• Eco-physiology & cellular biology of harmful algae and cyanobacteria
    Session chairs: Angela FALCIATORE (UPMC-Sorbonnes Universités, France) / Dedmer VAN DE WAAL (NIOO-KNAW, The Netherlands) - Session co-chairs*: Véronique MARTIN-JEZEQUEL / Véronique SECHET / Amel LATIFI

This session will focus on eco-physiology and cellular biology of harmful algae and cyanobacteria. This session invites presentations on all aspects of HAB physiology and toxicity, biochemistry and metabolic regulations, from the population to the cellular and molecular levels. Integration of ‘OMICs’ tools and models to decipher HAB biology and toxin production will be great additions to this session. 

  • Biological oceanography and limnology of HABs
    Session chair: Bengt KARLSON (SMHI, Sweden) - Session co-chairs*: Felipe ARTIGAS / Delphine LATOUR

This session invites presentations on biophysical interactions, bloom dynamics, oceanographic studies, upwelling, physical transport and fine scale studies of HABs. Studies of HAB that include the use of novel in situ methods such as imaging methods, flow cytometry, multi wavelength absorption and fluorescence based methods as well as in situ molecular methods are most welcome. 

  • Ecology – from the ecological niche to population dynamics and biogeography
    Session chair: Adriana ZINGONE (Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy) - Session co-chairs*: Mohamed LAABIR, Rodolphe LEMEE

This session on ecology will focus on HABs habitats description, their geographical distributions and their spatial and temporal population dynamics (including genetic approaches).

  • Ecology - harmful algae and global change
    Session chair: Gustaaf HALLEGRAEFF (Univ. Tasmania, Australia) - Session co-chairs*: Myriam BORMANS, Raffaele SIANO

Over the last few decades, an increase in frequency and intensity of harmful algal blooms as well as changes in the biogeography and in the temporal dynamics of species and functional groups have been associated to ecosystem variations of both natural and antropogenic origins. This session is focused on the observed and forecasted effects of the climate and of the human driven on the ecology of toxic cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae. We welcome contributions using experimental analyses, in situ observations or model predictions which advance our understanding on the selection of harmful algae in a warmer and changing future. Studies which consider interactions between abiotic and/or biotic drivers on bloom development, composition and toxicity in the context of climate changes are particularly ecouraged. 

  • Taxonomy
    Session chairs: Nico SALMASO (IASMA-FMACH, Italy) / Mitsunori IWATAKI (Univ. Tokyo, Japan) - Session co-chair*: Nicolas CHOMERAT

The taxonomy session will focus on recent advances in taxonomy and systematics of harmful algae and cyanobacteria. This will include characterization of new taxa, proposal of nomenclatural changes due to reinvestigations using molecular and phenotypic methods, molecular phylogeny, and studies of the genetic diversity of toxic species.

  • Toxin analysis – Novel detection methods
    Session chair: Ana GAGO (Univ. Vigo, Spain) - Session co-chairs*: Ronel BIRE / Zouher AMZIL

Determination of toxins has to address many challenges related to the diversity of compounds, the complexity of the matrices, the availability of standards and reference materials etc. A wide array of techniques is available among which functional assays, biochemical assays and chemical methods but may not address all the issues related to the analysis of the toxins. New detection methods taking on board the latest technical advances are necessary as they offer novel approaches.

  • "Omic" technologies: genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics & metabolomics of HABs
    Session chairs: Allen PLACE (Univ. Maryland, USA) / Gurjeet KOHLI (Nanyang Technological University - SCELSE, Singapore) - Session co-chairs*: Muriel GUGGER / Philipp HESS

Recent technological advancements have provided molecular and metabolic insights to harmful algae such as dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria. This session invites presentations that use “omic” approaches on HAB’s functionality, evolutionary processes, novel bioactive metabolite production (molecular networks) & biosynthetic pathways. 

