Wrigley Research Spotlights

 

Oyster Research and Aquaculture
USC Wrigley researchers are studying how shellfish respond physiologically to environmental challenges such as temperature fluctuations, decreasing ocean pH and disease. The "Future of Food from the Sea" program will explore the breeding of more "tolerant" strains of shellfish and selecting family lines for robust traits. Read more...

 

Channel Island Fox Research
Scientists with the USC Wrigley Institute are working with other investigators to understand the genetics and evolution of the endangered Channel Island fox. Using modern and ancient DNA samples, they will try to answer questions such as when the foxes arrived on the different Channel Islands, their ecological relationship with competitors, and the evolution of dwarfism in the species. Read more...

 

Nitrogen Fixation in the World Ocean
Scientists with the USC Wrigley Institute have discovered an important source of nitrogen in the upper ocean. Nitrogen produced by marine bacteria (historically overlooked in estimates of the nitrogen cycle) apparently play a prominent role in nitrogen cycling, the growth of phytoplankton, and in turn the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and upper waters of the sea. Read more...

 

Measuring Metal Contamination in Southern California's Waters
USC researchers recently measured metal pollutants in Southern California's coastal waters to assess the impact of the Clean Water Act of 1972 on local water quality. Concentrations of copper, cadmium and other toxins have indeed gone down, suggesting that improvements in sewage treatment and standards enacted in the Clean Water Act played a significant role in the water quality improvement. Read more...

 

Microbial Fuel Cells and Bacteria-Mediated Chemistry
USC Wrigley Institute researchers are testing fuel cells that harness the metabolism of bacteria to break down human and industrial waste products, and simultaneously generate electricity. These clean sources of energy, known as microbial fuel cells, hold tremendous potential. A USC research team continues to work on optimizing this technology for various applications at USC Wrigley Marine Science Center and other sites around the country. Read more...

 

Ocean Acidification Research
Ocean acidification, known as the "other carbon dioxide problem," is a component of climate change getting increasing attention. As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase, some of that excess is absorbed by the oceans, making the seawater more acidic and adding stress to marine organisms and ecosystems. The Wrigley Institute is acquiring specialized equipment and developing infrastructure to lead this emerging field of research. Read more...

 

Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms
Algal blooms are natural coastal events, but a small number of algal species produce toxins and their blooms can have serious consequences for marine animals and human health. A team of USC Wrigley researchers is using a diverse array of technology—stationary sensors, underwater gliders and traditional boat collections—to shed light on the natural and human-sourced factors that lead to harmful algal blooms. Read more...

 

Food Waste Recycling and Biotechnology
The USC Wrigley Institute is exploring new techniques for recycling food waste on Catalina Island. The Wrigley Institute plans to develop a recycling station at the Wrigley Marine Science Center that will process up to 20 tons of food waste per year, using the natural life cycle of the black soldier flies. The project will serve as a research platform to study the costs and benefits of such systems and to complement other sustainability initiatives at USC. Read more...

 

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