The Stone Lab Algal & Water Quality Lab, which opened in 2013, allows researchers to identify plankton, measure chlorophyll content and cyanobacteria toxins, analyze organic and inorganic suspended solids, and test for nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.
These tests enable scientists to tackle the issue of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie better than ever before.
A new buoy donated by Fondriest Environmental and upgraded with additional equipment through grant funding helps Stone Lab staff monitor water conditions, including harmful algal blooms, in Lake Erie’s western basin.
Analytical Equipment Available
The new water quality laboratory offers lake researchers the ability to analyze water samples for nutrient concentration, algal biomass, and cyanobacterial toxins. The growth chamber provides researchers the ability for controlled environment conditions for algal growth experiments. The lab is stocked with glassware, balances, filtering manifolds, and pipettes. Deionized water is available at most sinks. Freezer space (-20°C and -80°C ) is available.
- Barnstead Nanopure Water
- SEAL 5-Channel Nutrient Analyzer
- Geneva Growth Chamber
- Eppendorf Refrigerated Centrifuge
- Thermo Sci Drying Oven
- Thermo Sci Muffle Furance
- Fisher Sci Sonicator
- BioTek 96-well Plate Reader
- Shimadzu UV-Vis Spectrophotometer
- NAPCO Benchtop Autoclave
- Refrigerator & Freezers (-80°C)
- Adventure Analytical Balance
- Pipettes 0.2 µL to 10,000 µL
- Filter funnels and manifolds
- Vacuum pumps
- Mettler Toledo pH meter
- Stirring hot plate
- Hot water bath
- Beakers, flasks, and cylinders
- General lab supplies
Charter Boat Captains Help Monitor Lake Erie Water Quality
Water samples were collected by charter boat captains and aboard Stone Lab science cruises using a surface-to-2-meter intergraded tube sampler. Samples were analyzed for chlorophyll a (an indicator of algae biomass), microcystin (the toxin produced by cyanobacteria), total phosphorus and nitrogen (indicators of maximum biomass potential), dissolved nitrate, phosphate, and silicate (nutrients available for algae), and total suspended solids (mass of all particulates in the water). The captains record GPS location, water temperature, and Secchi disk depth (indicator of water clarity). The project has been sponsored by Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund and Surface Water Improvement Fund.