Phycology Projects

Selected Projects

Neches River Monitoring
Funded by The Lower Neches Valley Authority (LNVA)
During October 2021, the Patrick Center for Environmental Research of the Academy of Natural Sciences completed the seventh in a series of biological and water quality surveys. The Phycology team joined the Fisheries and Macroinvertebrate Sections to sample 5 stations along the Neches River. Previous studies were performed in 1953, 1956, 1960, 1973, 1996, and 2003.
Delaware River Watershed Initiative
The Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) has been a long-term monitoring program that aimed to protect and restore the Delaware River Basin’s water quality and ecological health. The Patrick Center for Environmental Research in collaboration with 50 nonprofit organizations collected data (abiotic and biotic) since 2013 to understand and improve ecological health of the Delaware Basin.
Neotoma Paleocology Database
Neotoma Paleoecology Database and Community is an online hub for data, research, education, and discussion about paleoenvironments. Neotoma’s centralized structure facilitates interdisciplinary, multiproxy analyses and common tool development; discipline-specific data can also be easily accessed. Data currently include North American Pollen (NAPD) and fossil mammals (FAUNMAP). Other proxies (plant macrofossils, beetles, ostracodes, diatoms, etc.) and geographic areas (Europe, Latin America, etc.) will be added in the near future. Data are derived from sites from the last 5 million years.
National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program
The NAWQA program is the largest federal effort to date to monitor and assess the conditions of rivers and streams throughout the United States. Fifty-one major watersheds and aquifers (referred to as “study units”) are being evaluated, representing 60% of the nation's drinking water. The goal of NAWQA is to provide continuous water quality assessments that identify and describe major water quality issues. The results of the program will serve as the basis for understanding watershed ecosystems nationwide, and for solving serious water quality problems. To this end, the USGS research staff is measuring a wide variety of water chemistry parameters and physical habitat characteristics, in addition to identifying fish, benthic invertebrates and algae. Data are analyzed on the watershed scale and also on a national scale.
Algal Indicators of Eutrophication for New Jersey Streams
The Patrick Center's Phycology Section is developing algal indicators of stream and river eutrophication for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP). These indicators will be designed to assess relationships between extant water quality criteria (e.g., phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations) and overt signs of eutrophication. They could potentially be applied in a regulatory context as secondary criteria for identifying nutrient impairment. These indicators will be based on our understanding of algal dynamics in New Jersey streams, and should distinguish between situations in which nutrient concentrations are high due to natural environmental conditions and those that result from anthropogenic influences.

A staff scientist collecting a sample in the water, next to a boat. 

Two staff scientists sitting by a river taking notes.