Fun Facts

  • Biologists in the Phytoplankton Ecology program analyze almost 3000 water samples a year to look for Karenia brevis cells.
  • The Phytoplankton Ecology culture facility has a strain of Karenia brevis that is over 60 years old (the Wilson strain, isolated in 1953).
  • The Phytoplankton Ecology HPLC laboratory analyzes 23 different pigments to determine the phytoplankton community in a water sample.
  • Last year (2013) we collected over 3,000 liters of water for nutrient, toxin, phytopigment and cell count analysis as part of our red tide work. That's over 800 gallons!
  • It would take more than 1.3 trillion red tide cells, side by side, to go around the earth. Even a small bloom could easily have 20,000 times that number of cells.


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