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Ocean Water

Brandi Kamermans (Cron), Ph.D.

Postdoc in molecular research

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I am a Postdoc and Molecular Researcher at Northwest Indian College on the Lummi main campus at the Salish Sea Research Center (SSRC). I monitor harmful agal bloom species in Bellingham and Lummi Bay using molecular techniques. I am currently working on refining qPCR methods to detect and quantify Longfin Smelt (Hoolies) in the Nooksack River and Bellingham Bay. 

Protocols for monitoring harmful algal bloom species and Hoolies will provide food and data sovereignty for the Lummi Nation.

Research Interests

As a postdoc and molecular researcher at the Salish Sea Research Center I use environmental DNA (eDNA) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) techniques to detect and quantify microalgae and a species of anadromous fish in Bellingham and Lummi Bay. The research I conduct is deemed a high priority by the leadership of tribes served by Northwest Indian College. The Lummi community members consider harmful algae blooms and management of Longfin Smelt issues that are most important to them.


It is my career goal to contextualize genetic research and make it relevant to indigenous communities. As well as provide them with the resources they need for both data sovereignty and governance.  

As a biogeochemist, I have used and become an expert in a variety of different imaging and spectroscopy tools. I also have expertise characterizing abiotic and biotic mineral precipitates in subsurface cave systems and deep-sea hydrothermal vents, using X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) and X-ray diffraction.


Boat sampling

Hooligan sampling

Once hearty 'hooligans' declining in the Salish Sea: A river spawning species of forage fish known as the longfin smelt is rare and getting rarer in the Salish Sea. Biologists are looking into the mysterious decline of the ‘hooligans’ of the Nooksack.

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