to avoid the rasher aspects of Gonzo style, but moments do occur in small boats in bad weather with equipment that does not work where the notion of Gonzo helps get the job done.


Dr. Walter Boynton : Admiral of the Chesapeake! Awarded by exiting Maryland governor O'Malley to Walter for his commitment to conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and all that lives in and around it. Click here to read about the Admiral!