Cawthron Institute

Susie Wood is a Scientist at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, New Zealand. She obtained her PhD from Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand) in 2006 specialising in algal blooms in rivers and lakes. Susie leads and contributes to multiple research programmes, supervises students, and regularly undertakes consulting projects for government departments and regional authorities on a range of topics related to cyanobacteria, water quality, molecular ecology and biomonitoring. Her cyanobacterial research is divided between understanding bloom formation and toxin production in New Zealand’s lakes, and more recently investigating environmental drivers of benthic toxin-producing cyanobacteria in rivers. She has been particularity active in advocating for the incorporation of molecular tools in biomonitoring and biodiversity projects, including the development of novel molecular-based indices. She co-leads a nationwide programme that aims to obtain an overview of the health for 10% of New Zealand’s lakes ( using paleo-environmental reconstructions.

Rocky Rivers and Lake Learnings

Tues 1 Dec | 9:30 - 10:15 AM

Every summer many of our lakes and rivers experience severe toxic cyanobacteria blooms which impact ecosystem health and compromise human recreational activities. Our team has used a gene to ecosystem approach incorporating field and laboratory-based studies to explore why they bloom, what regulates toxin production and the ecological role of the toxins. Things don’t always go as planned....but sometimes this is when we learn the most.