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Research Associates and Postdoctoral Associates

Laura Fiorentino
PhD in Applied Marine Physics, 2013, University of Miami, RSMAS
Post Doctoral Associate Large Lakes Observatory
email: lfiorent at d.umn.edu

I received my B.S. in mathematics and physics from the University of Georgia and my M.S. and Ph.D. in applied marine physics from the University of Miami –RSMAS. My doctoral research focused on the use of Lagrangian coherent structures in the study of coastal water quality. I continue to apply dynamical systems theory to investigate transport and mixing in oceans and lakes.

As a postdoctoral associate at LLO, and in cooperation with the EPA’s Mid-Continent Ecology Division, I am helping to develop a coastal monitoring program using a recently acquired Slocum glider (AUV). I am involved in planning mission paths, programming the glider, and processing and analyzing the resulting data. homepage



Ralph J. Garono
PhD in Aquatic Ecology, 1993, Kent State University
Research Associate Large Lakes Observatory and Natural Resources Research Institute
email: rjgarono at d.umn.edu

I am interested in factors that structure wetland and coastal land-margin ecosystems. My research focuses on the roles that nitrogen and phosphorus play in organizing biological communities at the base of Great Lakes coastal food webs. I use a variety of field and laboratory techniques to measure nutrient bioavailability including, bioassays, in situ nutrient amendments, and physiological indicators of nutrient limitation.

My recent work characterizes the biogeochemical transformations and measures shifts in planktonic communities along the gradient formed as the water of the St. Louis River, rich in dissolved organic matter, enter the clear water of Lake Superior. In addition to measuring algal communities and nutrient transformations, I am also beginning to investigate the interactions between CDOM and nutrient biogeochemistry along this river-to-lake gradient and developing an understanding of how these ecosystem processes may be affected by changing climate and land use patterns.

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