The Environmental Biotechnology Lab (EBL) is an affiliate research group at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.  Our expertise centers on the study of the molecular physiological ecology of marine algae (phytoplankton and macroalgae) and microbes using a diverse array of technologies ranging from state-of-the-art methodologies in molecular biology through whole organism physiology and environmental monitoring. Come on in and explore the EBL web, which is always under construction.

Current projects (click on Projects tab for more detail about each):

  1. A grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop a protocol for the electroporation-based transformation of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species, which will enable future molecular physiology studies revolved around domoic acid production.
  2. A continuation of our Alliance for Coastal Technologies partnership which involves the assessment of several commercially available fluorometers. MLML will serve as one of the test sites for the instruments, with the goal of providing performance evaluations for researchers and stakeholders.
  3. Weekly phytoplankton monitoring at the Monterey Municipal Wharf II, supported by CenCOOS, as part of a coast-wide network of California sampling sites. These data are used in conjunction with ancillary measurements (water quality parameters, climactic observations) and results from weekly monitoring at the Santa Cruz wharf (Kudela lab, UCSC) to develop a holistic picture of long-term trends in Harmful Algal Bloom species (including Pseudo-nitzschia).
  4. In 2017, we will begin a new project (in conjunction with researchers at UCSC and Florida Fish and Wildlife) that couples real-time cell/particle detection via an imaging flow cytobot (IFCB) with a genetic fingerprinting technique (ARISA) that deciphers Pseudo-nitzschia species beyond current methods used for routine monitoring. This approach will afford us an unprecedented opportunity to assess the transition of the Pseudo-nitzschia community as a bloom is initiated, and to correlate shifts with supporting environmental parameters on a high-resolution temporal scale in order to better understand what drives species to increase in cell abundance and/or toxicity.

Analytical tools maintained at EBL are available to support student research projects and training.  EBL is housed in MLML’s Norte Building on Sandholdt Rd and is managed by G. Jason Smith, Ph.D.  We love to talk science at EBL so come by to discuss your research interests and needs!