Saturday, December 17, 2016

Visiting MSU

Recently I travelled to Montana State University to run background water chemistry and nutrient uptake samples from last summer’s side-stream channel experiment in Iceland, and of course to visit the MSU crew!

I spent the week in Bozeman working with Jane Klassen in the Environmental Analytical Lab preparing and running almost 1,000 samples for soluble reactive phosphorus and dissolved inorganic nitrogen, two important forms of nitrogen and phosphorus that are necessary for biofilm growth.

We’re interested in how increased temperature and phosphorus (simulating future climate change and eutrophication scenarios) alters biofilm utilization of available nitrogen and phosphorus, which has important implications for nutrient cycling in streams and other aquatic ecosystems. 

Biofilm grown at 25°C (77°F) with no phosphorus (left) vs. biofilm grown at 25°C with high amount of phosphorus (200ug/L P) (right). How similar are the biofilm communities? Are they utilizing nitrogen and phosphorus differently?

Although it’s a lot of work to process that many water samples, Jane’s expertise and use of an AutoAnalyzer sped up the process considerably. 

The AutoAnalyzer and output from the analysis

The view from the lab didn't hurt either:
The most mountains I've seen since Iceland

Once the sample-running marathon was complete I got the chance to hike with Kate around one of the many mountain ranges in Bozeman- a great way to end a great trip. Thank you to Jane for her assistance with sample analysis and to Kate for hosting me for the week!