The phytoplankton communities in space and time: an integrative approach to study salt lakes of Kazakhstanian arid and semiarid zones

Project: Research project

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grant Program 2019-2021

Project Description

Freshwater is becoming a major limiting resource worldwide. Environmental changes and anthropogenic impact are negatively affecting water quantity and quality. The water source in arid and semi-arid regions of the world are very important and monitored by state’s national systems. The ecological problems in the Kazakhstanian lakes have been aggravated by unstable weather conditions typical for the geographic location of the Central Asia area. The increasing shortage of freshwater in Kazakhstanian lakes often is as a result of irrigation, natural flow interminency and river runoff in different regions of arid zone may lead to ecological catastrophe similar to drying out Aral Sea. Phytoplankton forms the basis of the lakes food web and thus is the crucial element in the lake ecosystem which rapidly responds to ecosystem alterations. We are planning to use an integrative approach combining flow cytometry, imaging and spectral flow cytometry and molecular biological methods (16S and 18S PCR and next generation sequencing) to analyze and characterize biodiversity of salt lakes in arid and semi-arid zone of Kazakhstan. This research will examine the genetic, taxonomic, and functional aspects of phytoplankton communities that are particularly important to the general health of freshwater and salt lake ecosystems.
Effective start/end date1/31/1912/31/21


saline lake
lake ecosystem
flow cytometry
general health
biological method
semiarid region
food web
environmental change