UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI NEWS: Poisoning A River of Grass

University of Miami: January 23, 2017. Written by Jessica M. Castillo.

In less than a 20-minute drive west, Larry Brand leaves Miami’s suburban sprawl and reaches the Everglades, where he’s been tracking the toxic algal blooms that are increasingly assaulting the diverse ecosystem, threatening South Florida’s water supply, fishing industry, tourism and even health.

A specialist in the ecology of algae and phytoplankton, Brand has been making this early-morning trip almost every month for 20 years to sample the photosynthetic organisms that are at the base of the food chain.

“If there were no algae in the ocean, there wouldn’t be any other life either,” notes the professor of marine biology and ecology at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

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