Autonomous in situ Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) damage aquatic ecosystems, threaten water supplies, impose economic costs, and are increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change. Effective monitoring of HABs is not only important for mitigating their impact on public health and the economy, but it is also critical for developing approaches that minimize the occurrence and/or severity of HABs. The project seeks to develop the Autonomous Real-Time Microbial Scope (ARTiMiS) device for in situ and low-cost monitoring of HABs through (1) the development of a training dataset for algal species of relevance; (2) optimization of machine learning approaches to identify and quantify algal species; and (3) field testing of ARTiMiS at the pilot plant. The system will be deployed for monitoring HABs in the Detroit River, but it is projected that key advances will make the device applicable for algal monitoring in nearly all ecosystems. Research partner: Great Lakes Water Authority.