  • Human Toxicology
    Session chair: Kathy LEFEBVRE (NOAA, USA) - Session co-chairs*: Valérie FESSARD / Romulo ARAOZ

This session will deal with the toxic effects of phycotoxins and cyanotoxins alone or in mixtures from in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experiments linked to the evaluation of hazard assessment, especially on mammalian or human models. It includes acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies, toxicokinetic studies (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion), specific organ effects, genotoxicity, reproductive toxicity as well as determination of adverse outcome pathways and mechanism of action at molecular, cellular, tissular or systemic level. This session will also include the comparison of congener toxicity for establishment  of toxicity equivalent factors .

  • Risk assessment for algal and cyanobacterial toxins
    Session chair: Emanuela TESTAI (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy) - Session co-chair*: Nathalie ARNICH

Any information, study or survey related to a full risk assessment of human health effects associated with marine or freshwater toxins or on one of the key steps, such as hazard characterization (dose-response relationship), consumption survey, exposure assessment.  

  • Ciguatera and related benthic HAB organisms and toxins
    Session chairs: Michael PARSONS (Florida Gulf Coast University, USA) / Pat TESTER (Ocean Tester LLC, USA) - Session co-chairs*: Mireille CHINAIN, Marie-Yasmine DECHRAOUI-BOTTEIN

This session will focus on toxins and organisms of the ciguatera phenomena. Ciguatera is a prominent non-bacterial seafood intoxication caused by fish and marine invertebrate consumption, and affects both tropical and temperate regions. Its causative agent, the dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus, is often found in association with other HAB species, including cyanobacteria, forming benthic assemblages of ciguateric biotopes. Studies addressing the potential contribution of these organisms and associated toxin suites to the complexity of ciguatera syndrome are invited. Similarly, novel data about the toxin uptake, accumulation and biotransformation processes in marine food webs may be described here. 

  • HABs causing aerosol and/or direct contact toxicity
    Session chair: Elisa BERDALET (CSIC, Spain) - Session co-chair*: Rodolphe LEMEE

This session will focus on HAB species that cause disturbance through formation of aerosols and / or direct contact toxicity. Direct contact toxicity is an issue with marine HABs (e.g. Ostreopsis, Karenia brevs,marine cyanobacteria and others) as well as freshwater cyanobacteria (e.g. Microcystis).

  • Medical applications of algae, cyanobacteria and their toxins
    Session chair: Luis BOTANA (Univ. Santiago Compostella, Spain) - Session co-chair*: Jordi MOLGO

Secondary metabolites, from both cyanobacteria and marine HABs constitute a rich source of highly selective and specific lead compounds that may have therapeutic potential in various diseases including: pain, infectious diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. In this session, based on the specific mode of action of the chemical compounds, new medical application will be presented and discussed. 

  • Microbial interactions (allelopathy, parasites…)
    Session chair: Catharina DE SOUZA (Univ. North Carolina Wilmington, USA) - Session co-chairs*: Laure GUILLOU / Hélène HEGARET

This session will focus on impacts of microbial interactions on toxic and harmful algal blooms, including parasitism,  kleptoplastidy, allelopathic and chemical cell-to-cell communication, analysis of the phycosphere (microbiota) and feedback of such biological interactions on toxin production. 

  • Impact of microalgae/cyanobacteria on aquatic organisms (incl. fish kills and shellfish mortalities)
    Session chair: Leila BASTI (Tokyo Univ. Mar Sci Technol, Japan) - Session co-chairs*: Claudia WIEGAND / Jean-Luc ROLLAND

This session will focus on the effects of toxins and bioactive compounds on (aquatic) organisms after direct exposure or following the absorption of harmful algae or cyanobacteria. This issue will be addressed at different scales, from mechanisms of action at the cellular level to consequences for individual, population, community and ecosystem. Any studies describing molecular, biochemical, physiological, cellular and histological effects as well as the consequences on life traits, population and community dynamics will be appreciated. Studies of high ecological relevance, particularly on the evaluation of sublethal and chronic effects on (aquatic) organisms will be particularly appreciated

  • New major events & exploitation of longtime series (monitoring & case studies)
    Session chair: Jussi MERILUOTO (Abo Akademi University, Finland) - Session co-chairs*: Catherine QUIBLIER / Maud LEMOINE

This session invites presentations on any major HAB events since the last conference, as well as analysis of long-time series, i.e. multi-annual datasets

