Christina Fedarcyk - Phytoplankton Lab

University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

As an intern for SERC this summer I worked in the Phytoplankton Lab for Dr. Charles Gallegos.  Phytoplankton is an important determinant of water quality so continual monitoring of algae in the Chesapeake Bay is necessary.  I am currently working on two projects for this summer, in one I work with cultures of Prorocentrum minimum, the algal species responsible for the “red tides” seen in the bay during the springtime.  I am growing cultures in media of three different nutrient levels and monitoring cell growth and chlorophyll in order to see if Prorocentrum minimum have the capability to store phosphate.  In my second project I work with two types of benthic (bottom sitting) tubs and I monitor the consumption of phytoplankton by species in Fox Point on the Rhode River.  Half of my tubs have open bottoms so the water I sample from them comes from the river bottom and half of the tubs are closed bottomed which allow for sampling of surface water.  Water samples taken from the tubs are filtered and analyzed for chlorophyll content. 

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