Researcher, University of Waikato/Cawthron Institute
- Doctor of Philosophy
Jonathan specialises in analytical biochemistry and uses analytical techniques to understand the biochemistry of cyanobacteria and algae.
"Through a joint project between the University of Waikato and Cawthron institute, I'm presently researching the triggers for production of microcystin, a cyanotoxin found in many freshwater cyanobacteria. When blooms of the Microcystis (a type of cyanobacteria) form on the surface of lakes, microcystin production rapidly increases."
Jonathan's aim is to understand why this occurs, which will hopefully lead to better water quality predictions in the future.
A bonus of his work is conducting experiments in the field, rather than in a laboratory. "We feel that this more accurately reflects the natural environment these organisms are exposed to, but adds additional logistical difficulties for our work. One of the techniques we have designed to overcome this is collecting samples using cryo-samplers; metal probes which are chilled to sub-zero temperatures and instantly capture/preserve cyanobacterial communities in a sheet of ice."
If you would like to know more about Jonathan's research then check out: #CyanoResearch on Vimeo and Twitter.