Rich Merritt retired from MSU in 2013.
His major research interests focused on the feeding ecology, animal microbial interactions, population dynamics, and influence of environmental factors on immature aquatic insects, especially Diptera. His most recent research concentrated on the ecology of an emerging disease, Buruli Ulcer, in Africa which involves insects, biomonitoring of streams and rivers, the effects of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems, and the role of marine-derived nutrients (salmon carcasses) on aquatic insect communities in Alaskan streams. He also is involved in the field of Forensic Entomology, and assists police departments in crime scene investigations involving insects. He has co-edited four editions of a textbook entitled, "An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America", and, a book entitled, "Black Flies: Ecology, Population Management, and Annotated World List." Dr. Merritt received the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award in 2004 and the "Award of Excellence" in Benthic Biology from the North American Benthological Society in 2007. In 2010, He received the title of University Distinguished Professor from Michigan State University.