Karen E. Atwood

Biological Scientist

Karen AtwoodName
Karen E. Atwood

Biological Scientist

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration – Harmful Algal Blooms – Toxin Laboratory

B.S. Zoology, University of South Florida
M.S. Marine Science with a focus in biological oceanography, University of South Florida
Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction, University of South Florida, College of Education

Research Interests
HABs, red tide, effects on marine animals, toxins, seabirds

Current Activity
As the FWRI HAB Staff Web Liaison, I develop, edit, implement and maintain articles and information for the FWRI Red Tide website and HAB Facebook. I also work in the Toxins Laboratory analyzing water, sediment, seagrass and animal tissues (various Gulf of Mexico fish species, manatees, dolphins, whales, turtles, invertebrates, sharks and other local aquatic species) for toxins through the use of analytical techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). In addition, I am responsible for creating, maintaining and posting the weekly HAB Red Tide Current Status report made available to the public.

For my Master’s thesis, I studied brevetoxin body burdens in seabirds of southwest Florida. Brevetoxin – a neurotoxin produced by the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis – has long been associated with mass mortalities and morbidities of seabirds and other marine animals. The study of effects and accumulation of toxins in the environment and in marine organisms is an important aspect of wildlife and ecosystem management.

View Karen Atwood’s CV Adobe PDF (PDF 240KB)

FWC Facts:
The life expectancy for Gulf sturgeon is 20-42 years. The oldest age documented for a tagged and recaptured Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon is about 27-28 years.

Learn More at AskFWC