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Projects

ECOHAB: GOMTOX: Dynamics of Alexandrium fundyense ...

Extensive shellfish resources in the Gulf of Maine are frequently contaminated with toxins produced by the red tide dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense. Shellfish harvesting must be closed to protect public health ...

Ecophysiology and Toxicity of the Toxic Alga Heter...

We are identifying toxins and environmental factors causing fish-killing blooms by the alga Heterosigma akashiwo in Puget Sound. We develop tools to improve monitoring, early warning, and mitigation to prevent ...

Effects and Discovery of Chronic Domoic Acid Expos...

Domoic acid, a naturally occurring marine neurotoxin, threatens the health of marine mammals, seabirds, and humans via severe and long-term yet low-level exposure through the food web. Researchers discovered a ...

Establishing the Sources of Toxic Cyanobacteria Bl...

Although phosphorus typically limits the growth of freshwater phytoplankton populations, little is known about how the common toxic alga Microcystis aeruginosa responds to variations in phosphorus concentrations and sources. Our ...

How will Climate Change Affect Harmful Algal Speci...

We are supporting research that will determine how future increases in temperature and ocean acidity will affect harmful algal bloom species (HABs) and their grazers. Light micrograph of Karlodinium veneficum ...

Integrating Cell and Toxin Cycles of the Dinoflage...

Blooms of Karlodinium veneficum can produce fish-killing toxins called karlotoxins. Toxicity varies over time, with karlotoxins increasing prior to blooms and under growth-limiting conditions. We are testing the theory that ...

Interannual Variability of PSP Toxicity in Eastern...

The Gulf of Maine is impacted annually by Alexandrium fundyense blooms which can result in paralytic shellfish poisoning. Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) leads to significant economic impacts. The paralytic shellfish ...

Investigating Domoic Acid Biosynthesis and Toxic B...

The marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia (PN) produces domoic acid (DA), a neurotoxin that has caused widespread human poisoning along the northeast and northwest coasts of the contiguous U.S. Researchers have investigated ...

Life and Death of Karenia brevis Blooms in the Eas...

An extensive bloom of the brevetoxin-producing Karenia brevis occurred from 2017 to 2019 in Florida. The economic, environmental, and human health impacts were quite severe during this event. This regional ...

Life and Death of a Karenia Bloom in the Western G...

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing in frequency and pose a threat to human and environmental health. Blooms of Karenia brevis occur nearly annually along the Florida coast which has ...

News

Study Confirms Red Tide’s Self-sustaining Seasonal...

An NCCOS-sponsored study has validated a 40-year old theory that the Chesapeake Bay bloom-forming harmful alga Prorocentrum minimum has a seasonal life strategy that depends on physical transport by estuarine ...

New Study Finds Growing Potential for Toxic Algal ...

Satellite image of Bering Sea algal bloom. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE. Changes in the northern Alaskan Arctic ocean environment have reached a point ...

Florida's HAB Problem: Why are HABs so Prevalent i...

A new publication, sponsored in part by NCCOS, reviews the history and status of harmful algal blooms in Florida, why they occur, the main species of concern and management challenges ...

Ice Seals as Sentinels for Algal Toxins in the Pac...

An NCCOS-supported study detected the algal toxins domoic acid and saxitoxin in three out of four species of ice seals in western and northern Alaska. The finding suggests that ice ...

Report on U.S. Marine HABs: History, Current Statu...

NCCOS recently supported a review of the status of marine HAB problems in the U.S., part of a global statistical analysis of harmful algal blooms (HAB) events. The study relies ...

Harmful Algal Bloom Symposium Highlights Early Car...

Credit: 10.5 U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae Planning Committee. The 10.5 U.S. Symposium on Harmful Algae held at the end of May showcased the work of students, postdoctoral, and early ...

Research Paper Deemed One of Special Significance ...

