Marina Potapova, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Assistant Curator of Diatoms, ANS
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
- BS/MS, Botany, University of St. Petersburg, Russia
- PhD, Ecology, Russian Academy of Sciences
My research is on the taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of diatoms. I am using light and scanning electron microscopy, geometric morphometric shape analysis, molecular methods and ecological modeling techniques to study diatom communities of various geographical areas, to understand how environmental change affects their structure and function and to reveal biogeographical patterns of diatoms. Current projects include 1) diatoms of mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands as indicators of pollution, sea level and climate change; 2) environmental DNA metabarcoding of microeukaryotic assemblages in rivers and streams; 3) effects of stream restoration on diatoms, 4) biogeography of Beringian diatoms (Northeastern Siberia and Alaska).
Dr. Potapova is an expert in the ecology and taxonomy of algae, especially diatoms, among the most important producers of organic matter and oxygen on Earth. She spent most of her career at the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANS), which became part of Drexel in 2012. She is a curator of the ANS Diatom Herbarium, the most extensive diatom collection in America.
Diatoms are sensitive environmental indicators. Their skeletons can reconstruct ecosystems’ history and monitor water quality in rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Dr. Potapova uses light and scanning electron microscopy, geometric morphometric shape analysis, molecular methods, and ecological modeling techniques to explore diatom communities of various geographical areas. Her studies seek to understand how environmental change affects their structure and function and to reveal biogeographical patterns. Her current research focuses on developing high-throughput characterization methods of algal assemblages, such as virtual microscopy and DNA metabarcoding.
Dr. Potapova served as the International Society for Diatom Research president and is an editorial board member for the web resource “Diatoms of North America.”
- Potapova, M.G. 2019. Occurrence of two Krsticiella species in Beringia suggests this genus is a Cenozoic relict. Diatom Research 34(2): 109-114.
- Potapova, M.G., Ciugulea, I. & Minerovic, A. 2019. The novel species Navicula eileeniae (Bacillariophyta, Naviculaceae) and its recent expansion in the Central Appalachian region of North America. Plant Ecology and Evolution 152(2): 368-377.
- Desianti, N., Enache, M.D., Griffiths, M., Biskup, K., Degen, A., DaSilva, M., Millemann, D., Lippincott, L., Watson, E., Gray, A., Nikitina, D. & Potapova, M. 2019. The potential and limitations of diatoms as environmental indicators in Mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands. Estuaries and Coasts 42: 1440-1458.
- Spaulding, S.A., Bishop, I.W., Edlund, M.B., Lee, S. & Potapova, M. 2018. Diatoms of North America. https://diatoms.org/
- Kemp, A. C., Horton, B. P., Nikitina, D., Vane, C. H., Potapova, M., Weber-Bruya, E., Culver, S. J., Repkina, T. & Hill, D. F. 2017. The distribution and utility of sea-level indicators in Eurasian sub-Arctic salt marshes (White Sea, Russia). Boreas 46 (3): 562-584.
- Keller, S., Hilderbrand, R., Shank, M. & Potapova, M. 2017. Environmental DNA genetic monitoring of the nuisance freshwater diatom, Didymosphenia geminata in Eastern North American Streams. Diversity and Distributions 23: 381-393.