Understanding mechanisms of ciguatoxin toxicity, resistance, biotransformation, and trophic transfer in coral reef ecosystems of the Greater Caribbean Region


The Mobile-Tensaw delta may be a critical zone for cyanotoxin production and environmental release. This study will allow us to identify relevant cyanoHAB species in the Mobile Bay basin and determine the distribution, persistence, and potential impacts of microcystins and other cyanotoxins in water, sediments, shellfish, and fish. This will be an important step towards developing a risk model for this and other natural toxins in our region and utilized in the management of local water quality and ecosystem sustainability.


We will evaluate the differential response of sediment microphytobenthos, heterotrophic protists, bacteria and archaea following petrochemical exposure to determine the impact of oiling on the biodiversity and resilience in sub-tidal and intertidal habitats.