Phytoplankton Ecology Lab at Monmouth University
Undergraduate student-driven research into phytoplankton ecology, including Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and water quality. Our research focuses on the aquatic environments of the Jersey Shore.
Research and Teaching
The Phytoplankton Ecology Lab (PEL) supports undergraduate research and teaching and is associated with the Biology Department, Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program at Monmouth University, and the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute. Student inquiries about research participation are always welcome.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
Most of the ~25,000 species of phytoplankton are 'good' providing primary production that fuels marine and estuarine food webs. A handful cause problems, or HABs. We try to understand why different HAB species bloom in different environments, including the ocean, estuaries, ans coastal lakes of the Jersey Shore.
Navesink - Shrewsbury - Sandy Hook Bay
This highly urbanized and impacted estuarine system is a beautiful and prominent feature Jersey Shore, but it is not without its problems. We partner with several groups to understand the ecology of this system, including NJ DEP Marine Monitoring, and MU's Urban Coast Institute, the NOAA James J. Howard Marine Science lab at Sandy Hook, and Rockefeller University looking at eDNA applications.
Facilities and lab equipment
Monmouth University is lucky to be located 1 mile from the Atlantic Ocean, and within miles of many other coastal marine and freshwater environments. Access to these environments through boats or shoreline sampling is key to what we do. The lab itself is equipped for basic phytoplankton analyses and culturing.
Want to learn more about our research projects? Get in touch below! Lots of experience or none at all... if you want to learn there's plenty for you to do!
Dr. Jason Adolf
Endowed Associate Professor of Marine Science
Aloha. I'm a phytoplankton ecologist, but my broader interest is in how phytoplankton fit into marine ecosystems. I grew up in NJ and first found my passion for marine science at the Jersey Shore through clamming, crabbing, fishing, and spending time at the beach. Pursuit of my education and career in marine science has taken me to Rhode Island, Maryland, Hawaii (twice), and now back to NJ where I am excited to study marine ecosystems in the place I call home. Google Scholar profile
Ms. Mia Colluci and Ms. Skye Post
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Mia (right) and Skye (left) are undergraduate Biology majors at Monmouth University doing a project on mixotophic feeding in Karlodinium veneficum. They will be applying flow cytometry to study this dinoflagellate.