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Impacts of storage on bacterial levels and product quality of farm-raised macroalgae

Summary / Description


You will join a small team evaluating the environmental impacts and product quality of farm-rearing macroalgae (seaweed) for human consumption. Macroalgae is rich in health promoting molecules, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and vitamins. While macroalgae can enhance human health, specific information is needed to ensure that these products are wholesome and safe to consume. You will focus on documenting bacterial levels of human concern (coliform, vibro, and listeria) in wild and farm-raised macroalgae. Other team members will determine (a) proximate composition, amino acids, fatty acids, and contaminates (DDT, PCBs, and mercury) of macroalgae, (b) nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from the farm, and (c) annual growth rates of the macroalgae.

Your specific project responsibilities will include:

  1. Sampling and preparation of macroalgae samples for bacterial testing.
  2. Development of expertise in the use of “3M Petrifilm Plate” for bacterial enumeration.
  3. Determination of bacterial levels on fresh macroalgae samples.
  4. Determination of changes in bacterial levels with time and storage conditions.
  5. Documentation of changes in organoleptic properties of macroalgae with time and storage conditions.

This internship provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of biologists, engineers, and chemists. You will gather valuable expertise in experimental design, bacterial analysis, statistical analysis, and preparation of scientific manuscripts. The results of your project will be a final written report and a seminar at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. You will be included as an author on any scientific articles from the project and depending on funding, will be encouraged to present your work at a national aquaculture or food science conference.

Skills Required

Ability to work as part of a research team. Course work in microbiology and bacteriology would be helpful as well basic experience in collecting field data and laboratory procedures. Good organizational and communication skill are desired along with a working knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Other Information

Internship Location: National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle.

Our laboratory is located within walking distance of the University of Washington and a short bus ride to downtown Seattle. More information on the Northwest Science Center and things to do in Seattle can be found at:

Intern Supervisor: John Colt / Number of slots available: 0

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