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Marina Potapova

Marina Potapova, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Assistant Curator of Diatoms, ANS
Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Office: Diatom Herbarium, ANS
Phone: 215.405.5068

Additional Sites:


  • BS/MS, Botany, University of St. Petersburg, Russia
  • PhD, Ecology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Research Interests:

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).


Marina Potapova is curator of the Diatom Herbarium at the Academy of Natural Sciences. She has published more than 60 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and is as a member of Editorial Board of the on-line diatom flora of North America, a collaborative project aimed at compiling a comprehensive illustrated guide to diatom species. She served on Editorial Boards of several research journals and was the president of the International Society for Diatom Research in 2014-2016.

Selected Publications:

  • 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.
  • 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.