Research position in aquatic ecology and metagenomics – Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy

The Fondazione Edmund Mach – Istituto Agrario di S. Michele all’Adige is looking for 1 temporary position for 30 months as Researcher (R4) in the field of aquatic ecology and metagenomic in the framework of the project ASP569 Eco-AlpsWater (250_CRI_AE).

The candidate will collaborate with the FEM researchers involved in the project Eco-AlpsWater during the activities of collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) samples, bioinformatic analysis of metagenomic data, statistical analysis of biological and environmental data. Moreover, the candidate will support the coordinator (N. Salmaso) in all the activities connected with the management of the project.

DEADLINE for applications: September 16, 2018

Call and application materials:

Response of Natural Cyanobacteria and Algae Assemblages to a Nutrient Pulse and Elevated Temperature

Abstract from a recent paper by Lurling et al., published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

“Eutrophication (nutrient over-enrichment) is the primary worldwide water quality issue often leading to nuisance cyanobacterial blooms. Climate change is predicted to cause further rise of cyanobacteria blooms as cyanobacteria can have a competitive advantage at elevated temperatures. We tested the hypothesis that simultaneous rise in nutrients and temperature will promote cyanobacteria more than a single increase in one of the two drivers. To this end, controlled experiments were run with seston from 39 different urban water bodies varying in trophic state from mesotrophic to hypertrophic. These experiments were carried out at two different temperatures, 20°C (ambient) and 25°C (warming scenario) with or without the addition of a surplus of nutrients (eutrophication scenario). To facilitate comparisons, we quantified the effect size of the different treatments, using cyanobacterial and algal chlorophyll a concentrations as a response variable. Cyanobacterial and algal chlorophyll a concentrations were determined with a PHYTO-PAM phytoplankton analyzer. Warming caused an 18% increase in cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a, while algal chlorophyll-a concentrations were on average 8% higher at 25°C than at 20°C. A nutrient pulse had a much stronger effect on chlorophyll-a concentrations than warming. Cyanobacterial chlorophyll-a concentrations in nutrient enriched incubations at 20 or 25°C were similar and 9 times higher than in the incubations without nutrient pulse. Likewise, algal chlorophyll-a concentrations were 6 times higher. The results of this study confirm that warming alone yields marginally higher cyanobacteria chlorophyll-a concentrations, yet that a pulse of additional nutrients is boosting blooms. The responses of seston originating from mesotrophic waters seemed less strong than those from eutrophic waters, which indicates that nutrient control strategies –catchment as well as in-system measures– could increase the resilience of surface waters to the negative effects of climate change.”


Lürling Miquel, Mello Mariana Mendes e, van Oosterhout Frank, de Senerpont Domis Lisette, Marinho Marcelo M. (2018). Response of Natural Cyanobacteria and Algae Assemblages to a Nutrient Pulse and Elevated Temperature. Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 1851.

Algae blooms and climate change

A brief summary about the role of climate change on algae blooms written for the general public, is published by Climate Central.

“Algae occur naturally in most bodies of freshwater and saltwater. It’s normally fairly harmless, but the right combination of warm water, high nutrient levels, and adequate sunlight combined can cause a harmful algae bloom. These blooms can damage aquatic ecosystems by blocking sunlight and depleting oxygen that other organisms need to survive. Some algae, like red algae and blue-green algae, can produce toxins that damage the human nervous system and the liver (and they also stink — literally)………..”

Read the report here.


