Ignite Speaker Series – November 3, 2020 2 PM

Ancient and Modern Plagues: Harmful Algal Blooms with Dr. Michael Twiss

As we know, plagues have beset humanity for ages leading people to combat them in various ways. By avoiding certain foods we can protect ourselves from harmful algal blooms which have even been alluded to in early holy books. In keeping with the ongoing theme of 2020, this week’s Speaker Series will introduce you to the plague of harmful algae blooms caused by microbial Cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria were the first photosynthetic organisms to produce oxygen but in recent years our activities have caused them to proliferate in the wrong way, leading to costly and deadly consequences. Join us on Zoom to discover the causes for these blooms and the best solutions for protecting our waters.

Michael Twiss, a Yankee from northern Ontario, arrived at Clarkson in 2002, following a brief period at Ryerson University. Twiss’s expertise is in limnology of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. His research focuses on aquatic biogeochemistry and he has published over 75 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts. Over the past seven years, he has increasingly become involved with Great Lakes environmental policy. He is an appointed member of the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission (Canada/USA), a past member of the Great Lakes Advisory Board – Science and Information Subcommittee of the US EPA, and currently a special government employee of the US EPA. As an active member of the IJC Science Advisory Board, Twiss is presently co-chair of the Great Lakes Early Warning System – Phase II project, and is a core member of the Great Lakes Science Plan work group. Twiss was recently elected to serve as the US Co-Chair of the Smart Great Lakes Initiative, Great Lakes Observing System, and is on the Fulbright Specialist Program roster.

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