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Harmful Algal Bloom Sensors

Harmful Algal Bloom Sensors
Scientists deploy a robotic instrument called the Environmental Sample Processor, or 'ESP', an at-sea analytical laboratory which collects algal cells offshore and transmits results to the laboratory via radio.

The toxicity of HABs, and thus their potential impact on marine foodwebs, fishery resources, and public health, can vary widely as a function of growth conditions and stage of bloom development. The accurate and timely identification of harmful algal species and measurement of their toxins aids both HAB research and management.

We develop portable HAB sensors that accurately and quickly detect algal species and biotoxins in the field. They can be deployed as portable hand-held units, or on autonomous underwater platforms.

Species and biotoxin information helps us identify which factors influence algal growth and toxicity. We work with managers to incorporate information on how algae and toxin distributions and concentrations vary during a bloom event into predictive models.

Advanced warning of impending toxicity, can protect human and marine animal health and reduce economic impacts to coastal communities.