Grant awarded to fund biology research

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Grant awarded to fund biology research

Published: June 3, 2014.

Dr. Jerry Kavouras, chair and associate professor of biology, was awarded a $2,000 Small Grant from the Illinois Water Resource Center for a proposal entitled, “Changing Food Webs in Lake Michigan: Dreissena and the Microbial Loop” to support the purchase of research supplies and an undergraduate student stipend. Tami Roginski, junior biology student, is working on the project during the summer and upcoming fall semester.

Many studies have demonstrated that Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) and D. bugensis (quagga mussel) alter the structure of aquatic ecosystems. This study examines how filter feeding by invasive dreissenid species may influence the secondary production in Lake Michigan and other North American fresh waters, which is an important component of aquatic food webs. The hypothesis is that filter-feeding activities of Dreissena change the concentration and forms of dissolved organic matter in the water. In turn, the changes influence the amount of bacterial secondary production and possibly diversity of bacteria in fresh waters. The results of this study will be presented in October at the Illinois Water 2014 conference in Urbana, Ill.

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