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Projects

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How will Climate Change Affect Harmful Algal Speci...

We are supporting research that will determine how future increases in temperature increases and ocean acidity will affect harmful algal bloom species (HABs) and their grazers. Light micrograph of Karlodinium ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Linking Biogeochemistry to Harmful Algal Bloom Nut...

The Long Island Brown Tide (LIBT) threatens shellfish and sea grasses in mid-Atlantic estuaries. LIBT-specific gene expression assays are being developed and tested for enzymes and transporters that allow LIBT ...
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News

Toxicity of the Dinoflagellate Alexandrium Control...

A new study supported by NCCOS shows that the presence of zooplankton grazers dramatically increases toxin production in the marine dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella, a species notorious for its paralytic shellfish ...
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Algae with Mixed Feeding Capabilities May have Adv...

New NCCOS-sponsored research shows the importance of “mixotrophy”—the ability to photosynthesize like a plant and consume like an animal—to the growth of some single-celled organisms, such as the toxic dinoflagellate ...
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Study Evaluates Technologies for Early Warning of ...

Passive solid-phase adsorption toxin tracking, or SPATT, employs a synthetic resin contained in a mesh bag that adsorbs dissolved biotoxins from the water. The SPATT resin bags can be suspended ...
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New Research from NCCOS Could Improve Survival of ...

The threatened Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, inhabits coastal environments where blooms of the toxic red tide dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, frequently occur. K. brevis produces a suite of neurotoxins, called ...
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NCCOS Announces FY19 Federal Funding Opportunities

The NCCOS Competitive Research Program is pleased to announce its Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs) in two areas of research: harmful algal blooms, and the ecological effects of ...
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$11.75M Awarded for Ocean Acidification, Coral Eco...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) are pleased to announce a total of $4.37 million in funding for 16 new research awards in Fiscal Year 2018, with an ...
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NCCOS Funds $6.8M for New and Continuing Harmful A...

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is pleased to announce support for 28 new and continuing harmful algal bloom (HAB) research awards in 2018. These awards, totaling $6.8M, ...
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NCCOS Joins NOAA Tribal Roundtable for Shinnecock ...

The Great Seal of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. (Credit Shinnecock Indian Nation) NCCOS and NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Collaboration Team (NART) relayed the relevance of the agency’s work and mission ...
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NCCOS Awards $1.7M to Harmful Algal Bloom and Toxi...

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) awarded $1.68M (million) in Fiscal Year 2017 funding for nine research projects to identify conditions increasing bloom toxicity, model toxin movement from ...
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Robots Help Locate Origins of Shellfish Toxicity i...

Scientists deployed four underwater robotic Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs) in the Bay of Fundy and the eastern Gulf of Maine at the end of last month. The ESPs count the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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General Pages

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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