Jim Palus, a junior majoring in environmental science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) received a 2014 Undergraduate SEEDS grant for his research proposal, "Effect of N:P ratio on cyanobacterial dominance". His research is significant because it addresses a topical and pressing concern among stakeholders regarding the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the production of high levels of cyanotoxins in our waterways. In particular, Jim’s project will investigate how the ratio of nitrogen:phosphorous influences phytoplankton algal community composition and dominance of cyanobacteria in Choctaw Lake located in Madison County, OH.
To conduct his research and test his hypotheses, Palus will be collecting water samples in Choctaw Lake throughout the late spring, summer and early fall to quantify the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, the relative abundance of algal species and the concentration of cyanotoxins. Palus will conduct his research under the guidance of his advisor, Lauren Pintor, assistant professor in aquatic ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and in collaboration with Choctaw Lake's water quality committee. His research will help the Lake Water Quality Committee of Choctaw Lake develop management strategies in order to reduce the occurrence of HABs.
Palus is pleased his proposal was selected for funding and says, "I am looking forward to the opportunity to become much more involved in the research process on such an important topic."
The OARDC SEEDS: Director's Undergraduate Research Competition is designed to provide undergraduate students with in-depth research experience and to stimulate faculty-undergraduate collaborations and mentoring of students by Ohio State University faculty.
March 31, 2014