Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory recently hired Justin Chaffin, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toledo, as its new research coordinator. He will manage on-site research, the Lab’s Research Experience for Undergraduates, and some of the laboratory renovations currently in progress, along with teaching classes and supporting the lab’s outreach and education efforts. Chaffin is also heavily involved in Stone Lab’s monitoring and research of harmful algal blooms and nutrient levels in Lake Erie, a topic he has focused on throughout his academic career.
“Justin will be coordinating the lion’s share of our research and the REU program here at the lab,” says Matt Thomas, Stone Laboratory manager. “He’ll also be our on-site limnologist, playing an instrumental part with the renovation of the analytical laboratory, and with HAB monitoring.”
“I am really excited to come back to Stone Lab, where I began my Lake Erie research career, to work as a team member of Ohio Sea Grant,” said Chaffin. “I took classes at Stone Lab during 2005 and was an REU student during 2006. Since 2007 I’ve been a grad student at the University of Toledo, studying Microcystis blooms and nutrient dynamics in western Lake Erie, so I’m looking forward to the new and improved laboratory for limnology research and water quality.”
Chaffin is currently completing a doctorate in ecology at the University of Toledo, focusing on the effect of nitrogen concentrations on phytoplankton. His master’s degree work in ecology at UT examined Microcystis blooms in Lake Erie, and he received a bachelor of science degree in biology from Bowling Green State University. He has been an assistant teacher for Stone Lab’s limnology class, as well as a biodiversity class at the University of Toledo and high school biology at Clay High School in Oregon.
Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is The Ohio State University’s Island Campus on Lake Erie and the education and research facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit ohioseagrant.osu.edu.