The Principle and Value of the European Multi Lake Survey

Abstract from a recent paper by E. Mantzouki & B. Ibelings, published in  Limnology & Oceanography Bulletin  (ASLO):

On‐going global warming and eutrophication are expected to promote cyanobacterial dominance worldwide. Although increased lake temperature and nutrients are well‐established drivers of blooms, the mechanisms that determine cyanobacterial biomass are complex, with potentially direct, indirect, and interactive effects. Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that constitute a considerable risk for animal and human health and thus a substantial economic cost if we are to ensure safe drinking water. Such global range phenomena should be studied at a wide spatial scale, to directly compare phytoplankton response in different lake types across contrasting climatic zones. The European Multi Lake Survey (EMLS) sought to harness the power of group science in order to sample lakes across Europe and disentangle the effect of environmental stressors on potentially toxic cyanobacterial blooms. The first EMLS results showed that the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins and the toxic potential in lakes will be highly dependent on direct and indirect effects of temperature. If nutrients are not regulated, then they may interact synergistically with increased lake temperatures to promote cyanobacterial growth more than that of other phytoplankton taxa. Providing continental scale evidence is highly significant for the development of robust models that could predict cyanobacterial or algal response to environmental change.


Mantzouki, E. and Ibelings, B. W. (2018), The Principle and Value of the European Multi Lake Survey. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin. . doi:10.1002/lob.10259

Webinar: Understanding, Tracking, and Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms – August 8, 2018

The North Central Region Water Network organizes a webinar titled “Understanding, Tracking, and Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms”.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) can have serious repercussions for animal and human health. Their increasing presence has been linked to multiple events such as nutrient runoff, climate change, invasive species, and disturbed ecosystems. This webinar will look at what researchers are currently doing to predict when these blooms might occur; how these blooms are affecting inland waters and the Great Lakes; and how stakeholders and citizens are helping scientists track these harmful algal blooms.

Register today!

Many thanks to Dr. Lesley D’Anglada for sharing this information through the US EPA Freshwater HABs Newsletter.

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Taxonomy and Molecular Phylogeny of Marine Macroalgae, São Paulo, Brazil

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is looking for a post-doc to develop research project at the Center for Research in Phycology, under the supervision of Dr Mutue Toyota Fujii, aiming to diagnose the seaweed biodiversity and to certify the identifications of scientific collections of the Institute of Botany, through morphological and molecular data.

See detaila about this positon in the Euraxess webpage.

VIDEO: Tools for Addressing the Risks of Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water

U.S. EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking water recently released a video that provides an overview of available tools to support proactive planning for cyanotoxin management in drinking water; watch the video here.

Many thanks to Dr. Lesley D’Anglada, US EPA, Editor of the Freshwater HABs Newsletter  for sharing this information.


Health and Climate Change: 1st Scientific Symposium, Rome, 3-5 December 2018

The First Scientific Symposium on “Health and Climate Change is organized by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, on 3-5 December 2018.

The aim of the Symposium is to promote an intersectoral and multidisciplinary approach to estimate, and to prevent, climate change-related events as well as to prepare the authorities to put in place measures to reduce adverse health effects.

Registration to the Conference is Free.

The deadline for abstract submission is extended to 16 August 2018.

For more details, visit the Symposium’s website.

CyanoVir2018 Workshop, held on 3-6 July in Krakow, Poland

A Workshop titled “CyanoVir2018” was held in the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland on 3-6 July 2018. The Chairman of Scientific Committee was Dariusz Dziga andal Organizing Committee members were Anna Maksylewicz, Aleksandra Tlałka, Adam Antosiak.

The main topics of CyanoVir2018 were:

– The interaction between marine toxic cyanobacteria and cyanophages
– Adaptation of toxic cyanobacteria to the chill/light stress
– Extraction, isolation and characterization of bioactive metabolites from cyanobacteria
– The analysis and interpretation of MS spectra of cyanobacterial peptides
– The integration of best practices to block cyanobacterial overgrowth
– Terrestrial cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial secondary metabolites as biomarkers for paleoclimatic reconstruction
– Analysis of RNA-seq data and bacteriophage genome annotations

Invited speakers included J. Meriluoto, Z. Svircev, H. Mazur-Marzec, M. Antoniou, A. Toruńska, K. Kvederavičiūtė, E. Šimoliūnas, N. Tokodi, D. Drobac and Krzysztof Pyrć.

You can download the flyer of Cyanovir 2018 here.