  • New tools (omics, lab-on-a-chip, ecotron…)
    Session chair: Raphael KUDELA (Univ. California Santa Cruz, USA) - Session co-chairs*: Catherine DREANNO / Benjamin MARIE

This session will focus on the development and the use of new methods and devices dedicated to the understanding of HAB and toxin production events. In the last decades, technologies such as biosensors, lab on chips, etc.. have gained significant impact in medical and agri-food sector and offer now high attractive potentialities for environmental studies and monitoring. The recent progress of holistic approaches, so called -OMIC tools (meta-, epi-genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, ...), gives also now global access to high throughput description of HABs, providing insights into their biodiversity, chemo-diversity, ecology and ecophysiology, from the fine molecular to the large ecosystem scales. Large experimental infrastructures, such as ecotrons monitored in time and space with high resolution systems, have been developed in order to test environmental scenario integrating main representative components of the ecosystems and their biodynamic. These new tools may help us for determining the bloom onset and for taking appropriate preventive measures.

  • Mitigation of HABs and water treatment technologies
    Session chairs: Petra VISSER (Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) / Triantafyllos KALOUDIS (EYDAP SA, Greece) - Session co-chairs*: Jean-François HUMBERT / Anthony MASSE

This session will focus (i) on the different approaches allowing to prevent and control blooms of toxic algae and cyanobacteria in natural and artificial environments, (ii) on the technologies allowing to remove cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins and odor-causing compounds in drinking water treatment and (iii) technologies treating ships' ballast waters. From a more global point of view, issues on the sustainable managment of natural ecosystems can be approached during this session and joint communications between environmental and social sciences will be encouraged.

  • Biotechnology or adding value to toxic and harmful algae
    Session chair: René WIJFFELS (Wageningen Univ. & Research, The Netherlands) - Session co-chairs*: Gaël BOUGARAN / Anthony MASSE

This topic deals with exploitation of and adding value to toxic and harmful algae. The whole algae can be upgraded or biorefinery chains can be put in place in order to extract and purify some targeted compounds. Numerous applications can be found at lab and large scale for biofuels, food/feed, cosmetic, green chemistry, environment, pharmaceutical, etc. Examples can integrate the techno-economic aspects with process development and optimization as well as the socio-economic aspects with new development channels and clusters.  

  • Epidemiology, reports of human outbreak cases
    Session chair: Matthew GRIBBLE (Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, USA) - Session co-chairs*: Clémence GATTI / Anne THEBAULT

Epidemiological data related to toxic outbreaks caused by HABs represent not only a complementary but also a crucial tool on which toxicologists, chemical analysts, risk assessors or medical authorities can rely on. To date, epidemiological investigations are essentially limited to the description of outbreaks of acute toxicity. This session will address topics including surveillance, short/long-term effects of acute/chronic exposure studies (cohort, case-control, etc.), characterization of toxins causing human outbreaks, medical management, asymptomatic cases exploration and meta-analysis combining quantitative and qualitative information.

  • Socio-economic impacts of HABs
    Session chair: Charlène KERMAGORET (Univ. Québec, Canada) - Session co-chairs*: Sophie PARDO / Patrice GUILLOTREAU

This session invites contriutions regards wider societal issues around the use of ressources affected by HABs. Environmental psychology has detected knowledge on HABs by shellfish gatherers, however, collection and consumption behaviour are slow in change overall. Economic impacts on fish and shellfish production sectors as well as tourism sectors are still underassessed. Legal aspects are more and more considered and presentations on any of these topics are invited here. 

  • Integrated ecosystem assessment and foresight planning (scenario building, HABs and multi-use offshore platforms, HABs and desalination…)
    Session chair: Don ANDERSON (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA) - Session co-chair*: Philipp HESS

This session invites contriutions regards wider societal issues around the use of ressources affected by HABs. HABs have been shown notoriously difficult to predict in advance at time lengths that allow anticipation and remediation for industrial sectors. This session invites presentations on the potential interaction of HABs with emerging sectors (multi-use offshore platforms, Multitrophic aquaculure, desalination...) and any efforts that may help anticipate the effects of HABs medium to long-term

(* The session co-chairs are members of the ICHA 2018 Scientific Committee - Click here to find out more about the Conference Organizing Committees)