*Proposed sessions may change based on abstracts received.
Residual Populations: Resting stages, advection, and future HAB threats
This session will focus on presentations quantifying the importance of different life stages, over-wintering strategies, or recurring delivery of HAB species through physical processes for recurrent HABs in fresh and marine systems. Estimates of these processes and interventions undertaken or proposed to reduce these repeated events will be discussed.
Human & Natural Drivers for Watershed & Coastal HABs
This session will focus on environmental drivers of HABs in fresh and coastal waters. Potential topics include human-derived and/or natural alterations (e.g., temperature, salinity, pH, nutrients) to a system that promotes HABs, biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, temporal and/or regional comparison of drivers, and documented or proposed interventions that could better our understanding and/or guide management of these events.
HABs and Toxins at the Land-Sea Interface
The conventional focus of HAB monitoring has generally been waterbody-dependent, focusing on marine or freshwater blooms and toxins, but not at the intersection of these ecosystems. Recent studies have shown that freshwater HAB toxins can have effects far downstream of their origin, creating issues in brackish and marine waters. This session will discuss HABs and toxins at the land-sea interface, particularly issues that arise from toxins produced in terrestrial waterbodies that affect coastal brackish and marine waters.
Advances in Remote Sensing of HABs
This session will focus on new technologies in remote sensing, from hand-held devices (e.g., smartphone-based), to drones, satellites, and hyperspectral sensors. Data integration across sensors or methods offers new capabilities in research, management and forecasting. These capabilities can greatly enhance our ability to find and understand HABs.
Bloom Prediction, Forecasting and Modeling
This session will focus on 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.
Emerging HABs and Toxins
This session welcomes studies that report on the characterization of new toxins and their physiological activities or ecological impacts, instances of previously undocumented toxins in marine, brackish or freshwater ecosystems, or the occurrence of toxic algae or toxins in previously undocumented locations.
Physiology and Physiological 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.
Population Genetics and Species Distributions
Studies examining population structure/genetic diversity of HAB species provide unique insights into the factors affecting the distributions and dispersal of HAB species. This session will address the genetic structure of HAB populations, and how that information can be used to understand the ecology, biogeography or evolution of HABs.
Monitoring, Mitigation, and Management of HABS
HAB monitoring in fresh, brackish and marine waters as well as work relating to HAB management and HAB response strategies that assist resource and public health risk management will be presented in this session. Programs describing research or management practices relating to understanding HABs in freshwater, brackish and marine environments with the intent of prevention or controlling impacts will also be the focus of this session.
Social and Economic Impacts from HABs
This session will promote sharing of economic study results, exploration of new socioeconomic methods (either revealed preference or stated preference approaches) and tools used to better capture HAB impacts on society. Abstracts are encouraged that highlight HAB community efforts to promote local and regional economic research and local, regional, or national cost estimates of HABs.
Emerging Technologies, Instrumentation, and Methodologies
This session 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.
Toxicity and Pathogenicity
Studies investigating the toxicity and pathogenicity of freshwater and marine bioactive compounds on human and animal health will be highlighted in this session. Abstracts are encouraged from studies, such as dose response assays, invertebrate and invertebrate model systems, behavioral assays, and opportunistic examinations, which discuss impacts at the sub-organism and organismal levels, but population level studies, e.g., epidemiological study, are also welcome.
Fisheries and Foodwebs
This session will address the effects of HABs on the surrounding environment with foci at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Abstracts can focus on ecologically or commercially relevant species, inter-species interactions, and/or community dynamics impacted by HABs, and can include laboratory or mesocosm experiments, natural system studies, and/or investigations within aquaculture systems. Presentations focused on the foodweb transfer and/or metabolism of HAB-associated compounds will also be included in this session.
Long-term HAB Monitoring Datasets
Long-term observing systems in oceans, lakes and rivers have become a major focus in aquatic research, particularly within the context and recent emphasis on understanding the environmental influences of climate change. Temporal datasets that can provide historical HAB, present conditions, and possibly prediction of future HAB trends or events will be covered in this session.
