February Monthly “Innings” Meeting: The 2015 Toxic Algae Bloom in the Ohio River

What: The 2015 Toxic Algae Bloom in the Ohio River
When: Monday, February 1, 2016, 7 p.m. – 8:55 p.m.
Where: At the Dan Beard Boy Scout Council
10078 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241
Speaker:  Dr. Miriam Steinitz-Kannan, Regents Professor
in the Department of Biological Sciences at NKU
photoMiriamKannanDr. Mirriam Kannan will talk about Algae Issues in the Ohio River Basin with a focus on toxic algae. She will start with a general overview of what are algae and their taxonomic diversity, showing photographs of the most common taxa found around here. Dr. Kannan will focus on the recent toxic algae blooms on the Ohio River and what are the causes.

Dr. Steinitz-Kannan is Regents Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Kentucky University. She is a native of Quito, Ecuador. She obtained her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1979 working on a comparative study of Ecuadorian lakes. Her M.S. degree is also from OSU and B.A.(Biology) from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

She was trained by two world renowned phycologists in algae identification and ecology: trained in diatom taxonomy at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia by Dr. Ruth Patrick, and in soft algae and cyanobacteria by the late Dr. Clarence Taft at OSU. She has been at Northern Kentucky University since 1979 where she teaches a variety of classes including Limnology (study of inland aquatic ecosystems) and General Microbiology.

She offers yearly workshops on Algae taxonomy for the community. She is the faculty advisor for the Biology Honor Society (Beta Beta Beta). Her research interests focus on algae as water quality indicators, diatom taxonomy, paleolimnology (using fossil diatoms to reconstruct climatic histories) and tropical limnology. Her research involves undergraduate students and is done in lakes and rivers of her native country of Ecuador and the Ohio River Basin.

Since 2001, in close cooperation with ORSANCO and the EPA, she has been monitoring algae in the Ohio River Basin for taste and odor and toxin producing species. Her outreach activities are in large part directed to the Latino Community in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

She is also very active in environmental issues, and works closely with the Foundation for Ohio River Education, the Ohio River Foundation and the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education to educate K-12 students about water quality and the importance of conserving water resources.