The Algae is always Greener: Effects of Light Cycles on Cell Density

Emily Parkinson, Adam Roby, Kristina Unruh, Tanner Scott, Jeremy Kaplan


Algae is a photosynthetic organism that can be found in all aquatic systems. The process of photosynthesis allows algae to use sunlight as energy and produce sugar. The higher exposure to light, the greater chance for photosynthesis to occur, which will result in more algae growth. We are investigating the effect of light exposure on the cell density, or growth, of algae. Our control group consists of a sample of algae that was exposed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Two samples made up the experimental group. One sample had no available light and the other was exposed to 24-hour light. We are measuring the cell density of each sample over three weeks in each condition. We hypothesized that the sample exposed to constant light for three weeks would produce the most growth. Our results were not supported by our hypothesis as well as with any research we found. The algae that was placed in complete darkness produced the most growth, while the control had the least. 

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