Lake Superior State University
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Prior to my time at Lake State, my professors rarely learned students' names and my classes often felt impersonal. I didn't realize how important that faculty interaction could be until I spent a few weeks here. The personal attention is motivating, often pushing me to work harder than I would have otherwise.

Fisheries & Wildlife '10

School of Biological Sciences

Programs > Biology: General Biology

Whether you're interested in ecology, human biology, plant science, animal science, microbiology, genetics, physiology, natural resource biology, cell or molecular biology, field work or laboratory work - LSSU is a great place to study biology. Our program offers a number of unique opportunities for undergraduate students, including hands on training in state of the art equipment, both in the field and in the lab. All biology students complete a senior thesis project which teaches you both research and communication skills. This experience will help you in finding a job or gaining admittance to the graduate school of your choice

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  • Field Biologist
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  • Histologist
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  • Elementary or Secondary Teacher
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Investigat- ing the Use of QPCR: An Early Detection Method for Toxic Cyano- bacterial Bloom

Garrett Aderman

Harmful algal blooms (HABs), including cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs), are a global phenomenon. In the US, annual economic loss due to HABs was recently estimated at $82 million. Furthermore, the consensus amongst the scientific community is that the frequency and duration of CHABs in freshwater systems will increase as a result of climate change and anthropogenic nutrient enrichment. Due to the ability of some strains of CHAB genera to produce toxic compounds, larger and more sustained CHAB events will become an even greater threat to drinking water. Of all the known cyantoxoins, one of the most ubiquitous is microcystin (MCY). Humans are primarily exposed to cyantoxins through drinking water consumption and accidental ingestion of recreational water. The increasing risk presented by these toxins requires health officials and utilities to improve their ability to track the occurrence and relative toxicity. Current tracking methods do not distinguish between toxic and non-toxic strains. Biochemical techniques for analyzing the toxins are showing considerable potential as they are relatively simple to run and low cost. My goal was to develop a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method to measure the amount of mcyE gene in a Lake Erie drinking water and compare the levels of the mcyE to toxin produced. This is the first step to determining if the presence of mcyE of the mycrocystin synthestase gene cluster in Microcystits, Planktothrix and Anabaena cells can be used as the quantitative measurement in an early detection warning system for recreational and drinking waters.

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