Dr. Cindy Heil studies microscopic living things with huge impacts: phytoplankton. These ocean-dwelling, plant-like organisms are known for producing 50% of the oxygen we breathe along with food for other living things; a minority of species can produce toxins or have other negative impacts. Dr. Heil and her Mote colleagues focus on one of the most challenging phytoplankton: the Florida red tide algae species, Karenia brevis. In this episode, Dr. Heil tells hosts Joe and Hayley about her efforts to understand Florida red tide ecology and to test methods for mitigating and controlling the toxin-producing Florida red tide blooms that challenge coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico. Tune in to learn how scientists are expanding the possible "toolbox" of technology for directly mitigating red tides, while continually working to better understand how red tides function. That knowledge is important for societal leaders working to protect the public and reduce possible water quality issues that may help "feed" a red tide after it forms offshore and moves to the coast. Dr. Heil is Director of the new Red Tide Institute at Mote, which formed to investigate red tide mitigation and control tools thanks to its Founding Donor, the Andrew and Judith Economos Charitable Foundation.
Hear true stories of marine research! In each episode of "Two Sea Fans," Mote Marine Laboratory scientists and their partners have fun and educational conversations with hosts Joe Nickelson and Hayley Rutger, who love communicating marine science to help listeners become more ocean-literate. New episodes are available every two weeks. Download episodes free by searching "Two Sea Fans" in the iTunes store.
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