A research paper, supported in part by NCCOS, measuring the metabolic cost to a red tide dinoflagellate to defend itself against predation (consumption) has been recommended by the prestigious Faculty ...

Ecosystem Approach to Everglades Water Flow Needed...

A new study partially funded by the NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program describes the various stressors that have impacted South Florida ecosystems over the last ...

Toxic Alga Dinophysis an Emerging Threat to Human ...

Mesodinium rubrum (left cell) captured by Dinophysis cf. ovum. Modified from Mafra Jr. et al. 2016. The toxic dinoflagellate alga Dinophysis threatens human health and coastal economies through the production ...

Understanding HABs Under Climate Change Requires N...

A new book compiles the current evidence on climate change and toxin producing harmful algal species in aquatic systems. A book chapter, sponsored in part by NCCOS, describes some of ...

Products

Maps, Tools & Applications

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Data & Publications

Environmental controls, oceanography and population dynamics of pathogens and harmful algal blooms: Connecting sources to human exposure

Coupled physical-biological models are capable of linking the complex interactions between environmental factors and physical hydrodynamics to simulate the growth, toxicity and transport of infectious pathogens and harmful algal blooms (HABs). Such simulations can be used to assess and predict ...

Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps (eMOLT): long-term observations of New England's bottom-water temperatures

Nearly one hundred New England lobstermen have installed temperature sensors on their traps to record hourly values at fixed locations since 2001. These moorings are distributed primarily along the shelf edge in the northern Mid-Atlantic Bight and along the entire ...

Investigation of 2006 Alexandrium fundyense bloom in the Gulf of Maine: In-situ observations and numerical modeling

In-situ observations and a coupled bio-physical model were used to study the germination, initiation, and development of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) Alexandrium fundyense bloom in 2006. Hydrographic measurements and comparisons with GOM climatology indicate that 2006 was a year ...

Model initialization in a tidally energetic regime: A dynamically adjusted objective analysis

A simple improvement to objective analysis of hydrographic data is proposed to eliminate spatial aliasing effects in tidally energetic regions. The proposed method consists of the evaluation of anomalies from observations with respect to circulation model fields. The procedure is ...

Model Simulations of the Bay of Fundy Gyre: 2. Hindcasts for 2005-2007 Reveal Interannual Variability in Retentiveness

A persistent gyre at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy results from a combination of tidal rectification and buoyancy forcing. Here we assess recent interannual variability in the strength of the gyre using data assimilative model simulations. Realistic hindcast ...

Models of harmful algal blooms: Conceptual, empirical, and numerical approaches

In June 2009, a workshop was convened under the auspices of the Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (GEOHAB) program to develop strategies for using observations and models to address the science questions articulated in the Open Science ...

Models: Tools for synthesis in international oceanographic research programs

Through its promotion of coordinated international research programs, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has facilitated major progress on some of the most challenging problems in oceanography. Issues of global significance—such as general ocean circulation, the carbon cycle, the structure and ...

Outbreeding lethality between toxic Group I and nontoxic Group III Alexandrium tamarense spp. isolates: predominance of heterotypic encystment and implications for mating interactions and biogeography

We report the zygotic encystment of geographically dispersed isolates in the dinoflagellate species complex Alexandrium tamarense, in particular, successful mating of toxic Group I and nontoxic Group III isolates. However, hypnozygotes produced in Group I/III co-cultures complete no more than ...

Parameter estimation using an ensemble smoother: the effect of the circulation in biological estimation

An ensemble smoother is used to estimate the initial conditions and mortality rates for a spatially explicit model of Alexandrium fundyense. The data assimilation procedure is effective at reducing model-data misfit in this strong constraint problem formulation. The skill of ...

Pathways between primary production and fisheries yields of large marine ecosystems

The shift in marine resource management from a compartmentalized approach of dealing with resources on a species basis to an approach based on management of spatially defined ecosystems requires an accurate accounting of energy flow. The flow of energy from ...

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