1. Jennelle Ramirez

    Hey Aubrey Ann Parker,
    I hope you read this and respond. I am an eighth grader from Chicago trying to do a science fair project on the current harmful algal bloom crises. I was wondering if you have done or know of anyone else has done a study to find how much phosphorus is actually in the Great Lakes. I found you on The Circle of Blue website which has really helped me and it said you are the chief data analyst so I thought you would be the best person to contact. For my bibliography I need to have one human reference and I would like to use you for that.
    Jennelle Ramirez

  2. Aubrey Ann Parker

    Hi Jennelle,

    I received your comment on my personal website, and I really appreciate you reaching out to us at Circle of Blue. Though I’m the chief data analyst and have done a bit of work on our algae stories, your best bet is actually to speak with Codi Yeager-Kozacek, cc-ed on this email, because she is our algae expert. She’s been writing stories about algae in the Great Lakes for more than a year now. That being said, I dont think that anyone has data on how much total phosphorous is in the lakes as a whole, at least to my knowledge. Partly that’s because it moves around with the winds and is always changing. Also, there will be parts of the lake that have higher concentrations than others, that’s why we see algal blooms in some places but not others. (The concentration thing and the wind thing are part of why the algae outbreak in Toledo this fall was so bad, actually, but Codi can explain more.)

    We have done some analysis on the amount of phosphorous (and the TYPE of phosphorous, which is important, too — certain phosphorous makes algae grow better than others) in Lake Erie’s biggest tributary, the Maumee River. Did you read this article on our site? It will help to explain some things before Codi can schedule a time to speak with you.

    So happy that your reached out to us and that you’re interested in this issue. Your generation will be the most affected by these algae problems, if we do not come up with solutions soon. Awareness and general knowledge is the first step toward finding solutions, so it’s great that you are educating yourself and your classmates!

    Good luck in your research, and we’d love to hear what you find!

    P.S. I tried emailing you this response, but it didn’t work, so I am posting it and hoping you see it. Can you email me and Codi at and so that we can respond? Thanks again!

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