How algae respond to a warming, nutrient rich world and how we communicate this science to the world

Name of Award

APDC Faculty Research & Scholarly Activities Grant

Date Awarded




Project Description

Paula Furey, Assistant Professor of Biology, received $6,500 to explore how the species composition and ecology of algal assemblages as they change along a temperature gradient in response to both nutrient and temperature manipulation in an experiment.

Climate change and nutrient pollution threaten the integrity of our freshwaters and are predicted to change their ecology fundamentally. Both the understanding of the impacts of these stressors on aquatic environments and communicating the significance of the current state of our freshwaters is imperative if these systems, on which humans rely, are to remain healthy. To start to tease apart the impact of these factors and their interactions on aquatic environments, a train phycologist – someone who studies algae – to capture the story of the algae.

Understanding the factors that control the abundance and species composition of algal assemblages will allow us to build models to predict how changes in climate and nutrient pollution, and their interactions, will influence stream biota and nutrient dynamics. Knowledge gained from this study could be used to predict distribution patterns of different algal groups in relation to climate change and eutrophication, and thus help inform government agencies and policymakers.

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