Molly Lane defends her thesis assessing qPCR method for E. coli measurement
On October 24, 2019, graduate student Molly Lane successfully defended her master’s thesis, titled "The implementation of qPCR beach monitoring methods: analysis of a multi lab validation study and the role of environmental parameters on a comparison of Colilert and qPCR methods". Her thesis committee members included Drs. Rick Rediske, James McNair, and Charlyn Partridge from AWRI and Dr. Daniel Frobish from GVSU’s Department of Statistics.
Molly’s research centered around a new EPA rapid method (Draft Method C) that uses a Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) for measuring E. coli in beach water. She assessed results from a multi-lab validation study and found that the method can be implemented by labs with varying degrees of qPCR experience and that the method would provide accurate and reliable results. She also investigated the role of environmental variables on E. coli concentrations measured with both an approved and the new qPCR method at inland lake and Lake Michigan beaches. E. coli levels were impacted differently depending on the environmental variable and quantification method which informs water quality predictive models used to close beaches.
Molly has been hired as an Adjunct Research Assistant in the Rediske Lab at AWRI. Her focus will be to author papers for the qPCR Beach Research Network pertaining to the development and implementation of Draft Method C. She also will gain additional experience with microbial source tracking (MST) methods.
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