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Updated 25 September 2023
Algae and Cyanobacteria Blooms: Track, Identify and Predict
Thursday, October 26, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | $125
Internal Phosphorus Loading and Cyanobacteria
Thursday, October 26, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm | $225
Thursday, October 26, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm | $125Register today!
Cyanobacteria have the potential to produce harmful toxins which can cause adverse health effects in humans and animals. Monitoring tools are needed to assess environmental conditions and stop blooms in their nascent stages. This workshop will provide a comprehensive introduction to algae HAB monitoring, from the reservoir to the lab. Participants will gain practical skills in the use of three early-detection HAB screening systems that provide different and complementary information: an online multi-parameter measuring & reporting system, an automated microscopic identification tool and a quantitative PCR assay. The workshop will begin with introductions and a brief PowerPoint overview of each technology. Next, we’ll turn to the instruments and run one sample on each so that attendees can compare the information provided by each method.
Samples of cyanobacteria in various concentrations will be analyzed to illustrate the hardware and software of the AlgaeTracker. Participants will learn how to calibrate field data to lab results and verify the accuracy of live readings obtained from samples. Throughout the workshop, attention will be given to potential challenges of fluorescence-based readings, with discussion focusing on potential and actual solutions. Tips for easy field deployment, maintenance, and data sharing will be discussed with group participation encouraged.
We will discuss the implications of variables like sampling methodology, preservation, location, and settings on FlowCam imagery and data. We will use the instruments software to identify dominant organisms in the sample. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions regarding the technology’s benefits and limitations. Throughout the workshop, we’ll point out similarities and differences between flow-through imaging and traditional microscopy, as well as basic plankton identification using semi-automated techniques.
Using the same technology for testing for Covid, workshop attendees will learn how to run a quantitative PCR test. The Phytoxigene™ CyanoDTec is a molecular (DNA) based technology (Real Time PCR) that detects and quantifies the presence of Cyanobacteria, blue green algae, and their toxin producing genes in aquatic environments. Not all Cyanobacteria species produce toxins, therefore the presence of an algal bloom does not immediately defer a risk of toxins being present. The Phytoxigene™ test quantitates both the amount of overall Cyanobacteria present in a water sample along with the number of genes that are responsible for the production of the toxins, including microcystin, cylindrospermopsin, saxitoxin, anatoxin* and guanotoxin* (*new assay in 2023)
We’ll conclude by summarizing takeaways from the workshop and, if time allows, play an interactive game incorporating FlowCam, AlgaeTracker and Phytoxigene images and data to test participants’ knowledge.
Chris Lee is co-founder and CEO of AquaRealTime. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and 15 years experience developing new monitoring products in the water and algae monitoring space. Chris is also a runner and skier, and loves spending time at his family cottage on Sparrow Lake north of Toronto.
Polly Barrowman is the Water Markets Manager at Yokogawa Fluid Imaging Technologies. She works closely with freshwater researchers and drinking water utilities worldwide, helping them to implement FlowCam technology into their phytoplankton research and monitoring programs.
Greg Ford is the Director of Development for Phytoxigene working with customers in Canada and the USA in this capacity since 2016. He started in the field of Aquatic Toxicology before working in biotech and diagnostics before joining Phytoxigene.
Thursday, October 26, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm | $225Register today!
Cyanobacteria (“bluegreen algae”) often proliferate at the same time and under similar conditions that are favourable for internal phosphorus (P) loading from lake bottom sediments. Internal loading as P released from anoxic sediment surfaces often represents the main summer P load to lakes. Because of its high biological availability, the lack of dilution, and the timing, it can have an immense effect on summer-fall water quality of a lake, reservoir, or pond.
In this workshop correlations and coincidences, as well as limnological reasoning is provided in support of the hypothesis that cyanobacteria blooms (in general and for the recently increased frequency), are related to increases in internal P loading. While this workshop is based on my past Internal Load Workshop (2003-2018) much material has been added about the possible links between sediment released P and cyanobacteria blooms. To provide room, some of the more basic limnological and modelling sections of the previous workshop have been shortened.
Nonetheless, ways of quantifying internal load in polymictic and stratified lakes are still presented, sometimes in a step-wise fashion, where missing data may be predicted by subsidiary models. Applications regarding lake quality assessment and trophic state, and an introduction into the theory of lake restoration will be provided. Each workshop topic will include a description of the theory and presentation of case studies covering US, Canadian, and European lake assessment and restoration projects listed at http://www.fwr.ca.
Gertrud K. Nürnberg, Ph.D. (McGill, Quebec) is the principal of Freshwater Research, a limnological company focusing on restoration and modeling of eutrophic lakes and reservoirs. She is specialized in internal processes in eutrophic lakes such as internal phosphorus loading and hypoxia and has more than 35 years of experience working with lake associations, governmental agencies, engineering companies, and the private sector in the US, Canada, and Europe. She has published comparative research and empirical lake models on phosphorus, iron ,and anoxia and on lake management techniques in numerous scientific journals and was an associate editor of the NALMS Journal, Lake and Reservoir Management, where she is still actively involved in the peer-review process.