Ian Chapman: Developing pioneering new tools to detect and control the toxic alga Microcystis in lakes and reservoirs.

Ian Chapman joined the Applied Science Department in 2012 as a post-graduate researcher. His PhD program aims to develop novel methods in detecting and controlling the cyanobacteria Microcystis in freshwater closed systems.

Alongside laboratory experiments, the study incorporates in situ analysis, with an interest in the mortality of individual and population dynamics.

He is currently investigating various characteristics of a cyanobacteria (Microcystis) through its ecology and physiology, within the laboratory and in the field, at a local reservoir.  Employing the use of a novel counting technique, flow cytometry Ian is investigating batch cycles of Microcystis strains in optimal and stressed conditions.

The research incorporates a broad range of technical skills with continuing success in microbial isolation, culturing, microscopy, biomanipulation and emphasis on cell physiology, developed through utilising the advancements made in flow cytometry.  The outcome of this project will assess detection and control methods of the cyanobacteria, which is a major concern in human water security and ecosystem stability.

Previously Ian studied for a BSc in Biology and a PGCE in Secondary Education at Southampton before undertaking an MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Essex. During his MSc Ian focused on planktonic feeding interactions did his dissertation on algal ecophysiology. The project explored novel pathways which have not been fully established in the production of a trace gas isoprene across various phytoplankton species.