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New Scripps Oceanography project to study sediments and ecosystem restoration in Venice lagoon

ut two meters deep, and that could take us several centuries back in time. Because the sediment is so old, you could expect metals and organic contaminants to be present," said Deheyn, whose experience includes using biological indicators to test for toxins and pollutants in San Diego Bay.

As in San Diego's waters, when studying Venice's lagoon Deheyn will use luminous brittle stars, a cousin species of starfish, to determine whether contaminants in the Venice Lagoon are bioavailable (the amount of contaminants locally present and shown to be accumulated by the organism) and could potentially induce stress on the local ecosystem.

"This will be an integrated research project that will provide many valuable insights into several different aspects of environmental toxicology and environmental quality assessment," said Deheyn. "It will be extremely interesting and unique to address the many different angles of a single problem."

Scripps scientists and SIOSED research areas include:

* Dimitri Deheyn: bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants
* Joris Gieskes and Anthony Rathburn: geochemistry and benthic foraminifera ecology
* Lisa Levin: biodiversity of benthic communities
* Bradley Tebo: sediment microbial communities and metal biogeochemistry
* Douglas Bartlett: pathogen analysis
* Farooq Azam: water column microbial communities and carbon cycle
* Osmund Holm-Hansen: viability and photophysiology of autotrophic micro-organisms
* Hany Elwany: currents, sediment resuspension and turbidity plumes associated with experimental subtidal banks

Lisa Shaffer, Scripps director of policy programs and international relations, is serving as the project coordinator and managing the external peer-review process for Scripps.


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Source:University of California - San Diego


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