2004 Maureen Keller Student Awards

Karen Arthur was awarded Best Presentation for her talk on “The Potential Exposure of Green Turtles to Tumour Promoting Compounds from the Cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscule”. Collaborators for this project were G. Shaw, C. Limpus, G. Balaza and J. Udy. Karen is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Marine Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. Karen’s current work focuses on marine turtles and their interaction with harmful algae; such as, Lyngbya majuscule, an alga causing extensive blooms responsible for overtaking seagrass beds that provide shelter and forage for large populations of green turtle and dugong. Karen has been fortunate in working with a number of marine turtle experts such as Dr. Colin Limpus (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Australia) and George Balazs (Marine Turtle Research Group, National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center), and environmental toxicologist Dr. Glen Shaw (Centre for Environmental Toxicology, University of Queensland, Australia). Karen enjoys her research with marine turtles and believes “Turtles enchant all who come across them; they represent a link between peoples of the world as they migrate across international borders and yet are so susceptible to human impacts, living the large majority of their lives in a relatively localized inshore habitat”.

Nicholas Touzet received Honorable Mention for his talk on “Inter and Intra-specific Variability in Morphogenetics and Toxin Composition of Alexandrium spp. in Irish Coastal Waters”. Collaborators for his project include J.M. Franco and R. Raine. Nicholas obtained his degree in Marine Science from Universite de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest and his Masters in Toxic Interactions in Ecosystems and Toxin Biotechnologies from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He is currently focused on the morphogenetics and toxin composition of Alexandrium species in Irish coastal waters. He conducts his research in Ireland at the Martin Ryan Institute located at the National University of Ireland, Galway and is part of the research team led by Dr. Robin Raine. Nicholas’ plans for the future include participating in the EU 6th framework project SEED and eventually lecturing his research topic within third level institutions. Along with his academic achievements, Nicholas is also a sports fan and plays wing for the University rugby team. Congratulations Nicholas.

Pauliina Uronen received Best Student Poster for her work on “Transfer of Nodularin to the Copepod Eurytemora affinis Through the Microbial Loop”. Collaborators for her project include P. Kuuppo, S. Sopanen, C. Svensen, C. Legrand, A. Ruhl, T. Tamminen, and E. Graneli. Paulina is earning her PhD in Finland at the Tvärminne Zoological Station at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute. She has studied species such as Nodularia spumigena, Prymnesium parvum and Dinophysis spp. Her current focus is on harmful algae and the transfer of algal toxins in the aquatic food web, specifically, the harmful species occurring in the Baltic Sea. It is an honour for her to be awarded the Maureen Keller Student Poster Award and it encourages her to continue studies with harmful algae. In addition to Pauliina’s academic agenda, she can also be found sailing in the Baltic Sea, hiking in nearby forests and spending time with close friends and family.

Patricia Blair was awarded Honorable Mention Student Poster for her work on “Algicidal Bacteria Targeting the Toxic Dinoflagellate Karenia brevis: The Importance of Interactions within the Microbial Community”. Collaborators for this project include M. Twiner, C. Mikulski, K. Jones and G.J. Doucette. She graduated Magna cum Laude from West Virginia University, USA with a BA in Biology and a BS in Environmental Protection. She then taught coastal ecology at The Marine Science Consortium for three years. She is pursuing her Masters of Marine Biology at the Grice Marine Laboratory at the University of Charleston, SC. Her current research focuses on characterizing the interactions between algicidal bacteria and the Florida red tide species Karenia brevis. She conducts her work in the lab of Dr. Gregory Doucette of the NOAA Marine Biotoxins Program at the nearby Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research. When out of the lab, Patricia enjoys rowing for her college crew team and playing volleyball. Patricia recently informed us, just one month before traveling to Capetown for the ISSHA Conference, she was happily married. When she completes her degree program, Patricia hopes to continue working in the harmful algal bloom field.