Florence K.


Emeritus faculty
Plant and Microbial Biology

Research interests

My lab is investigating natural products produced by cyanobacteria.  We have found that at least half of all cyanobacteria isolated from the environment show inhibitory activity against other photosynthetic organisms and some non-photosynthetic microorganisms.  Using bioassay-guided fractionation, we are currently isolating and characterizing these active metabolites.

Eurasian milfoil and curly leaf pondweed are two invasive aquatic plants that grow to nuisance levels in many North American lakes.   Although methods such as treatment with herbicides and harvesting are used to control the growth of these plants, they are only marginally effective and also affect non-target organisms.  We are currently studying the factors that control dormancy in the vegetative buds of curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispis) to find a more defined and long term control method for this invasive plant.

Selected publications

Marko, M.D., Newman, R.M., Gleason, F. K. (2005) Chemically mediated host-plant selection by the milfoil weevil: a freshwater insect-plant interaction. J. Chem. Ecol.31:2857-2876.

Marko, M.D., Gross, E.M., Newman, R.M., Gleason, F.K. (2008) Chemical profile of the North American native Myriophyllum sibiricum compared to the invasive M. spicatum. Aquatic Botany, 88:57-65.

Blumer, D. L., Newman, R.M., Gleason, F.K. (2009) Can hot water be used to kill Eurasian watermilfoil?  J. Aq. Plant Management, 47:122-127.

Lee, E-S.J., and Gleason, F.K. (1994) A second algicidal natural product from the cyanobacterium, Scytonema hofmanni, Plant Science, 103:155-160.