Studying algal diversity and ecology to protect aquatic ecosystem health

Welcome to the Algal Ecology Lab at George Mason University!

Algae play a vital role in aquatic ecosystems. They are the base of the aquatic food webs and produce energy and oxygen for all organisms. We are a growing group of freshwater ecologists who primary  study streams and rivers, but also lakes and other freshwater ecosystems, aiming to understand algal responses to global human alterations and provide scientific support for water quality protection decisions.

Currently, our research is focused on climate-related emerging environmental issues, such as benthic toxic cyanobacterial blooms and algal tolerance to desiccation. We apply integrated approach to study algal diversity and ecology, incorporating field, laboratory, experimental, observational, microbiological, and molecular methods.

Dr. Rosalina Christova is studying benthic and planktonic algal communities from diverse freshwater ecosystems of both the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts of the United States. She is also part of international collaborative teams studying the biogeography, diversity, and ecology of algae and cyanobacteria. Molecular phylogeny, systematics, and taxonomy of freshwater algae are foci for continuing research in our lab.

Our lab is located near our nation's capital at George Mason's Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC)