There are a variety of opportunities for undergraduate students who are interested in research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at UMN (UROP), senior thesis, and directed studies.
Several research projects are available for graduate students at both M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. The research projects involve applications of marine palynology (studies of dinoflagellate cysts, foraminiferal organic linings, spores and pollen) and geochemistry for paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Interested students should contact Dr. Pospelova by e-mail. Please enclose your CV and unofficial transcripts.
Reconstruction of environmental conditions in the late Quaternary. Dinoflagellate cyst records from several cores in the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans will be analyzed to reconstruct sea surface hydrographic characteristics through the late Quaternary. Obtaining high-resolution records of upwelling, marine productivity change and climatic histories from Quaternary sediments is an essential part of this research.
Applications of dinoflagellate cysts in environmental studies of estuarine systems. Dinoflagellate cysts in surface samples from multiple locations along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada and the United States will be analyzed in combination with sediment chemistry and water quality data. The focus will be to determine the role of individual environmental parameters that control cyst distributions.
Human impact on coastal waters and the distribution of toxic species. A number of particularly polluted estuaries and coastal areas will be analyzed in detail. The goal of this project is to identify natural variability and human impact on coastal and estuarine waters. In addition, this project will investigate the spatial and temporal extent of toxic species of dinoflagellates in order to determine their environmental preferences in coastal and estuarine environments. The frequency and extent of HABs (harmful algal blooms) in the recent past will be assessed.