Nicole Caputo

PhD student

I am an Italian biologist with a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology at the Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona, Italy). During my studies I developed interest on phytoplankton diversity and ecology with a focus on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and their impacts. After my master I had the opportunity to visit different laboratories and international research groups, which allowed me to improve my knowledge and experience on several topics.

Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), Atlantic University of Galway. My research focuses on expanding knowledge of the diversity of HABs in Irish waters and on developing new accurate molecular methods for the high throughput, rapid analysis and reliable determination and differentiation of relevant toxigenic and harmful microalgae species, which can be implemented into a routine monitoring programme. The research is funded by the Marine Institute Cullen scholarship programme.

The title of my PhD project is: “Development & Implementation of molecular assays for the routine detection of toxigenic and harmful phytoplankton species in Irish coastal waters and sediments”.

The primary aim of this CULLEN fellowship is to validate and implement DNA-based methods for the detection and quantification of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species in Irish coastal waters and sediments into a routine monitoring programme.