Aquatic Life

Instructor(s): Dr. Kalina Manoylov and Dr Andrei Barkovskii
Instructor(s) home department(s): Dept. of Biological & Environmental Sciences  
Partners and Sponsors: GCSU Aquatic Center


We will start with the biology of aquatic microorganisms.  In the vastly diverse aquatic habitats of Middle Georgia there are many opportunities for observational and experimental research. Microbes can be studies from molecular, organellar to population/community levels in field and lab-based sets. Microbial diversity remains largely unexplored taxonomically. For example, one algal group, diatom with silicified cell wall is common in local waters. Diatoms are a diverse group of microalgae, important primary producers in almost all aquatic environments, and contributing a significant amount of oxygen to both hydro- and atmospheres. There is a need for more research on diatom basic biology, but often novice researchers are overwhelmed by the terminology associated with the diverse morphology, the discrepancy between expected features for published descriptions, and the actual views of observation of those complex multidimensional organisms and structures that can be a barrier for more progress. We will work with interested students through longer than a semester time.

This research team aims to:

  • Increase awareness aquatic habitats importance and conservation
  • Develop long term sampling and monitoring with different anthropogenic influences
  • Document molecular and organismal diversity in local habitats 

Methods & Technologies

  1. Field work and uses of field instruments
  2. Standard lab processing 
  3. Identification of microbial organism to lowest taxonomic level (Bacteria and Protista)
  4. Enumeration of populations and communities from in marine and fresh water samples using molecular techniques, metagenomics, and microscopy.
  5. Algal toxins analyses 
  6. Microbial pathogen analyses
  7. Uses of molecular techniques for gene expressions under different conditions       

Issues Involved or Addressed

Time invested in learning concepts, techniques, and taxonomy


Majors we're looking for on this team

  1. Biology
  2. Environmental sciences
  3. Chemistry

Preferred interests and preparation (general or by major)  

  • Examples: Graduate school in aquatic sciences or state and federal agency biologists.
  • Major(s) Biology and Environmental Sciences:  Background/interest in aquatic field research, monitoring of aquatic habitats through time, and graduate school.
  • Major(s) Environmental Sciences/Chemistry:  Experience willingness to learn cell biology and identification.