Microbial and Geochemical Characterization of Carbonate Mud: Florida Bay
Microbial Ecology of Recreational Beaches
The microbial ecology
of beach sediments has received little attention in the monitoring and
regulation of water quality because of the dynamic nature and technical
difficulties involved in studying the microbial diversity. My undergraduate
background in molecular biology and my Master’s in geology provides me with a
unique foundation as an environmental microbial ecologist. I believe as anthropogenic stressors increase along out coastlines, solving
problems of water quality and beach remediation will extend beyond sampling
water alone and depend on an understanding of sediment-microbe-nutrient
interactions. Currently I am trying to understand the role of microbial biofilms in the contamination of recreational waters by human sewage derived bacteria.
Lectin Histochemistry Using Epifluorescence Microscopy
Shown here is a photomicrograph of half a polyp from the coral Montastraea annularis stained with fluorescent dye showing the symbiotic algae known as zooxanthellae (green) and the mucus producing cells in the outer tissue layer, mucocytes (red). This method was developed as the first attempt to simultaneous quantify both zooxanthellae and mucocytes as sea surface temperature increases throughout the year. The results provided more insight into the dynamics of mucus and its relationship to seasonal changes in the density of zooxanthelllae.