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Red Sea Research Center Seminar - Dr. Sreejith Kottuparambil

Start Date: March 22, 2017
End Date: March 22, 2017

​​TITLE: Ecotoxicological Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Marine Phytoplankton
DATE: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
TIME: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Building 2 · Level 5 · Room 5209

PAHs collectively refer to more than 100 different chemicals containing 3 or more fused aromatic rings. They are the most toxic components of oil and common persistent pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. Red Sea is vulnerable to PAHs contamination through direct release by oil spills, industrial effluents and atmospheric deposition, however, their adverse effects on the biota in this pristine marine environment is largely unknown. Toxic effects of two most abundant PAHs in natural waters, Phenanthrene and Pyrene were studied in natural picophytoplankton communities in the Red Sea and the distribution of sensitivity was assessed on a spacial gradient. Significant impacts on the growth and abundance on Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes populations were observed at all stations and the later was found to be more sensitive to PAHs toxicity. Interstingly, communities towards the northern Red Sea were found to be more resistent to the tested PAHs. The mechanism of PAHs impacts on the photosynthetic physiology of phytoplankton and the correlation of PAHs sensitivity with other physicochemical parameters is discussed. Finally, a new method of microscopic visualization of PAHs adsorbed on the phytoplankton cells, based on the intrinsic fluorescence emissions of the respective PAHs will be presented.
Dr. Sreejith pursued his Masters degree in Environmental Science at Calicut University, India and worked as a researcher at the Center for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM), Calicut, India on biological water quality monitoring of river ecosystems. He received his Ph.D. at Incheon National University, South Korea, working on ecotoxicology and photosynthetic physiology of freshwater microalgae. He completed his two-year postdoctoral research at the Institute of Green Environmental research, Incheon National University, Korea in algal ecotoxicology and microalgal secondary metabolites. He joined Prof Susana Agusti group at RSRC as a postdoctoral researcher in March 2016 and has been conducting research on the ecotoxicological studies of PAHs in Red Sea phytoplankton through flow cytometric and PAM fluorometric applications.