Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration – Harmful Algal Blooms
B.S. Biology, Marine Biology, Southwestern College
Ph.D. Marine Biology, University of Maine Research
HABs, molecular probes, biosensors, bloom dynamics, nutrients
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.