Washington State University


Stream monitoring >Student projects

Student Projects

Be at the leading edge and do original research. Here are some ideas for projects for students doing an independent studies project, a science fair project, a group project for a class, or an exercise for the whole class.

  • How susceptible are common aquatic plants to Phytophthora species, and particularly P. ramorum?  This could involve identifying aquatic species for testing and lab inoculation studies.
  • Doing a stream water temperature sequence, i.e. what species are found at various temperatures?  When is the water at the optimum temperature for testing for P. ramorum?
  • How does the streamside vegetation affect Oomycete species diversity in streams? What other characteristics are important? These can include water chemistry, substrate, microbial community... Are urban streams different from streams in remote areas? Can species of Phytophthora and Pythium be used as "indicator species" for various land uses?
  • Basic science projects related to Phytophthora gonapodyides, Pythium undulatum, and Pythium "group F" , the most commonly found species in streams. These studies can include pathogenicity tests, colony growth and morphology studies, etc.  (This could be a subject for a high school or college senior project).
  • Studies on P. gonapodyides and its potential to cause disease, especially on conifer species.  This could include inoculation of field-grown and potted trees, culture growth studies. 
  • Abundance of Saprolegnia spp. in streams, including near fish hatcheries. Does the presence of a hatchery increase inoculum loads in streams?
  • Using molecular techniques to identify species of Phytophthora
  • Further studies on behavior of P. ramorum in seawater and brackish water.
  • Further studies on using disinfectants on shoes to prevent movement of inoculum.
  • The effects of temperature on growth and sporulation of various Phytophthora and Pythium species.


Other ideas? email Marianne



Contact: Gary Chastagner, 253-445-4528 | WSU Puyallup Research & Extension Center,2606 West Pioneer, Puyallup, WA, 98371-4998 USA