Phycological Consortium Research at Lakeside Laboratory, Iowa

The Phycological Consortium Research, an annual meeting that gather scientists interested in phycology, has been held this weekend at the Lakeside Laboratory of the Iowa State University. This meeting has the goal of creating a collaborative research among graduate and post-graduate researchers, and interchange ideas and feedbacks about their phycological research. The atmosphere of the meeting is very supportive and friendly, and the oustanding Lakeside lab facilities provide the perfect place for research and discussion in a wide range of phycological needs and objectives.

This year´s edition has been my first participation, thanks to the invitation of Dr. Sylvia Lee, one of the PCR co-founders. The Nebraska crew was represented by Melina Feitl and Sabrina Brown, my lab colleagues and friends. Besides bringing our diatom samples for identification and documentation purposes, the Saturday’s session was very productive in terms of breakout group discussions:

  • Biovolume methods
  • Taxonomic identifications: Nitzschia, Aulacoseira, Araphids, picoplankton v. bacteria (distinguishing characteristics)
  • Online resources–outside of US specifically
  • Taxonomic faux pas in manuscripts
  • Experimental methods/design for nutrient enrichment
  • Culturing cyanobacteria

As you can see, the addressed topics have been very diverse. In addition, different people gave short talk presentations about their current research: from the effects of global change to cyanobacteria blooms to the problems of biogeochemical silica cycle in lakes. A very interesting demonstration of algal pigment activity on live using a fluorometer was also given. But not all were indoor activities. We have had the opportunity to sample algae living “under the ice” of the Okoboji lake. The pictures below intend to capture some of these moments.

Hoping to see all people I met the next year at the Iowa Lakeside lab!

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