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Tom Pesacreta,  Ph.D.  Director Microscopy Center

Phosphorus and Potasium localization in Pine root. Elemental map using IXRF EDS,  Hitachi S3000 SEM

Sherry Krayesky-Self Ph.D. discovered and documented with SEM, TEM and Fluorescence microscopy previously unrecognized benthic life history stages of the toxic, bloom-forming dinoflagellate Prorocentrum lima and the bloom-forming haptophyte Ochrosphaera verrucosa. These life stages were found residing endolithically inside calcium carbonate-lined cell lumens of crustose coralline algae (CCA) Lithothamnion rhodoliths. The taxonomic identity of these life history stages new to science was confirmed by whole genome amplification on single cells and subsequent cob1 sequencing for dinoflagellates, and tufA and 18S sequencing for haptophytes. Endolithic stages of a new sp. of Rhodosorus, a unicellular red algal genus were also identified. Dr. Self, her colleagues and several undergraduate researchers continue to explore this new association found between macro- and micro- algae in the North West Gulf of Mexico.

Dilip Depan, Ph.D.   Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Poly (lactic acid) grown as spherulites using carbon nanotubes

Proteins such as actin stress fibers and vinculin focal adhesion points of bone cells grown on chitosan scaffolds

Joseph Richards Ph.D. is investigating the systematics and biomineralization of coralline red algae (Rhodophyta) from the NW Gulf of Mexico and worldwide. Current research focuses on naming new species of Lithophyllum, Lithothamnion and Sporolithon from offshore Louisiana, which involves comparisons to historical type specimens from 1901- 1919. Dr. Richards works in collaboration with Dr. Fredericq, Dr. Schmidt, and Dr. Krayesky-Self from the UL Lafayette biology department, as well as Dr. Paul Gabrielson from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other researchers from Hartnell College (California), University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of São Paulo, Smithsonian Marine Station (Florida) and Core Mineralogy, Inc. (Lafayette, Louisiana).
Top left and right images: Historical type specimen of Lithothamnion collected from the Caribbean in 1906. Bottom left and right images: Recently collected specimen of Lithothamnion from offshore Louisiana.

Recent Publications:
Richards, J. L., Sauvage, T., Schmidt, W. E., Fredericq, S., Hughey, J. R. & Gabrielson, P. W. 2017. The coralline genera Sporolithon and Heydrichia (Sporolithales, Rhodophyta) clarified by sequencing type material of their generitypes and other species. Journal of Phycology In press.
Richards, J. L., Vieira-Pinto, T., Schmidt, W. E., Sauvage, T., Gabrielson, P. W., Oliveira, M. C. & Fredericq, S. 2016. Molecular and morphological diversity of Lithothamnion spp. (Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta) from deepwater rhodolith beds in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Phytotaxa 278: 81-114.
Krayesky‐Self, S., Richards, J. L., Rahmatian, M. & Fredericq, S. 2016. Aragonite infill in overgrown conceptacles of coralline Lithothamnion spp. (Hapalidiaceae, Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta): new insights in biomineralization and phylomineralogy. Journal of Phycology 52: 161-173.
Richards, J. L., Gabrielson, P. W. & Fredericq, S. 2014. New insights into the genus Lithophyllum (Lithophylloideae, Corallinaceae, Corallinales) from deepwater rhodolith beds offshore the NW Gulf of Mexico. Phytotaxa 190: 162-175.