Academic Venture Fund - 2013

What Causes Brown Tides?

Aerial view of brown tide on lake

Harmful algal blooms (HABs)—often brown or red—are increasing worldwide, spurred by global warming, industrial development, and agriculture. HABs pose a serious threat to fish and aquatic plants, depleting drinking water resources and disrupting the sustainability of our ecosystems. The research team will construct a microfluidic device with more than 80,000 microhabitats to investigate the environmental conditions that cause HABs to form. Identifying the environments that trigger rapid algae growth will allow policymakers and regulatory agencies to predict, control, and eliminate HABs for safer water and sustainable aquatic ecosystems.

Investigators: Mingming Wu, Beth Ahner, John Guckenheimer, Nelson Hairston