Climate Warming Influences on Freshwaters: Detection of the Toxin Microcystin-LR in Water and the Cyanobacteria Nostoc in Streams in Iceland

Name of Award

3M Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant

Date Awarded




Project Description

Dr. Paula Furey, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Ange-Gabrielle Holm, a student researcher, are awarded $2,000 by the 3M STEM Grants Program to study interactions between temperature and the production of microcystin-LR by cyanobacteria from streams. Aquatic ecosystems are experiencing increases in temperature in response to global warming. How biological organisms like primary producers respond to these changing conditions varies. Cyanobacteria, known to thrive in warm waterbodies, can produce toxins such as the hepatotoxin, microcystin-LR. However, compared to lakes, less is known about microcystin-LR production in streams, so modified analytical methods are needed to study cyanobacteria metabolism. Understanding when and if microcystin-LR is produced under varied temperatures will allow better predictions about how streams might respond to climate warming, especially with increased growth of cyanobacteria in freshwaters globally. In collaborating, Ange-Gabrielle Holm will be involved in key aspects of the research process, allowing her to develop her critical thinking skills and academic intellect while participating in the rigors of scientific research.

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