There are various pathogens present in the Chesapeake Bay that pose potential threats to human health. Knowledge of where and when to expect these biotic risks will help prevent or reduce their effects. In this project we will focus on the bacterium Vibrio. We will form a multi-year (2000-2009) dataset of the spatial and temporal variations of Vibrio within the Chesapeake Bay, using in situ and remotely sensed data, and link these variations to various environmental factors. This will provide insights in the causes of spatial and temporal variations in Vibrio, and will in turn enable a wide range of subsequent studies; including analysis of both the current and predicted public health implications in the Chesapeake Bay, development of forecasting systems, extension to other marine microorganisms such as harmful algal blooms, and extension to other coastal regions of the world.
Chlorophyll-a in the Chesapeake during May 2007, a signature of harmful algal blooms. Images by NOAA.
This project will initiate a new interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty from the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Public Health, and JHU Applied Physics Laboratory. This will bring together scientists with a wide range expertise, including ocean biogeochemistry and transport, remote sensing, and public health. It will also provide interdisciplinary training for a graduate student, and provide needed preliminary research for future proposals for larger multi-year, multi-investigator projects.