ICHA2018 – Abstract submission is open !

The 18th International Conference on Harmful Algae – ICHA2018 will be held on 21-26 October in Nantes, France. The Chair (Philipp Hess – Ifremer) and Scientific Committee of the conference have issued call for abstract submission that is now open.

A Preliminary Agenda of the Conference is also available in ICHA2018 website. The agenda includes keynote, plenary and parallel presentations, poster exhibitions and related activities, and it is complemented by a social program and cultural tours in and around the beautiful city of Nantes.

ICHA2018 is an excellent opportunity for interactions between freshwater and marine-HAB experts from all over the world. We expect that many CYANOCOST members will participate, so we are looking forward to meet again in Nantes!

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 April 2018.


Metabolic solutions to the biosynthesis of BMAA and 2,4-DAB in cyanobacteria

The pathways of BMAA (and the related 2,4-DAB) biosynthesis in cyanobacteria are not known. A recent review by Peter Nunn and Geoffrey Codd considers possible metabolic routes, by analogy with reactions used in other species, by which these amino acids might be biosynthesised by cyanobacteria, which are a widespread potential environmental source of these neurotoxins.

Reference: Nunn, P. B. and Codd, G. A. (2017). “Metabolic solutions to the biosynthesis of some diaminomonocarboxylic acids in nature: Formation in cyanobacteria of the neurotoxins 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB)”. Phytochemistry 144, 253-270.


Microcystin-LR included in the proposed revision of the Drinking Water Directive !

The European Commission has issued a proposal for a Directive on the Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption. The proposal is a recast of Directive 98/83/EC, which was amended in 2003, 2009 and 2015.

Microcystin-LR is included in the proposal as a “Chemical Parameter”, with a parametric value of 1μg/L, along with other organic compounds that are added in the list (Bisphenol A, Haloacetic acids, Nonylphenol, PFAS). Performance criteria for determination of MC-LR are specified as 30% uncertainty at the parametric value, while methods should comply to the requirements of ISO 17025.

Inclusion of MC-LR in the proposed Directive is a result of increased occurrence of microcystins in European waters and beyond, as well as of increased awareness of the health risks and hazards associated with toxic cyanobacteria. CYANOCOST has significant contributions in this field, including two books on chemical analysis of cyanotoxins and molecular detection of toxigenic cyanobacteria and many joint parers on cyanotoxin research. Since 2012, CYANOCOST has also contributed in raising awareness of cyanotoxins in Europe; in this sense, the proposed Directive is rewarding of the vast amount of voluntarily work done within the Network and highlights the important societal impact of COST Actions.

The proposed Directive is under public consultation till 2 April 2018. You can download the related documents and submit your feedback here.



Just published : January 2018 issue of the “Freshwater HABs Newsletter” (US-EPA) (available online)

The January 2018 Issue of the US-EPA “Freshwater HABs Newsletter” (published by Dr. Lesley V. D’Anglada) is now available through the USEPA’s CyanoHABs Website.

It features the new International Benthic HABs Workgroup, the Great Lakes HABs collaboratory Video, the open-accesss CYANOCOST special issue in AOL, upcoming events, published articles and important links.

You can download the Newsletter here.


Dionysios (Dion) Dionysiou and a research team of University of Cincinnati have been awarded an NSF grant to develop sensors for Microcystins.

Dr. Dionysios (Dion) Dionysiou of the University of Cincinnati (UC), member of CYANOCOST, together with co-PIs Dr. William R. Heineman and  Dr. Vesselin Shanov have been granted a National Science Foundation (NSF) award to develop sensors for hepatotoxic Microcystins.  The news is are shared from the UC webpage:

“An interdisciplinary team of University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers has been awarded a $359,951 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop sensors to address a crucial environmental problem in monitoring toxins in water.

“We are honored to receive support from NSF. The award will allow us to continue our research activities and directly advance the knowledge and understanding while also promoting teaching, training and learning at UC. Through this research effort, we look forward to creating vital solutions in the realm of water quality and we hope to get closer to presenting a point-of-care sensor for environmental applications to UC and the scientific community,” said Dr. Dionysios D. Dionysiou, leader and principal investigator of this grant.

This project aims to create nanostructured biosensors for selective identification and quantification of toxins in water. Two outcomes are targeted: 1) demonstrate nanostructured sensors for point-of-use determination of toxic compounds, and 2) validate sensor performance with real-world water samples. The fabricated device will be evaluated for its ability to detect and quantify toxins in natural surface water obtained from various freshwater aquatic systems that experience severe occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms.”

Congratulations to Dion and co-PIs !!! We are looking forward to receiving results and news from this exciting project !

Read the full post in UC website here.

Vasileia Vogiazi




Position as a researcher in marine and coastal lagoon ecology – Sardinia, Italy

The deadline for applications for the position as a researcher in marine and coastal lagoon ecology has been extended to 31 January 2018.

