Diatom Herbarium

Dr. Marina Potapova: Curator


Marina Potapova studies taxonomy, ecology, and biogeography of freshwater diatoms. She is interested in diatom biogeography, diversity of the freshwater diatoms of the continental United States, developing ways of quantifying morphological characters of diatom frustule based on geometric morphometrics, and studying systematics of monoraphid freshwater diatoms.

Dr. Potapova is the or one of the Principle Investigators for the following research projects.

  • Diatoms of the United States
    Diatom species composition and abundance are well known to reflect the biotic condition of streams and lakes. Together with aquatic invertebrates and fish, diatoms are an indispensable component of Federal and State monitoring programs. Unfortunately the existing taxonomic keys for the North American diatoms are incomplete or out of date and diatom analysts routinely use European taxonomic keys to identify American diatoms. Not only has this practice led to misidentification of species, but perhaps more important, there is a lack of taxonomic consistency within analyses and across programs. This project was initiated to provide free online access to accurate taxonomic and nomenclatural information on North American diatoms. The project is currently supported by the USGS NAWQA Program. (See westerndiatoms.colorado.edu.)
  • Diatoms of the North-Central Pennsylvania
    In 2009 we collected 310 diatom samples from lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands in North-Central Pennsylvania, which has the best quality aquatic habitats in the State. The goal was to inventory diatom flora that is associated with the least impaired waters in Pennsylvania. The project is supported by the PA Department of Conservation and natural Resources, grant WRCP Grant # 08286.
  • Renovation and computerization of ANSP Diatom Herbarium
    The goal of this project is to make the resources of ANSP Diatom Herbarium easily accessible to scientists. We are reorganizing the Herbarium to facilitate the retrieval of materials and are developing a new online Herbarium database. The project is supported by NSF grant DBI-0840406.
  • Diatoms of the North-Eastern Asia
    In cooperation with scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences we study diatoms of the North-Eastern Asia. So far, we collected diatoms from Kamchatka, Commander Islands, and the Magadan District. Our collections provide an essential baseline for biogeographic studies and for studying the impacts of climate change in the North. This research is supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding for collaborative research on ecosystem monitoring in the Russian North-East.

Ms. Alison Minerovic: Collections Manager


Alison manages daily Herbarium operations, handles loans and acquisitions, maintains the Diatom New Taxon File, works on the new database for DNTF, and website content.