For the 2018 summer course, the eight students became known as Diatom 8 for their dedication and professionalism to the field of diatom ecology and systematics, from the start.

Diatom 8 contributed to the iNaturalist project. Students contributed taxonomic identifications from a range of sources - lake sediments in Alaska and Vermont, streams in the southern Appalachians and Florida Everglades, and wetlands of Iowa. The iNaturalist project now has over 500 observations of 200 diatom species from students.

Diatom 8 applied recent phylogeny of the Surirellales. In 2016, analysis of the surirelliod diatoms (Ruck et al. 2016) clarified the evolutionary relationships of diatoms with a canal raphe. This work showed that the synapomorphy, or shared derived characteristic, of a portula created by fibulae represents an important evolutionary novelty. The taxonomic observations of Diatom 8 applied the revised classification of the Surirellales.

Diatom 8 took over scanning electron microscopy. With the generous help of Dr. Beth Caissie and Ph.D. student Thomas Harbour, Diatom 8 examined ultrastructure of diatoms at the SEM lab at Iowa State University. The class images are included in the species pages created for this website.

Diatom 8 investigated diatom species in their microhabitats. As a class project, students compared epiphytic assemblages on two common duckweed species, Lemna minor and Lemna trisulca with plankton assemblages. Each microhabitat contained distinct diatom assemblages, although the diatom Lemnicola hungarica was found on both Lemna species at similar relative abundance.

Now, Diatom 8, go forth and do great things!


  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

    John C. Kingston Teaching Assistant Fellowship - Katie Johnson

  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

    Eugene F. Stoermer Scholarship - Meredith Emery

  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

    Charles W. Reimer Scholarship - Kelsey Solomon

  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

    Invited Seminar Speaker - Andy Bramburger

  • Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

    Science Education Invited Speaker - Shelly Wu


Sylvia Lee

Biologist U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Mark Edlund

Content Editor, Centric Diatoms Diatoms of North America, Editoral Review Board

Senior Scientist Science Museum of Minnesota

Ellie Broadman

PhD Student Northern Arizona University

Sydney Diamond

M.S. Student University of Vermont

Meredith Emery

M.S. Student Florida International University

Kaitlin Hatcher

Undergraduate in Biology and MAT of Science Education University of Iowa

Katie Johnson

Research Analyst Florida International University

Gosia Mahoney

Graduate Student University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Kelsey Solomon

PhD Student University of Georgia

Megan Powers

Undergraduate Student University of Iowa

Tori Thrash

Undergraduate Student The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa

Shelly Wu

Diatom Enthusiast

Steve Main

Professor emeritus Retired, Wartburg College

Lynn Brant

Emeritus Professor of Geology University of Northern Iowa

Andy Bramburger

Natural Resources Research Institute University of Minnesota Duluth

Beth Caissie

Iowa State University

Thomas Harbour

Iowa State University

Diatom8 Final
Eokoboji Kelsey Mark
Sem Katie Beth Steve
Sydney Core