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Microbially Contaminated Sediments: One if
by Air, Two if by Sea: Christina Kellogg
Project Title: Microbially Contaminated Sediments: One if by Air, Two if by Sea
Mendenhall Fellow: Christina A. Kellogg, (727) 803-8747, x. 3128, ckellogg@usgs.gov
Duty Station: St. Petersburg, Florida
Start Date: February 5, 2001
Education: Ph.D. (Marine Microbiology), University of South Florida
Research Advisor:Eugene Shinn, (727) 803-8747, x. 3030, eshinn@cfcg.er.usgs.gov
      Christina Kellogg

Project Description:
  1. Transatlantic Transport of Viable Microbes by African Dust
    Hundreds of millions of tons of dust transported annually from the African Sahara to the Americas and Caribbean may be a significant factor in coral reef decline and may be affecting human health (http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/african_dust/). Classical microbiologic and molecular techniques are being used to identify and characterize the microbial community (bacteria, fungi and viruses) associated with the African dust. Samples taken in Africa, are being compared with samples from the Caribbean during dust events. This may shed light on "source" dust and what survives the week-long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. To date, over 60 bacteria and 20 fungi have been identified from air samples taken in Mali, Africa; an area which has been established by several studies to be one of the dust sources for the Caribbean. The bacterial isolates are primarily genera found in soils or aquatic/marine environments, including Bacillus, Paracoccus, Planococcus, and Staphylococcus xylosis (the causitive agent of septicemia in loggerhead turtles in the Canary Islands). Of the bacteria, 8% are animal pathogens, 7% are plant pathogens, and 12% are opportunistic human pathogens. Five bacteria are very genetically similar to bacteria obtained from African dust storms in the Virgin Islands.

  2. A Bacterial Indicator Study of Beaches in Pinellas County, Florida
    Clean beaches and the recreational activities associated with them form the backbone of the tourist industry in the Tampa Bay region, as well as being very important to the over 1.9 million people who live in this area. Risk to swimmers using polluted beaches is a major issue, and prevention of disease associated with recreational waters depends on appropriate monitoring. Starting in September 2000, monthly water column and sediment samples at 10 beach sites in Pinellas County have been collected. These sites include two recreational parks, a beach on Tampa Bay, a beach on the Intercoastal Waterway, and several highly developed Gulf of Mexico beaches. Parameters being recorded include fecal indicators: fecal coliforms, enterococci, Clostridium perfringens, and Aeromonas as well as total bacterial direct counts, salinity, pH, temperature, tide, and rainfall.

    The objectives of this study are (1) to examine the possible resuspension of microbes from the sediment to the water column during certain weather conditions; (2) to test Aeromonas, which has previously only been used as an indicator in fresh or brackish water, to see if it can be used as an effective indicator of poor water quality for marine waters; and (3) to use source tracking methods to determine the sources of microbial contaminants which impact these beaches.

    This data will be overlaid with Lidar mapping data for the same area, to create a "Beach Health" product from the geological perspective of erosion and land-usage, as well as, in reference to microbial contamination and human health risk.

Publications:
Griffin, D.W., Kellogg, C.A., and Shinn, E.A., 2001, Dust in the wind: Long range transport of dust in the atmosphere and its implications for global public and ecosystem health: Global Change & Human Health, v. 2, no. 1, p. 20-33.

Griffin, D.W., Kellogg, C.A., Peak, K.K., and Shinn, E.A., 2002, A rapid and efficient assay for extracting DNA from fungi: Letters in Applied Microbiology, v. 34, no. 3, p. 210-214.

Griffin, D.W., C.A. Kellogg, V.H. Garrison, and E.A. Shinn, 2002, The Global Transport of Dust: American Scientist, v. 90, p. 2-9.


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