One post-graduate researcher position is available at the Foundation IMC International Marine Centre in Oristano, Sardinia, Italy (http://www.fondazioneimc.it/) in the field of sustainable management and conservation of Mediterranean coastal marine and lagoon environments.

We are seeking for a researcher with expertise in ecology of marine organisms and transitional aquatic environments. In particular, the successful candidate will have to evaluate the interactions between ecological processes and human activities in Mediterranean coastal-marine and lagoon environments assessing environmental quality of marine and transitional areas.


The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • assess the impacts of fishing and aquaculture activities on marine and coastal lagoon environments;
  • monitor and characterize benthic assemblages and fish communities in coastal marine and lagoon environment;
  • assess biotic and abiotic factors affecting benthic assemblages.

The position’s description and application form can be found here.

Available now ! Updated list of CYANOCOST publications – 201 published items

A complete list of all publications that acknowledge CYANOCOST as of December 2017 is now available in the “Publications” page of cyanocost.net. The list contains as much as 201 published items, with citations and DOI links.

It includes:

– 86 peer-reviewed papers in various journals

– 15 papers of the CYANOCOST Special Issue in Aquatic Ecology

– 14 papers of the CYANOCOST Special Issue in AIOL

– 66 Chapters and SOPs of the Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis

– 16 Chapters of the Molecular Tools for the Detection and Quantification of Toxigenic Cyanobacteria

– 3 other book chapters

– the Potentially Toxic Cyanobacteria in inland waters of Slovenia book

– a publicized article.

The list is available as a pdf file with DOI links to the publisher’s websites, as well as a compressed (.zip) EndNote library.

As the CYANOCOST library is still being populated, you are welcome to submit your papers that acknowledge CYANOCOST to be included in the next update of the library.

Download the pdf file.

Download the EndNote library.


PhD Position: Freshwater Plankton Biodiversity – Univ. of Cologne, Germany

At the Cologne Biocenter, a 3-year, DFG funded PhD project is available within the priority programme SPP1704 “DynaTrait” for a research project on Trait-related feedback dynamics in natural plankton communities. The project involves field work (mesocosm experiments), laboratory experiments and analyses in the laboratory using methods of analytical chemistry and molecular biology.
Successful candidates should have a strong background in ecology, biodiversity research or related fields. Experience in plankton ecology, analytical chemistry (GC, HPLC) and statistical methods are desirable. A strong ability for conceptual thinking and experimental design is essential. Further, a Diploma or MSc degree in Natural Sciences is required; a driving licence (for the field work) would be advantageous. The position is based in Cologne, but willingness to travel for field work to Bavaria is expected. Proficiency in English is essential, additional knowledge in German is helpful, but not mandatory.

The position is funded with 65% of German TVL-13 salary level for 3 years It is available starting March 2018.
Applications should be in English and include a cover letter, C.V., and names and contact-details of two references. Please submit applications electronically to patrick.fink@uni-koeln.de until February 2nd, 2018. Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Physically handicapped persons will be given preference in case of equal qualification.

You can download the position description here.

Contact: Dr. Patrick Fink
University of Cologne
Workgroup Aquatic Chemical Ecology
Zülpicher Strasse 47b
50674 Köln, Germany
E-mail: patrick.fink@uni-koeln.de


Postdoc position for the analysis of microcystins in fish, Toronto, Canada

Dear colleagues,

We are looking to fill in a postdoctoral position at the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (Toronto). The successful candidate will work on a project to develop and validate a method for the analysis of microcystins in fish, analyze a variety of experimental and environmental fish samples, interpret the results and publish findings in peer-reviewed scientific literature. The ideal candidate would have broad experience/knowledge in method development, sample preparation and mass spectrometry. The position is for one-year with potential to extend for additional 6 months. To apply for the position (with CV and transcript) or for more information please contact Dr. Xavier Ortiz via email (xavier.ortiz@ontario.ca).

Please feel free to share this opportunity with anyone you think may be interested in.


Xavier Ortiz Almirall, Ph.D.

Development Scientist

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change of Ontario
125 Resources Road l M9P 3V6 (ON) Toronto


CYANOCOST.net infographic showing its visibility in 2017

CYANOCOST.net is one year old !

The website was live in January 2017, powered by wordpress.com. The website analytics for 2017 show that the number of visitors were 4211 with 6823 views (on average 1.62 views per visitor). Visitors landed on CYANOCOST.net from as many as 104 different countries, including many countries that are not represented in the Cyanocost network. Surprisingly, the website was -by far- mostly viewed from USA and it had also many views from countries not participating formally in the network, e.g. India, Brazil, Canada, Australia and others. Most visitors link to CYANOCOST.net through facebook, search engines and twitter (CYANOCOST has now more than 1000 followers in facebook and twitter).

You can view the Infographic with CYANOCOST.net analytics for 2017.

Stay tuned in 2018 for more CYANOCOST dissemination !