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Research Fellowships

Cyanobacteria Identification using flow imaging cytometry

EPA Office of Research and Development

EPA National Science Foundation Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) & Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Opportunities

Opportunity Title:

Cyanobacteria Identification using flow imaging cytometry

Research Area:


EPA Lab/Center/Office:

EPA Region 7 Science and Technology Center, Laboratory Services and Applied Science Division


Kansas City, KS


6 - 12 months

Brief Summary:

Develop machine learning methods to streamline cyanobacteria identification using traditional microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, and imaging cytometry instrument in order to investigate source of cylindrospermopsin toxin production in state lakes.

Opportunity Description:

An NSF Fellow would be a valuable asset to our on-going research to better understand cyanobacteria in our regional lakes.  Identification of cyanobacteria species and relating those species to specific toxins produced will aid in prevention and treatment of harmful algae blooms (HABs) in midwest lakes.  Development of the region’s taxonomy methods and improvement of species identification is critical in assistance requested from state partners.  This improved methodology will be used to investigate toxin patterns that dominate the state lakes in order to ascertain the severity of the blooms and their threat to drinking water sources.  The candidate may assist with sample collection at regional lakes, as well as with companion techniques used in the investigation.  This project would further develop the region’s multidimensional approach to cyanoHABs using traditional microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, flow cytometry, toxin measurement, and molecular-genetic tools.

Opportunities for Professional Development:

The candidate will have the opportunity to gain experience with several techniques used in the region, including flow cytometry, fluorescent microscopy, and Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assays (ELISA).  The candidate will be working with multiple EPA researchers from ORD/Cincinnati, EPA Region 7, and research partners from local universities.  This project will expose the candidate to regional and state water program offices and field and lab staff.  Building collaborations, communicating results, trouble shooting, and presentation of results to state and federal partners are skills that would also be developed.

Point of Contact or Mentor:

Laura Webb (

NSF Field(s) of Study

Computer and Information Sciences & Engineering
Life Sciences