About This Project
Red-tide, brown-tide, blue-greens: harmful algae blooms are a global issue plaguing oceans, lakes and rivers. Some algae produce toxins that are hazardous upon direct exposure or ingestion of affected seafood, leading to pet deaths, fish kills, and human health concerns. Climate change-induced weather patterns and anthropogenic nutrient loading promote algal growth and lead to larger and more frequent toxic algal blooms. We study Microcystis, a major toxic cyanobacteria in harmful algae blooms that live in fresh and salt-water. They periodically bloom in Lake Elsinore, the largest freshwater lake in Southern California. Understanding why they bloom, what conditions provoke toxin release, and the molecular mechanisms of toxicity are critical for developing effective risk assessment strategies and mitigating ecological and human-health stress.
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