Emerging Use of 'Omics' Approaches to Understand Freshwater and Marine HABs
Using whole-community omics to track microbial communities in nature can resolve the roles of novel uncultured groups and shed light on fundamental links between ecological and evolutionary processes of HABS. Presentations in this session will focus on the
use of these approaches on natural assemblages of HABS and how omics might be used for forecasting and bloom dynamics.
Hot Topic Session 1: Recent East and West Coast ASP Events
In recent years, several large, persistent, blooms of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia spp. have occurred on both the east and west coasts of the U.S. resulting in seafood harvesting closures of both shellfish and crabs due to the accumulation of domoic acid, the causative agent of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), above regulatory guidance levels. Depending on the coast, these events were unprecedented in terms of their scope, persistence, and/or geographic location. All aspects related to these unique events including, but not limited to bloom dynamics, species composition, toxin dynamics, negative economic or environmental impacts, and lessons learned will be discussed in this session.
Hot Topic Session 2: Status of Benthic Algae Research and Management of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning
Renewed global interest in Gambierdiscus, other benthic algal species, and their impacts on the environment and human health in the past decade has resulted in a number of advancements. This session will highlight progress made in understanding these organisms and toxins in the context of subtropical ecosystems, predicting how populations will respond to climate change and other stressors, application of genetic methods to distinguish species, improvements in monitoring methods and protocols, efforts to merge local and traditional fisheries knowledge, and sensitive toxin assays to identify ciguatera “hot spots” and assess Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP) risk. Additionally, the session will focus on efforts to build capacity for increased local control via training in identification, monitoring, toxin detection, and public health disease
Phycotoxin Standards and Certified Reference materials: Needs and Sources
Accurate measurements of phycotoxins depend on the availability of quality analytical standards to calibrate analytical procedures. The current availability of phycotoxin standards is limited compared to the number of individual compounds that have been identified, hindering the ability of scientists to perform research, toxicity testing, water and food safety measurements, etc. To begin to address issues related to availability of standards, we have coordinated this interactive session, which is intended for everyone who has an interest in phycotoxin standards, ranging from scientists to analytical vendors. The purpose of the session is to open a dialogue regarding phycotoxin standard issues such as: 1. sources of currently-availably phycotoxin standards; 2. user experience with existing standards, including quality, purity, and quantities available; 3. gaps in phycotoxin standards, including related issues such as difficulty isolating compounds or challenging chemical syntheses; and 4. prioritization of the most critical standards needs. After the session, a written summary will be prepared and shared with all attendees and interested stakeholders, including the federal agencies that have been working together to define standards needs related to harmful algal bloom toxins and their impacts. The summary may help to define the scope for a future workshop to address these issues in more detail.
Understanding the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference Role in Biotoxin Management
Many HAB scientists propose to provide methods or information that will help state shellfish managers protect public health, but they generally lack understanding of the regulatory process through the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC). The ISSC fosters and promotes shellfish sanitation through the cooperation of state and federal control agencies, the shellfish industry, and the academic community. The ISSC has recently developed a list of research priorities. HAB scientists need to understand what the ISSC does, how it operates, and its priorities in order to conduct research that will improve the management of biotoxins in shellfish.
Presentation: Representatives of FDA and NOAA will give a brief introduction about the ISSC and the process of regulating biotoxins in shellfish and funding from NOAA talk about what the ISSC is and why it should matter to HAB scientists.
Evening session: A panel with members of the ISSC representing state and federal agencies and various aspects of the shellfish industry will provide more in-depth information about the research priorities of the ISSC and the procedures for adaptation of new methods into the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. A question and answer period will follow. The purpose of this session is to provide HAB scientists with information they need to conduct research that will improve HAB management.
Special Session: HABs and Drinking Water
Harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins can threaten public health through drinking water exposures. Conventional drinking water treatment can generally remove intact cyanobacterial cells and low levels of cyanotoxins from source waters. However, water systems may face challenges in providing drinking water during a severe bloom event when there are high levels of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in source waters. Drinking water systems can manage threats to public health from HABs and cyanotoxins through prevention, mitigation, monitoring, treatment, and public communication. This session will focus on aspects of each of these components.