Karen E. Atwood

Biological Scientist

Karen AtwoodName
Karen E. Atwood

Position
Biological Scientist

Section
Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration – Harmful Algal Blooms – Toxin Laboratory

Education
B.S. Zoology, University of South Florida
M.S. Marine Science with a focus in biological oceanography, University of South Florida

Research Interests
HABs, red tide, effects on marine animals, toxins, seabirds

Current Activity
As the FWRI HAB Staff Web Liaison, I develop, edit, implement and maintain articles and information for the FWRI Red Tide website and HAB Facebook. I also work in the Toxins Laboratory analyzing water, sediment, seagrass and animal tissues (various Gulf of Mexico fish species, manatees, dolphins, whales, turtles, invertebrates, sharks and other local aquatic species) for toxins through the use of analytical techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). In addition, I am responsible for creating, maintaining and posting the weekly HAB Red Tide Current Status report made available to the public.

For my Master’s thesis, I studied brevetoxin body burdens in seabirds of southwest Florida. Brevetoxin – a neurotoxin produced by the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis – has long been associated with mass mortalities and morbidities of seabirds and other marine animals. The study of effects and accumulation of toxins in the environment and in marine organisms is an important aspect of wildlife and ecosystem management.

CV
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FWC Facts:
Panthers are carnivores - meaning they eat meat only. A panther's diet includes deer, wild hogs, raccoons, armadillos, rabbits and even small alligators.

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