Missouri reservoirs: are they toxic?

Online Presentation by Dr. Rebecca North, PhD, Limnologist with MU Limnology Lab

Dr. North shared some of the research she’s been doing on harmful algal blooms in Missouri lakes and reservoirs.

Published: September 8, 2020

Toxic Algae in the News
A selection of news stories showing the impacts of algal pollution on U.S. lakes and rivers. – Courtesy of Tony Thorpe, coordinator of the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program.

Online Presentation by Dr. Rebecca North, PhD, Limnologist at MU Limnology Lab, University of Missouri – Columbia

Hosted by Missouri River Relief on Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube.
Streaming sponsored by Rivermiles, the folks that bring you the MR340

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Stephens Lake - Columbia, MO
A “Closed” sign on Stephens Lake in Columbia, MO in Sept. 2018. The lake was temporarily closed while an algal bloom was being investigated. The bloom was determined to be non-toxic. Photo courtesy of Emily Kinzinger.

Dr. Rebecca North is co-lead of the MU Limnology Lab, and she will be sharing some of the basics on harmful algal blooms impacting Missouri reservoirs. Globally, lakes and reservoirs are getting greener and are predicted to become more toxic. We know that cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms like it hot- with a side of light and nutrients, therefore, we anticipate cyanotoxins in the summer in reservoirs with high algal biomass (i.e., green).

Dr. North and her lab’s research is challenging this assumption and asking – are hot spots and hot moments in cyanotoxin production happening in the cold? Long-term and year-round data from Missouri reservoirs are being explored to determine if our indicators of toxic reservoirs are failing us.

She’ll also share info on some of the great citizen science projects that her lab supports –

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Streaming is sponsored by Rivermiles, the folks who bring you the MR340.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in Kansas City and St. Charles.


The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.


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