Congratulations to Mary Lofton, who received the Leo Bourassa Award from the Virginia Lakes and Watershed Association for her research on the effects of water quality management on phytoplankton blooms in Virginia reservoirs! This award was chosen based on her contributions to the field of water resources in the commonwealth of Virginia and goes to the top graduate student doing water research in VA!
On top of this honor, Mary also received the $5000 grant from the Virginia Water Resources Research Center to support her research project: “Simulating storms to predict phytoplankton community responses to future climate change: a whole-ecosystem mixing experiment”.
Mary has been monitoring the water quality of several reservoirs in southwestern VA during the past year and is studying the effects of global change, especially storms, on phytoplankton ecology. Mary is an IGC Fellow and works in close collaboration with the Western Virginia Water Authority in Roanoke. The data Mary collects from these reservoirs are used to help inform management decisions for the drinking water of Roanoke.