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SETGO Newsletters
January 2010
January 2011

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R. Micheal L. McKay, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences

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In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of my position at BGSU is to mentor students who join my laboratory either as undergraduate research interns or as graduate advisees. Several of my previous undergraduate interns stayed on to complete Masters degrees under my mentorship while others have been accepted into Graduate Programs at various universities. A recent undergraduate intern, Jeff Klimowicz, is seeking to enter a graduate program in the coming year once he has fulfilled his obligation with the Armed Forces (Army ROTC). Notably, while working in my lab, Jeff earned authorship on a research article (McKay et al. 2005, J. Plankton Res.). Students participating in this program will play active roles in several current projects ongoing in my laboratory in the field of aquatic microbial ecology. Specifically, I (along with BGSU colleague George Bullerjahn) have currently funded Sea Grant projects dealing with nutrient stoichiometry of plankton and on the community structure and dynamics of picocyanobacteria in the Great Lakes as well as a current NSF-funded project dealing with nitrification in Lake Superior. These projects combine both laboratory and field components thus providing a breadth of experience to interns who might work on these projects.

A current summer project in the Bullerjahn and McKay labs is aimed as assessing the potential for the remediation of Lake St. Mary's in Mercer County. The lake is currently plagued with blooms of the toxic cyanobacterium, Planktothrix, and this algal growth has led to a significant and persistent decline in water quality. The municipalities along the lakeshore are examining a number of strategies for reducing Planktothrix blooms, and one such strategy seeks to switch the algal community to less toxic species. Our plan is to amend large volumes of lake water in 2000 liter mesocosms with key nutrients to see whether diatoms can be stimulated to replace the cyanobacteria as the dominant species. The mesocosms will be located in Celina, OH, at the water plant adjacent to the lake. The SETGO student will be trained to maintain the mesocosms and sample them twice a week during the summer, processing water samples for nutrient and taxonomic analyses. The SETGO fellow will need to provide his/her own transportation most weeks, and mileage will be reimbursed.

rmmckay@bgsu.edu
(419)372-6873
325 Life Science Building

 

Setgo Summer Research