Training the next generation.


The theme of this year's 9th US Symposium on Harmful Algae will reflect the shift in the current climate in the field. Harmful algae and its environmental effects are becoming better understood by scientists, and this meeting will hopefully serve as a means to usher in new ideas and ways of researching and treating harmful algae that will be embraced by the next generation of researchers in the field.

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We encourage everyone who works on harmful algae issues to attend the only national conference focused exclusively on HABs. Whether your focus is freshwater or marine systems, microalgae or macroalgae, basic research and monitoring, or policy and management there will be opportunities for you to learn and discuss all facets of HAB studies. Students, established HAB folks, managers and scientists from NGOs, academic institutions, and local, state and federal agencies are invited to join us in Baltimore. Sign up for workshops preceding the meeting that will provide hands-on training opportunities in the identification of HAB species using microscopy, toxin detection techniques, molecular algal species and toxin identification, and the latest analytical tools used in HAB science.


Areas covered at the symposium.


At the 9th US Symposium on Harmful Algae, we hope to provide a comprehensive look at harmful algae and its impacts on the US marine environment. The highlighted topics below will comprise some of the foundations of the symposium. If you feel that there is an important topic area that is not being represented, please let us know in our contact section. 



HAB Ecology 


Environmental conditions influence the physiological state of HAB species, affecting their competitiveness in natural assemblages of phytoplankton, susceptibility to grazers and parasites, and their production of toxins. Studies of HAB physiology, from genes and gene function through community interactions, will be addressed in this session. Presentations may focus on cultured HAB species or natural communities of freshwater, brackish or marine ecosystems.

Emerging Technologies


The symposium will highlight new developments in instrumentation, emerging technologies, and autonomous platforms that can be used to monitor and detect HABs in the context of observing programs (such as, but not limited to, IOOS and GLEON). Presentations that discuss new and emerging methodologies that cover all aspects of freshwater and marine HABs are welcomed.


Fish Kills

harmful algal blooms resulting in fish kills

Studies investigating the toxicity and pathogenicity of freshwater and marine bioactive compounds on human and animal health will be highlighted.

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HAB Modeling


The symposium will include freshwater, brackish and marine HAB modeling, including prediction, forecasting, operational forecasting systems, and hindcasting. Tools and products that support management and mitigation decisions will also be discussed.



The 9th US Symposium on Harmful Algae took place at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MD.


Who will host the 10th US HAB?

The National HAB Committee (NHC) has reviewed letters of intent (LOIs) to host the Tenth Symposium on Harmful Algae, to be held in 2019. Following a vote at the Ninth US HAB symposium this fall, Orange Beach, AL has been chosen as the location of the next US HAB Symposium. Any questions should be sent to Mindy Richlen (


The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) is currently accepting preliminary applications from developers and manufacturers of sensors and test kits for the detection of harmful algal toxins to participate in independent performance testing. This demonstration is complementary to an ongoing ACT Technology Evaluation conducted on fluorescence-based instruments designed to characterize phytoplankton abundance and taxonomic composition and aligns with our current theme on technologies for the detection of harmful algae and their toxins. Over the last decade, a large number of new test approaches have been developed, including but not limited to immunoassay and molecular methods. However, an independent evaluation of assay types, relative to standard methods, is currently a barrier to use for many stakeholders. Sensors and field-portable/-deployable assays quantifying toxins of interest (including but not limited to domoic acid, saxitoxins, and microcystins) will be prioritized. Testing will be conducted under controlled laboratory conditions, as well as under diverse field conditions. Like all ACT Technology Evaluations, participation in this effort will be voluntary and free of charge for qualifying applicants, and results will be made available to the public in individual summary reports.

Please visit the ACT web site at for detailed information on the Algal Toxin Detection Field Sensors and Kits Demonstration (including deadlines) and  to download application forms.  More information can also be obtained by contacting Dr. Mario Tamburri ( and Dr. Tom Johengen (