Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Environmental Health Sciences

First Advisor

Geoffrey I. Scott

Abstract

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are a growing global concern due to their increased prevalence and magnitude, frequency, and duration in affecting both aquatic ecosystems and human health (Brooks et al. 2015). In a series of experiments, lab-generated aerosol particles containing Microcystis and Microseira were captured using filters to analyze for concentrations of Microcystin, Saxitoxin, and Lyngbya toxins. The solutions were found to contain aerosols but did not contain detectable levels of Microcystin, Saxitoxin, and Lyngbya toxins following analysis by HPLC-MS. While the techniques for generating aerosols were shown to be effective, the generation and analysis of toxins did not produce the expected results. The lack of toxin detection likely resulted from the lower level of toxin in the algae and/or the length of time air samples were extracted. Future research is proposed to consist of experiments in the lab with increased exposure times and in the field with naturally generated aerosols during periods of major bloom events.

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