Senior Project Advisor

Robin Kodner

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2024


Snow Algae, Chlainomonas, Bagley Lake, Life Cycle


Every year, there are blooms of algae in snowy alpine environments during the summer snow melts. One environment in particular, the snow-on-lake habitat on Bagley Lake in Mt Baker, has been the subject of study by the Kodner lab for many years. In this habitat, we find the genus Chlainomonas which has bloomed in late spring and early summer annually. Our lab has proposed a life cycle for the genus (Matsumoto et al 2024), and there are many morphologically distinct cell stages found in field collected samples. This study has expanded our understanding the life cycle dynamics by examining the cell morphology and abundance across the bloom season in 2022. This data helped us test our life cycle hypothesis and suggests that our predictions about the life cycle progression are correct. Our data shows that there was a significant change in algae morphology distribution from week to week, which supports the predicted cycle of cell growth into cysts followed by development of sporangia and 'pill' cells, or spores. We also used single cell PCR to amplify the18S gene to confirm that pill cells were identical to large red cells, linking these two cell phases genetically.


Environmental Sciences

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Chlamydomonas--Washington (State)--Bagley Lakes; Algae--Washington (State)--Bagley Lakes; Mountain ecology--Washington (State)--Bagley Lakes

Geographic Coverage

Bagley Lakes (Wash.)




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