Yasumoto Award

Prof. Øjvind Moestrup

Prof. Øjvind Moestrup received the ISSHA 2012 Yasumoto Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in his lifetime dedication to research on the biology, taxonomy and ultrastructure of microalgae. In addition, Prof Moestrup has made an outstanding contribution, through the IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae in Copenhagen and the IOC Reference List of Harmful Microalgae, to training and communication on the taxonomy of HAB species.

Øjvind was born on 15 December 1941. He grew up on the island of Funen and in Jutland, Denmark, where his father was a vicar. He started studying biology at the University of Copenhagen in 1962 with particular interest in zoology and initially intended to do his Master's degree on the cytology of flatworms. However, in 1965, he was contacted by Prof Tyge Christensen, who asked him to consider a job as demonstrator at the Institut for Sporeplanter which he accepted. In 1967, Tyge suggested Øjvind accept an invitation from Prof Irene Manton, University of Leeds, England, the leading expert on ultrastructure of algae, to learn electron microscopy. It was there in 1968–1969, where Øjvind learned the techniques necessary for studying ultrastructural details of algae – and he has basically done this ever since. The topic for his Master's thesis was the ultrastructure of Vaucheria, and he revealed that the genus belonged to the golden-green algae. In the period 1970–1974, Øjvind was assistant professor at the Institut for Sporeplanter and studied spermatozoids in different groups of algae. In 1972, a new transmission electron microscope was sponsored by the Danish Research Council, and Øjvind moved onto nanoflagellates inspired by a bloom in Kaikoura, New Zealand, including the description of two new haptophytes (Phaeocystis scrobiculata and Chrysochromulina novae-zelandiae). Øjvind began reconstructing the flagellar apparatus of several different flagellates, such as ChrysochromulinaMamiellaNephroselmisPyramimonasPseudoscourfieldia and Bicosoeca. which ultimately turned into a whole issue of Phycologia and was used as a DSc thesis at the University of Copenhagen in 1983.

See more information on Prof. Øjvind Moestrup’s achievements on “Trail Blazers” at the ISSHA website (www.issha.org )

Maureen Keller Awardees

Best Oral to Bum Soo Park (Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea) for his contribution on “Distribution and seasonal fluctuation of diverse ribotypes of Cochlodinium polykrikoides in Southern Korean coastal waters” (B.S. Park and M.-S. Han). Bum Soo Park is a PhD student (supervised by Prof. Myung Soo Han) at the Life Science-Natural Sciences Department in Hanyang University (Seoul, South Korea). He received his bachelor’s degree from the same university in 2006 and was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) in 2007-2008. He won best paper awards of The Korean Society of Phycology (2011) and the Korean Society of Environment & Ecology (2011). Park has worked with different microalgal groups (diatoms, dinoflagellates, small flagellates) and the importance of life cycles in their ecology. Currently he is interested in the application of advanced molecular tools in the study of the main HAB species causing socio-economic problems in Korea, in particular of Cochlodinium polykrikoides.

Honorable Mention to Hannah Blossom(University of Copenhagen, Helsingør, Denmark) for her oral presentation “Toxic mucus traps: a novel mechanism that mediates prey uptake in the mixotrophic dinoflagellate Alexandrium pseudogonyaulax”, coauthored by N. Daugbjerg and P.J. Hansen. This work was done as Hannah’s Master degree, completed at the University of Copenhagen, under the supervision of Per Juel Hansen and Niels Daugbjerg. Hannah received her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, during which she did an internship in Don Anderson’s lab- sparking her interest in harmful algae. Hannah is now studying ichthyotoxic algae as part of a Danish strategic research project called HABFISH, led by Per Juel Hansen. She is currently focusing on Prymnesium parvum and its effects on fish as well as co-occurring algae. Hannah’s research interests include the role of allelochemicals in phytoplankton interactions, particularly in mixotrophic harmful algae species. Originally from New York, Hannah has been living in Denmark for 3 years now, and has enjoyed the adventures of living abroad.

Best poster award was given to Theresa K. Hattenrath-Lehmann (Stony Brook University, USA) for “The Emergence of toxic Dinophysis acuminata blooms in a New York estuary”, co-authored by S.L. Morton and C.J. Gobler. Born and raised in Queens (New York), she left the big city to attend University of Maine at Machias (UMM) where she received her B.S. degree in Marine Biology with a focus on mariculture. The university is on the Gulf of Maine, a region well known for large-scale recurrent Alexandrium blooms and her professor, Dr. Gayle Kraus, encouraged her to attend a phytoplankton monitoring workshop at Bigelow Laboratory in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. There she became interested in HABs. Her Master’s research, initiated in 2007, was on the effects of nitrogen loading on Alexandrium densities and toxicity, at Stony Brook University (advisor Christopher Gobler). Her studies concluded that nitrogen loads promote the intensity of PSP events and that nitrogen derived from a waste water source was promoting Alexandrium blooms in this system. In addition, she discovered that another harmful algal species, Dinophysis acuminata, was blooming in Northport Bay and that shellfish contained DSP toxins above regulatory limits. She is currently a Ph.D. student of Dr. Gobler. Her topic: to assess the causes of the onset, maintenance, and demise of blooms of Alexandrium and Dinophysis. Theresa would like to continue a career path investigating the root causes of harmful algal blooms, but is also interested in programmes concerning protection of human health against toxic algae. This last topic had been a large part of her Master’s work and she found it gratifying to interact with NY state agencies and assist in monitoring programmes designed to prevent shellfish poisonings.

Honorable mention to Thanh-Luu Pham(University of Tsukuba, Japan) for his poster on “Toxic Cyanobacteria and Microcystin Profile of Numerous Cyanobacterial Strains Isolated from Dau Tieng Reservoir, Vietnam”, co-authored with T.-L. Pham, T.-S. Dao, K. Shimizu, N. Sugiura and M. Utsumi. Thanh-Luu holds a M.Sc. degree from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and is currently working toward his Ph.D. degree at the Aquatic Eco-Engineering Lab, University of Tsukuba, Japan. His Ph.D thesis research, supervised by Professor Motoo Utsumi, focuses on distribution of microcystins in aquatic environments, and covers several aspects including isolation of Cyanobacteria and detection of microcystin production, such as in the present poster. He also has a strong interest in discovering and understanding the mechanisms of distribution and bioaccumulation of microcystins in several aquatic organisms.