The overall interests in our laboratory centre on the ecophysiology and biochemistry of algae
Currently we are running projects on the effects of climate change (elevated CO2, temperature and UV-B radiation) on photosynthetic performance of microalgae. We also work on metal uptake and bioremediation by algae and the use of algae as sources of lipid and other useful products. We are also interested in the applications of biospectroscopy (Fourier Transform Infra Red and Raman spectroscopy) to elucidating algal macromolecular composition and ecophysiology.
We also have strong links with the Water Studies Centre in the School of Chemistry and have joint projects on seagrasses and estuarine health as well as a program looking at factors driving blooms of the toxic cyanobacterium Nodularia in the Gippsland Lakes.
The laboratory is well provided with equipment including a range of fluorometers (Walz PAM 101, PhytoPAM and DivingPAM, Microscopy-PAM, Hitachi 2000 and 7000 Spectrofluorometers with 77K fluorescence facility) and oxygen electrodes and optodes for investigations of photosynthesis, analytical instruments such as GC-MS, HPLC, ion chromatography, flow-injection analysers for phosphate, alkalinity and ammonia, and UV-VIS spectrophotometry as well as the usual range of standard laboratory equipment.
Our interactions with the School of Chemistry provide access to their extensive range of Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy equipment.
Outlined below are two areas of research currently studied by the Beardall Group:
Studies on Westernport Bay, the Gippsland Lakes and other water bodies : nutrient biogeochemistry, and the ecological significance and roles of different primary producer groups such as seagrasses, macroalgae, phytoplankton and benthic microalgae
Energetics of algae: the role of CO2 concentrating mechanisms
Effects of environmental factors on the biology of toxic microalgae from the Gippsland Lakes
Heavy metal bioremediation by algae
Lipid production by algae
Role of light and CO2 in modulating algal physiological behaviour