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· Flow Cytometry · GIS · Microscopy · Molecular · Pfiesteria · Water Quality

The Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology

The Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology at NCSU includes ~20 faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students, and is supported by state, federal, and private institution funds. We interact with 11 departments across four different colleges at NCSU, and with more than 40 institutions worldwide. The Center's broad research directive is to assess and find practical solutions to water quality problems in North Carolina and the nation. The Center's research projects span from freshwaters to estuaries and marine waters, for example, cyanobacteria and their toxins in major drinking water supply reservoirs in North Carolina; long-term trends in nutrient loading to the Neuse River and Estuary and ecosystem response, related to changing land use patterns in the watershed; and the biology of harmful algae and their impacts on finfish and shellfish health.

The Center was officially functional in July of 2000, and grew out of the research group led by Dr. JoAnn Burkholder for the past 15 years within the NCSU Department of Botany. In addition to co-discovering Pfiesteria piscicida, and discovering the second toxic Pfiesteria species, P. shumwayae, Dr. Burkholder has contributed significantly in all aspects of toxic Pfiesteria research. The coPIs’ research has focused on the nutritional ecology and toxic activity of Pfiesteria species, and their acute and chronic impacts on fish health. They have also been an integral part of efforts by principal investigator (PI) Dr. Oldach and colleague Dr. P. Rublee (UNC-Greensboro) which produced the first species-specific molecular probes for detecting Pfiesteria species, and of efforts by colleagues in medical research to assess impacts of Pfiesteria toxins on mammalian health. The coPIs’ laboratory additionally has contributed mass toxic culture production for purification and identification of Pfiesteria toxins by other colleagues. In addition to research specifically directed toward Pfiesteria and harmful algal blooms in general, the Center is heavily involved in research on nutrient dynamics of the Neuse River Estuary and Pamlico Sound.

About the Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology

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