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NCCOS Leads International Effort to Reduce Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

To reduce incidence of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) and increase safety of seafood consumption around the world, scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are leading international efforts to develop a global strategy to improve Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) monitoring and prediction. The strategy, endorsed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, was one of […]

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Tenacity of Brown Tides Linked to Genetic Flexibility

The genetic flexibility of Aureococcus anophagefferens, the harmful alga responsible for “brown tides” off Long Island, allows it to thrive in conditions other algae cannot tolerate. NCCOS-sponsored scientists assessed this alga’s response to environmental stressors, such as low nutrients and low light, by looking at pieces of its RNA, which tell Aureococcus which proteins to […]

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Congress Reauthorizes National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Legislation

On June 17, 2014, Congress passed a reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)—legislation last reauthorized in 2004. HABHRCA is critical for protecting the public from these environmental events, as well as furthering NOAA’s goals to maintain healthy oceans and build resilient coastal communities and economies. In a roll call […]

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Toxins Detection Workshop Promotes International Trade of Shellfish

NCCOS scientist Tina Mikulski recently led a workshop in Muscat, Oman, on the detection of paralytic shellfish toxins—which can accumulate in shellfish, causing human illness and death. Shellfish must be screened for these toxins (produced by harmful algae in the genus Alexandrium) prior to sale and consumption. The workshop was designed through a formal agreement between […]

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Forensic Genomics Used to Identify Causes of Ocean Mass Mortality Events

Fish and invertebrate mass mortality events are increasing in coastal zones worldwide, but in many cases it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of death. Toxic spills, hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen), disease outbreaks, and toxin-producing harmful algal blooms possibly cause these events, but it is critical from a management and response perspective to accurately […]

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Working with State to Document First Occurrence of Harmful Karenia mikimotoi Algae in Alaskan Waters

Starting in late Sept. 2013, a bloom of the phytoplankton Karenia mikimotoi began, progressed, and ultimately covered most of Kachemak Bay, Alaska. The bloom caused the water to turn brown and foam at the surface for several weeks, causing concern in local communities. In response, the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the NCCOS […]

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Programmed Cell Death and the Decline of Harmful Algal Blooms

Programmed cell death, or self-induced cell mortality, is the subject of increasing attention and research efforts. All phytoplankton blooms decline for a variety of reasons—nutrient depletion, zooplankton grazing, virus infections, sedimentation—but programmed cell death as a means to bloom termination is a new concept, and one not well understood. Dr. Deana Erdner, an NCCOS-sponsored researcher […]

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NCCOS Research in Today’s Rapidly Changing Global Environment

Two national science conferences recently highlighted NCCOS research: The theme at the 7th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the United States (Oct. 27–31, 2013; Sarasota, FL) was harmful algal blooms (HABs) in a changing world, especially a more acidic one. NCCOS HAB scientists and sponsored researchers  organized, advised,  chaired sessions, and presented some 13 oral […]

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