Biology & Marine Biology

Faculty & Staff

Carmelo R. Tomas, Professor Emeritus

photoPh.D., Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, 1977
M.S., Botany, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, 1971
B.A., Biology, American International College, Springfield, MA, 1964
New Myrtle Grove Building 2001A | (910) 962-2385 | Center for Marine Science
5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409-5928 |

My area of expertise is physiological ecology of marine phytoplankton with a particular emphasis on harmful algal bloom (HAB) species. These efforts involve laboratory and field studies to define the importance of environmental factors in regulating the virulence of these HAB species. Clonal cultures of toxic phytoplankton as well as mixed natural populations are studied to determine the impact of HABs on the environment. Since toxic species must compete with non-harmful ones for dominance, the major questions addressed are what combination of factors allows one species to out compete others having nearly the same requirements. Of the factors studied, particular importance is placed on the role of nutrients in stimulating and supporting blooms and toxins production. Survival and recurrence of these toxic species as well as their influence on food webs are also an important aspect of these studies. Another important aspect is the precise identification of phytoplankton species to differentiate harmful from non- harmful ones. Through a greater understanding of the influence of these regulating environmental factors on toxic species, a better means of predicting and possibly mitigating the impacts of these blooms can emerge.

Tomas, C. 1998. Blooms of Potentially Harmful Raphidophycean Flagellates in Florida Coastal Waters. In: Harmful Algae. B. Reguera, J. Blanco, A. L. Fernandez and T. Wyatt (eds.) UNESCO. pp. 101-106.

Tomas, C., K. A. Steidinger, G. A. Vargo, and P.A. Tester 1998. Bloom Dynamics and Physiology of Gymnodinium breve with Emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico. In: Physiological Ecology of Harmful Algal Blooms. Anderson, D.M., A. D. Cembella and G. M. Hallegraeff (eds.). NATO Advanced Studies Institute Series G. Ecological Sciences. 41: 133-154.

Tomas, C. (Editor) 1997. Identifying Marine Phytoplankton. Academic Press, San Diego. 858 pages.