Professor McKnight’s research focuses on interactions between freshwater organisms, trace metals, and natural organic material in diverse freshwater environments, including lakes and streams in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. In the Rocky Mountains, Professor McKnight has studied the impact of metal contamination in streams caused by acid drainage from mines as well as the influence of climate change and nitrogen deposition on alpine lakes and wetlands. She is a leading investigator studying extreme life at the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research site. She is a fellow of the Institute of Artic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to her many influential scientific publications, Professor McKnight has published a children’s book, The Lost Seal, that tells the true story of a wayward seal discovered near the research camp in 1990 and its eventual rescue. She is a former member of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board and its Polar Research Board, and she received a Meritorious Service Award from the U.S. Geological Survey.