Biology professor teaches algae to environmental agency
Georgia College’s Dr. Kalina Manoylov helps a Georgia environmental agency identify algae in an effort to increase protection of water resources in the state.
The algae expert gave a three-day workshop this month to water quality specialists and environmental engineers of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“State legislators require protection of all species, including algae,” said Manoylov, assistant professor of biology in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. “We can achieve this preservation with state specific nutrients criteria that will ensure protection of the reported species. The workshop helps participants understand the role of algae while standardizing collection, processing, data analyses and the interpretation of results.”
Participants conducted field collections of algae from local waterways such as Lake Laurel’s Champion Creek and Oconee River Greenway’s Little Fishing Creek. The group also examined algae during classroom lectures.
“I never looked at algae under a microscope before,” said Elizabeth Booth, EPD’s program manager of Watershed Planning and Monitoring. “Seeing the variety of algae that’s the basis of our food chain is amazing. This workshop has helped us know what we’re looking for to determine what can go into our waters. It also helps set water quality standards.”
The group gathered samples from leaves, rocks and wooded debris in and around the local waterways.
“The state has tremendous diversity in algae,” Manoylov said. “Data shows we documented at least 500 species varieties and forms of algae. We probably have an equal number we need to describe and report as new to science.”
Manoylov’s students and Georgia College alumni Robert Moseley, ’10, ’12, and Joseph Dominy, ’10, ’12, provided both lab and field support for the workshop.
“Dr. Manoylov and her students gave us a better view of what happens in our waters with algae from start to finish,” said Cody Jones, a seven-year environmental specialist with EPD. “For approximately nine years, I’ve specifically worked with aquatic insect identification. This experience helped me understand algae and actually see individual algal species, which is interesting.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Dr. Manoylov’s work on campus and in the community with algae.