Amber Bratcher-Covino

Biological Scientist

Amber Bratcher-Covino

Biological Scientist

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration – Harmful Algal Blooms

B.S. Biology, Marine Biology, Southwestern College
Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of Maine Research

Research Interests
HABs, molecular probes, biosensors, bloom dynamics, nutrients

Current Activity
I use an autoanalyzer to determine the inorganic nutrient content of water samples collected for our routine HAB monitoring program. Phytoplankton can utilize a variety of nutrients for survival and growth, and we are interested in studying how nutrient levels may affect bloom dynamics.

For my dissertation research, I developed a portable biosensor assay for the molecular detection of the harmful marine dinoflagellates Alexandrium fundyense and A. ostenfeldii. This assay is semi-quantitative and allows for rapid rRNA detection and discrimination of each species to provide an early-warning tool for HAB detection and monitoring.

FWC Facts:
Red tides have been documented along Florida's Gulf coast since the 1840s and likely occurred earlier. Fish kills around Tampa Bay were mentioned in the logs of Spanish explorers.

Learn More at AskFWC