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Are Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms Affecting the Air We Breathe?

PhD student Haley Plaas recently gave a talk at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences about how air quality might be impacted by cyanobacteria toxin production. You can watch her presentation here.

Methane Producing Blue-Green Algae

Dr. Hans Paerl was quoted in an article for The Scientist about blue-green algae and methane. Click  here to read the full article.

Blue-Green Algae Produce Methane       A colony of cyanobacteria from Lake Stechlin taken by Prof Hans-Peter Grossart

New Decade, Neuse Blooms

Happy New Year.
The Neuse has kicked off the new decade with an impressive bloom of Prorocentrum minimum. We saw the beginnings of this bloom a month ago in December but it’s a lot more dense now. The surface water at station 100 was actually scummy (see attached photo taken by Melissa LaCroce) and the YSI measured 200 ug/L chl-a at 0.3 m depth. The bloom extended throughout the water column at station 100. Upstream to station 50, the bloom was concentrated just below the surface, and downstream at station 120 the bloom was concentrated along the pycnocline. Subsurface aggregations are really common for Prorocentrum minimum, but in my experience such dense surface scums are less common. However, there is a nice photo from an airplane of a Neuse River P. minimum bloom in Springer et al. (Harmful Algae 2005). P. minimum is not know to be toxic, and despite the high biomass levels there aren’t reports of problems associated with these blooms (e.g. hypoxia, fish kills, etc.). While we await further laboratory measurements, I think it’s safe to assume that such high biomass levels are at least partly the result of physical concentration of highly motile cells along a frontal zone.  Other than the bloom, the river is about 4-6 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year. The river is also quite salty with salinity near 20 at throughout the water column at the lower stations.
Best regards,

“Alegae”, the Beverage of Choice for the Lake Erie Project

Dr. Hans Paerl was gifted the new beverage of choice for the Lake Erie Project. “Creature from the Alegae Bloom” is brewed by Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Hans Talks About HABs

Dr. Hans Paerl spoke with EOS about a new harmful algal bloom study showing that HABs are getting worse with climate change. Click the photo below to read the article or here for the pdf.

2009 HAB on Lake Erie

Photo Credit: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Hans Awarded in China

Dr. Hans Paerl received the International Cooperation Award from the governor of the Jaingsu Province for his work teaching at Hohai University and for the research done on Lake Taihu and other Chinese lake projects. The pictures below  include Dr. Paerl and his colleagues Guangwei Zhu and XuHai (left to right) from the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing. Also see Dr. Paerl with the African exchange students at Hohai University, where he was teaching an aquatic ecology course last May.

Hans is back in China

Dr. Hans Paerl is back in China collaborating with colleagues from Hohai University and has been busy with bio-assays and water sampling on Lake Taihu! Check out some of the photos and stay tuned for more about his field work there!

IMS scientists, give close-up look at Neuse River research

Faculty members from UNC-Chapel Hill got a first-hand look at the work done by the school’s Institute for Marine Sciences (IMS) in Morehead City during a tour of the Neuse River Thursday.

Dr. Nathan Hall demonstrates monitoring water quality on the Neuse River

Click the link below to read the full article!

Hans and The Conversation

Click the link below to find out what The Conversation is about

More frequent and intense tropical storms mean less recovery time for the world’s coastlines

NC Museum of Natural Sciences- Lunchtime Discovery 25 Sept 2019

The Case of the Dead Fish, the Missing Oxygen and other Mysteries from the Neuse River Estuary

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