The Dinsdale Lab ‘Spring Breaks’ in Catalina!

While some use spring break as a time to vacation, the Dinsdale Lab took advantage of the week off from classes and teaching to squeeze in a much-needed research expedition. One of the many projects that the lab works on is investigating the microbial ecology of southern Californian temperate kelp forests, including those at Santa Catalina Island. However, over the past few years, the pristine kelp forests have been invaded by Sargassum horneri and the native kelp have not fully recovered. As a result, the ecosystem and the organisms that live there are at risk. Dr. Dinsdale along with some of her undergraduate and graduate students spent three full days at the USC Wrigley Marine Institute on Catalina Island to collect and process samples to better understand the interactions between native and invasive algae and their microbial communities. This study aims to provide us with more insight on the role of microbial communities in the recovery of the kelp forest ecosystem.



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