Old Dominion University
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Chesapeake Bay Program


Benthic Ecology Laboratory
Director: Dr. Daniel M. Dauer
Lab Manager: Anthony Rodi

The Benthic Ecology Laboratory at Old Dominion University uses a variety of sampling gears to collect benthic organisms from marine, estuarine and fresh water habitats. The laboratory has expertise in the taxonomic identification, enumeration and biomass analysis of theses benthic samples. The data obtained from these analyses can be used in a variety of metrics and statistical techniques to assess the environmental health of the benthic communities.

Phytoplankton Analysis Laboratory
Director: Margaret Mulholland
Lab Manager: Leah A. Gibala-Smith

The Phytoplankton Analysis Laboratory is responsible for determining the composition and abundance of phytoplankton populations in the lower Chesapeake Bay and several tidal tributaries in Virginia.  Monthly composite water samples are taken above and below the pycnocline at 7 Chesapeake Bay stations, with 7 additional sites within the James, York, Rappahannock, and Elizabeth Rivers.  Separate water samples are collected at the same time for subsequent analysis of the autotrophic picoplankton at these sites.  To supplement standard light microscopy analysis, cell culture facilities, plus SEM and PCR usage are also available.  During any algal bloom condition, or fish kill event, water samples are provided by VA Dept. of Environmental Quality and Dept. of Health for species identification and monitoring.

Water Quality Laboratory
Director: Dr. John R. Donat
Lab Manager: Suzanne Doughten

The Water Quality Laboratory performs analysis of estuarine and marine ambient water, influent and effluent and storm water samples. Samples are analyzed for a wide range of inorganic substances and physicochemical parameters using wet-chemistry techniques. Sensitive field and laboratory instruments are used to produce environmental data for the development.