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Showing posts from May, 2017

Diatom of the Month – May 2017: Navicula lanceolata

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by Martyn Kelly*, in collaboration with Luca Marazzi

Navicula lanceolata(Agardh) Ehrenberg 1838 is a symmetrical biraphid diatom with lanceolate valve margins, broad in the central valve and slightly rostrate, rounded ends (Fig. 1, #1); the central area is an irregular oval (Fig. 1, #2), and striae are radiate, except at the ends where they become convergent (Fig. 1, #3). This species has two chloroplasts, one along each side of the girdle (Fig. 2) and is highly motile.

Fig. 1. Navicula lanceolata (Source: http://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/taxa/species/Navicula_lanceolata).
Fig. 2. Navicula lanceolata in fresh samples with brown chloroplasts (Source: http://craticula.ncl.ac.uk/EADiatomKey/html/taxon13521390.html;
Image Copyright: E.J. Cox).
This is one of the most widely-distributed and frequently-encountered diatoms in both Europe and North America and is particularly abundant in winter and early spring; like a few other motile diatoms, it can form dark-brown patches on the top of biofi…

The Next Generation of Scientists

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I know the reason I have pursued graduate school and a career in science is owed to the mentoring I received as an undergraduate student. My first mentor was Dr. Simmons, who I worked under in his lab on stream ecology. He encouraged me to apply for the Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs, where I went on to work with Dr. Rosi and Dr. Bechtold for a whole summer at Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies. It was this experience that gave me the confidence and background to apply for graduate school programs. In fact, Dr. Bechtold introduced me (virtually) to my current advisor!

Because of all the guidance and encouragement I got as an undergraduate I am highly motivated to continue the legacy and mentor the next generation of scientists. I am thankful that my advisor has given me the opportunity to work with three different REU students. For me, working with undergraduate students has many benefits. They are eager to help, they are curious, and they are enthusiastic. Th…

DOC or: How I learned to start worrying about carbon in water

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Post by: Peter Regier

My research with the FCE-LTER works to better understand where organic carbon comes from, how it changes in the environment and where it ends up.  Organic carbon is the stuff that makes up all living things, and when plants and critters die, the organic carbon they are made of can be sequestered in soils or mobilize into the water or the air.  Since the Everglades is a subtropical system that usually doesn’t freeze and gets lots of sunlight (Florida is called the sunshine state for a reason…), plants can grow year-round.  This means we end up with ton of organic carbon moving in and out of environments like sawgrass marshes, mangroves and seagrass beds (all of which produce and store organic carbon).    



I’m interested in understanding how environmental drivers like hydrology and climate impact organic carbon dissolved in natural waters, aptly named dissolved organic carbon (DOC).  Since we can easily quantify DOC in the lab, we should be able to collect some water…