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Bob Sanders is an ecologist who studies planktonic organisms in marine and fresh waters.  His research emphasis is on protists (algae and protozoa) and their trophic interactions. He has interests in the ecology of protists from polar regions, and has been funded to investigate mixotrophy and/or kleptoplasty in both the Southern and the Arctic Oceans. Additional research funding supported studies of protistan feeding ecology and remineralization of nutrients, the ecological importance and physiology of mixotrophic phytoplankton and ciliates in freshwaters, the utilization of protozoa as food sources for zooplankton, the bioavailability of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), the role of DON/DOC in eutrophication, and the effects of chromophoric dissolve organic matter (CDOM) and ultraviolet radiation on food web structure. Other research conducted in the lab has involved PCBs in saltwater terrapins, algal symbionts of salamanders during larval development and the effect of temperature and pH changes on the symbiotic relationship between dinoflagellates and marine hydroids.

A short CV