Robin Sleith, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist
Phone: +1 (207) 315-2567, ext. 417

For media inquiries, please contact

Research Interests

I am interested in the many ways in which algae impact our lives, from their beneficial role at the base of the food web and incredible production of global oxygen, to their negative impacts in freshwater and marine ecosystems. My research utilizes molecular and computational approaches to address questions of algal diversity, evolution, and ecology. This work has included genotyping invasive freshwater algae to identify source populations, exploring the diversity of protists in pitcher plants, and investigating the symbiotic relationship between green algae and testate amoeba.

My current work is with the Maine environmental DNA project, a multi-institutional initiative that seeks to better understand Maine’s coastal ecosystems. My focus is on harmful algal blooms in coastal ecosystems, which impact recreation, aquaculture, and more. Using a combination of eDNA tools such as metabarcoding and quantitative PCR, we are testing ecological hypotheses around the boom and bust dynamics underlying these blooms in marine and freshwater ecosystems. Ultimately, we want to understand the factors that promote or impede formation of harmful algal blooms to better forecast and manage these events.