Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science

Degree Name

Marine Science

First Advisor

George Ducan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jose Lopez, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Donald McCorquodale, Ph.D.


fecal pollution, PCR, qPCR, HF183


One type of pollution that has a negative impact on the environmental waters originates from fecal contamination. Identifying the source of pollution is an important step in effective resource management, mitigation, and reducing risk to human health. Microbial source tracking (MST) can be used to identify fecal pollution and to identify specific microbes in the environment and the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) can be utilized in this analysis. In this pilot study the New River waterway, running through the City of Fort Lauderdale, was tested for a human specific bacteria Bacteroids, using the TaqMan HF183 qPCR assay (HF183/BFDrev). The water samples from six sites along the New River, South Fork New River, and North New River Canal were tested for the presence of HF183 from grab samples taken every other day for a 30-day period between March 11 through April 10th 2019. In this preliminary study, the quantity of HF183 was estimated to be greater than 100 targets/100mL, which is the risk threshold for human illness and indicates a need for further study of the New River waterways. It is recommended to take samples along the New River, South Fork of the New River and North New River Canal under various conditions such as at times of the year with different water temperatures, daylight versus evening along with wet versus dry conditions.