Symposium

Of Rising Scholars

Spring 2024

Sophia will be presenting at The Symposium of Rising Scholars on Saturday, March 23rd! To attend the event and see Sophia's presentation.

Go to Polygence Scholars page
Sophia Hsu's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2024
Sophia Hsu's profile

Sophia Hsu

Class of 2025Redwood City, CA

About

Projects

  • "What are the differences between the effects of domoic acid and brevetoxin on grazers versus apex predators, and what impact does this have on the ecosystem as a whole?" with mentor Steffaney (Working project)

Project Portfolio

What are the differences between the effects of domoic acid and brevetoxin on grazers versus apex predators, and what impact does this have on the ecosystem as a whole?

Started July 13, 2023

Abstract or project description

The term harmful algal bloom (HAB) describes a phytoplankton bloom that produces toxins, depletes oxygen in the water column upon decomposition, or otherwise disrupts the ecosystem. Harmful algal blooms are repeated occurrences along the coasts of the US, releasing toxins into the water that negatively affect higher level organisms. Two especially harmful algae are Karina-brevis and Pseudo-nitzschia, which produce brevetoxin and domain acid respectively. These acids causes many marine organisms, such as fish, sea lions, and manatees, to die off as a result of overexposure. We will investigate how much of an effect these toxins have on the overall population of certain organisms, as well as how these population changes affect the community. By using publicly available data we can compare how these two toxins interact with the environment. We will also see how domoic acid and brevetoxin affect grazers such as zooplankton and compare those effects to the effects on apex predators.