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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Applications for High Resolution Biological Sensing in Aquatic Systems


Physical and chemical sensors are often proxies in environmental health studies but do not always provide a comprehensive picture. Microorganism dynamics are complex and often result from many different spatiotemporally dynamic factors. Furthermore, stream quality impairments and health-related illnesses commonly result from microorganisms. Due to the complexity of microorganisms and their environmental and public health importance, it is critical to be able to measure biotic response in addition to physicochemical conditions. Our poster will be highlighting two methods that are aimed towards measuring and quantifying different microbiological species as well as their response towards changes in physiochemical conditions. These microbial components hold value as practical and applicable indicators, as they are already organisms are that commonly used to assess and study the quality of different aquatic environments; for example, fecal indicator bacteria, namely E.coli and Enterococci, are used as the standard organisms for assessing recreational beach and freshwater quality because they have been linked to pathogenic/disease-causing organisms. To look at physicochemical and algal dynamics in streams an algal biosensor is under investigation, which can be used to integrate stream conditions over an exposure period.

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