Studying the Historical Record of Pollution using Molecular Tools and Great Lakes Cores

Funding Organization: National Science Foundation
Project Duration: Ongoing since 2011

Investigations and comparisons of large scale historic water quality records are rare because standardized water quality protocols have been modified numerous times over the years. Subsequently, policy makers do not have long term data to investigate how anthropogenic activities and climate have shaped fecal pollution levels.


Studies have shown that sediment cores can measure historic nutrient loading and fecal pollution in aquatic ecosystems. The objective of the research will determine how climate and anthropogenic activities are associated with historic enteric molecular markers in Lake St. Clair sediment cores. These results will help determine how to better manage these watersheds in order to improve public health.