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PEET: Diatom Systematics and the Great Lakes Diatom Flora

9521882 Stoermer For a large, diverse, and ecologically important group of aquatic microorganisms, the algal diatoms, taxonomic expertise is limited in the United States, and only a few institutions host major natural history collections that facilitate research and training. Dr. Eugene Stoermer of the University of Michigan supervises one of the major laboratories devoted to the study of diatoms, with emphasis on the species-rich flora of Great Lakes diatoms (estimated at 2000 species) and their taxonomic relatives in North America and abroad. He has been a pioneer in the application of computer-assisted morphometric analyses to the study of size and shape in diatoms, and to related problems of their growth, geographic distribution and dispersal, ecological coexistence, fossilization and geological persistence, and evolutionary relationships. For the next five years he and his colleagues and students will be engaged in the study of the Great Lakes diatoms and their worldwide relatives, with the goals of clarifying taxonomic relationships at species, genus, and family ranks; constructing reliable identification keys based on features not subject to environmental modification during the growth of diatoms; constructing hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships among selected groups of diatoms, and integrating these inferences with data from the fossil record; and databasing records of natural history collections of diatoms, at University of Michigan and in other major collections. Under the PEET program, the research includes training of new diatom taxonomic experts, at graduate and postdoctoral levels over the five years. Colleagues at the California Academy of Sciences and the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences are cooperating in the research and training. In addition, Dr. Stoermer and his students will participate annually in the diatom courses offered at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, a popular venue for summer field courses in diatom studies. Results of research and of specimen databasing activities are to be made readily accessible electronically over Internet, and with a WorldWide Web page devoted to diatom systematics, evolution and ecology.

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The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
interactive, Internet-based, searchable database created as a tool to collect and disseminate
up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.