Author: lacrocem (Page 2 of 3)

NSF Awards

NSF - National Science FoundationThe entire Paerl Lab would like to congratulate both students,  Haley Plaas and Malcolm Barnard for their recent accomplishments. Haley was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, which you can read more about here and Malcolm received an Honorable Mention for his application.  Way to go!

Click the links below to see their proposals.



Clean Waters and SAV: Making the Connection

Dr. Hans Paerl and Dr. Nathan Hall discussed the Status of NC’s estuarine water quality yesterday at the Clean Waters and SAV (submerged aquatic vegetation) workshop. Their presentations focused on existing and developing water quality management strategies, past and present estuarine water quality challenges, and water quality monitoring and assessment. Their participation in this workshop helped provide input for the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan revision to develop collaborative management strategies to preserve and improve water quality suitable for SAV growth in NC coastal waters. Click the links below to view their presentations.

Paerl SAV Conference presentation

ModMon Neuse River Estuary Conditions

Hi all,
That line of strong storms with torrential rains on Feb 6 and 7th has increased Neuse River flows to about five times their average for this time of year. The turbid (>20 NTU) flood waters are clearly evident upstream of New Bern (stations 0-30).  Downstream of New Bern, the estuary was highly stratified. Waters are quite warm for this time of year and bottom water DO was well below saturation from station 50 to 100. A near surface zone of elevated chl-a (~30 ug/L) occurred at station 160.
Best regards,

UK DOM Symposium – “Hurricane Talk”

Dr. Hans Paerl recently presented at the “Theo Murphy international scientific meeting” for dissolved organic matter in freshwaters to talk about The “new normal” of catastrophic tropical cyclone flooding in Coastal North Carolina (USA): Implications for organic matter and nutrient cycling. To view the full presentation click here


PhD students Haley Plaas and Malcolm Barnard are assisting with SciREN-Coast this year. SciREN-Coast is a community of educators and researchers based in eastern North Carolina who share resources to promote science literacy in today’s youth. Haley is a member of the logistics team and Malcolm is a member of the education team. To learn more about SciREN-Coast and their upcoming events click here. 

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,

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