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Past projects




Upper ocean biogeochemistry

Demonstrating new applications of MBARI's probe technology
Project Manager: Mary Silver
Lead Scientist: Mary Silver/Chris Scholin

With MBARI funding, Silverís lab at University of California, Santa Cruz has been working with a volunteer corps of students during 2001 to document the use of Scholinís DNA probes for harmful algal bloom (HAB) species. She has produced a relatively "user friendly" lab manual, in draft stage, describing Scholinís sandwich hybridization protocols for rapidly detecting toxic species in near real-time. 

Using the probe technology, her volunteers have demonstrated their ability to measure populations of paralytic- and amnesic shellfish-poison producing species over a several month period. Surprisingly, the volunteers also have found possible brevetoxin-producing species that may represent the first documented sources of "neurotoxic shellfish poisoning" (NSP) in California, using Scholinís probes. 

The present request seeks to (1) ground truth Scholinís NSP-species probes for phytoplankton populations in Monterey Bay, (2) participate in Scholinís proposed August 2002 deployment of the Environmental Sample Processor (ESP), providing a three- dimensional description of the toxic speciesí distribution around the moored ESP, (3) demonstrate the link between toxic species presence and wildlife and human health indicators over a 6 month period and, (4) finalize a userís manual of Scholinís protocols for all the new probe applications. Silver, her graduate students and volunteers will provide a sizeable research team that will use and ground truth the probes in the field and lab.