Freshwater Science: Environmental Microbiomes as Indicators of Coastal Lake Erie Resilience | Ohio Sea Grant

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The Ohio State University

Ohio Sea Grant


Freshwater Science: Environmental Microbiomes as Indicators of Coastal Lake Erie Resilience

October 31, 2023 – New research from Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Lab and the Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative

Characterizing western Lake Erie’s essential coastal microbial and plankton communities and their response to change is important because the environmental microbiome is the foundation of the food web and essential to aquatic biogeochemical cycles. Understanding how shore management practices and coastal processes impact these biomes is critical to evaluating ecosystem resilience. 

Dr. Trisha Spanbauer of The University of Toledo is using high-throughput genetic sequencing of water samples from an 80-kilometer stretch of Ohio between the Maumee River and Old Woman Creek, as well as community science networks, to characterize environmental microbiomes with the goal of documenting the plankton and bacterial community that make up the foundation of the local food web. 

The webinar is free, but registration is required to receive log-in information.

About the Speaker

Trisha Spanbauer
Trisha Spanbauer Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo

Dr. Trisha Spanbauer joined the faculty of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Toledo in 2019, and she is currently a resident faculty member at the Lake Erie Center. Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Spanbauer received a BFA in Visual Art and Art History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Ph.D. in Geology and Biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to the University of Toledo, she held postdoctoral fellowships awarded by the National Academies Research Associateship Program carried out at the Cincinnati Branch of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship, which was conducted at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the last several years, she has grown a research group that is focused on aquatic ecology, molecular ecology, and paleolimnology.

Freshwater Science webinar series,

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