Understanding the Effects of Natural Pesticides on Bacterial Colonies in Aquaponics Systems

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Nicholas Sirlouis Julio Landero


By Nicholas Sirlouis, Biological Sciences

Advisor: Julio Landero

Presentation ID: AM_ATRIUM16

Abstract: Aquaponics is a form of alternative agriculture that creates a symbiotic relationship between fish, plants, and bacteria to efficiently produce food without requiring the space, water, and fertilizer inputs necessary for traditional agriculture. Aquaponics has the potential to ease the demand on many resources if implemented on a larger scale. Though if these systems are to become widespread, options for pesticides must be considered. Preliminary studies have shown neem oil, an organic, FDA-approved pesticide to have great potential to work well for aquaponics systems, something not seen in the past. The focus of this study is to understand the effects of neem oil on the colonies and different species of nitrifying bacteria in the aquaponics systems. Four test systems will be treated with varying levels of neem oil and compared with two control systems. Bacteria levels will be tested, sampled, and speciated to determine the result of neem oil on these crucial nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

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AM Poster Session -- Atrium -- Sustainability & Biodiversity