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Science of Weather: Harmful Algal Blooms

Meet Holly, she has studied harmful algal blooms in different parts of the world. She's captured extensive research regarding the coastline of Mozambique, located in southeastern Africa, regarding the toxin, domoic acid.

It's produced by harmful algae bloom events, which can lead to illness if high levels of this toxin contaminated in shellfish are consumed.

Holly Kelchner, Aquatic Ecology Research Analyst says, "What was interesting is that no one had ever studied this toxin in Mozambique, no one actually studies harmful algal blooms at all in Mozambique. So, no one has been looking at it, no one has been documenting any sort of effects on humans, so shellfish poisonings there's no documentation."

Knowing that Holly began collecting research, funded by Louisiana State University, testing the waters along the Mozambique coastline.

"Over 2/3 of the population live along the coast of Mozambique, and they're relying on the coast for their livelihood. And harmful algal blooms are one of those things that we see in industrialized nations as the coastline develops, we see more harmful algal blooms and we see more and more impacts on the communities that live there." Holly Kelchner replies.

Holly and her fellow researchers, collected data, in hopes that this research will help create a monitoring system for this part of the world. Now, Holly is working in Ann Arbor Michigan, and is continuing to analyze the same type of science, but now in fresh water.

"So right now, I'm actually working on something similar. So, in my master's research, I was working on domoic acid, which is produced by a diatom, it's a marine diatom. So now I'm working on cyanobacteria. Doing kind of the same stuff, same instruments, same like water collection techniques." Holly Kelchner, Aquatic Ecology Research Analyst.

Holly's past and current research is creating a better environment, and she hopes with her studies it can help many communities. Now that's the Science of weather, in Ann Arbor, I'm Meteorologist Kylee Miller.

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