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.

CyanoSED: A Workshop on Benthic Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins, August 6 & 7, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On August 6 and 7, 2018, CyanoSED: A Workshop on Benthic Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins will take place at EPA-Cincinnati.

The workshop is organized by Dr. Kaytee Pokrzywinski (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Dr. Timothy Davis (Bowling Green State University), Dr. Susie Wood (The Cawthron Institute) and Dr. Jim Lazorchak (EPA, ORD, NERL).

The goals of the workshop are to identify knowledge gaps and prioritize research needs on issues surrounding benthic cyanobacteria and it will feature presentations from experts in the field and discussions on those presented topics.

 Symposium Objectives:

  1. Understand current research in benthic/sediment-associated HABs related to benthic mat-forming (including attached, periphytic and filamentous) cyanobacteria and benthic-pelagic (planktonic) coupling of bloom events.
  2. Identify knowledge gaps and topic areas worth pursing in more detail.
  3. Facilitate engagement among federal, local and state government agencies; academic institutions; and industry partners to continue coordination and collaboration on sediment/benthic-associated HABs issues.
  4. Effectively disseminate workshop results by facilitating publication of research priorities and detailed key discussions developed through this workshop.

This information was shared by Dr. Jim Lazorchak (EPA, ORD, NERL).


Short Total Synthesis of [15N5]-Cylindrospermopsins from 15NH4Cl Enables Precise Quantification of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Contamination


From the abstract of a recent parer by Mailyan et al., published in JACS:

“Fresh water cyanobacterial algal blooms represent a major health risk because these organisms produce cylindrospermopsin, a toxic, structurally complex, zwitterionic uracil-guanidine alkaloid recognized by the EPA as a dangerous drinking water contaminant. At present, the ability to detect and quantify the presence of cylindrospermospin in water samples is severely hampered by the lack of an isotopically labeled standard for analytical mass spectrometry. Herein, we present a concise, scaled total synthesis of 15N cylindrospermosin from 15N ammonium chloride, which leverages a unique stereoselective intramolecular double conjugate addition step to assemble the tricyclic guanidine core. In addition to providing the first pure isotopically labeled probe for precise quantification of this potent biotoxin in fresh water sources, our results demonstrate how unique constraints associated with isotope incorporation compel novel solutions to synthesis design.”


Artur K. Mailyan, Joanna L. Chen, Weiwei Li, Arturo A. Keller, Shawn M. Sternisha, Brian G. Miller, and Armen ZakarianShort (2018). Total Synthesis of [15N5]-Cylindrospermopsins from 15NH4Cl Enables Precise Quantification of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Contamination. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 140 (18), 6027-6032. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b03071

Do not drink the tap water ! City of Salem, Oregon, May 29.

The City of Salem, Oregon USA, has issued a drinking water advisory on May 29, related to the presence of cylindrospermopsin and microcystin in the water supplies. The cyanotoxins originate from the Detroit Reservoir that is used as source.

The advisory concerns infants, young children and other vulnerable individuals, stating that “children under the age of six, people with compromised immune systems, people receiving dialysis treatment, people with pre-existing liver conditions, pets, pregnant women or nursing mothers, or other sensitive populations should follow this advisory. At this time, people not on this list may continue to drink the water unless additional messaging is received.”

Updates of the advisory will follow on https://www.cityofsalem.net/ .


Aerosol Emissions from Great Lakes Harmful Algal Blooms

Abstract from a recent paper by May et al. in ES&T:

In freshwater lakes, harmful algal blooms (HABs) of Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) produce toxins that impact human health. However, little is known about the lake spray aerosol (LSA) produced from wave-breaking in freshwater HABs. In this study, LSA were produced in the laboratory from freshwater samples collected from Lake Michigan and Lake Erie during HAB and nonbloom conditions. The incorporation of biological material within the individual HAB-influenced LSA particles was examined by single-particle mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. Freshwater with higher blue-green algae content produced higher number fractions of individual LSA particles that contained biological material, showing that organic molecules of biological origin are incorporated in LSA from HABs. The number fraction of individual LSA particles containing biological material also increased with particle diameter (greater than 0.5 μm), a size dependence that is consistent with previous studies of sea spray aerosol impacted by phytoplankton blooms. Similar to sea spray aerosol, organic carbon markers were most frequently observed in individual LSA particles less than 0.5 μm in diameter. Understanding the transfer of biological material from freshwater to the atmosphere via LSA is crucial for determining health and climate effects of HABs.


Nathaniel W. May, Nicole E. Olson, Mark Panas, Jessica L. Axson, Peter S. Tirella, Rachel M. Kirpes, Rebecca L. Craig, Matthew J. Gunsch, Swarup China, Alexander Laskin, Andrew P. Ault, and Kerri A. Pratt Environmental Science & Technology 2018 52 (2), 397-405 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03609

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




HABs Collaboratory – 2017 Field Season Webinar

An Invitation by Ken Gibbons, Great Lakes Commission :

On July 24th at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, the HABs Collaboratory will be hosting the 2017 Field Season Webinar. During this webinar, presenters from across the Great Lakes will discuss HABs field work they are conducting this summer. This webinar seeks to inform attendees about work being conducted across the Great Lakes this summer. After the webinar, a recording will be posted on the HABs Collaboratory website.


  • Tim Davis, NOAA-GLERL
  • Mike McKay, Bowling Green State University
  • Todd Miller, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Brenda Moraska Lafrancois, National Park Service
  • Ngan Diep, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Claire Holeton, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Justin Chaffin, The Ohio State University


To join the webinar, please click the registration link above. After registering you will receive two emails from Eventbrite. The first email will contain information on how to create an Evenbrite account and the second email will contain the link to join the webinar. On the day of the webinar, it is recommended that you log in 10 minutes before the webinar to ensure all the proper Skype for Business drivers are downloaded.

Registration url: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/habs-collaboratory-2017-field-season-webinar-tickets-36197319156

Ken Gibbons, Great Lakes Commission

This post was shared by Dr. Lesley D’ Anglada, US EPA.