Yasumoto Award

Prof. Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff

The ISSHA 2014 Yasumoto Award was given to Prof. Gustaaf Hallegraeff for lifetime outstanding contribution on the field of harmful algae taxonomy, ecology, ballast water introductions and dissemination.

We the undersigned, nominate Professor Gustaaf Marinus Hallegraeff for the 2014 Yasumoto Lifetime Achievement Award. Gustaaf was born in the Netherlands, received his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, and in 1978 moved to Australia as a post doc with Dr. S. Jeffrey at CSIRO working on phytoplankton pigments and taxonomy. At this time, Gustaaf established HAB research in Australia and subsequently his landmark ballast water research. In 1992 Gustaaf moved from his Principal Research Scientist role at CSIRO to become a Professor in the UTAS School of Plant Science where he has continued to foster the next generation of HAB researchers. He is currently a Professor at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia, where he has graduated over 30 PhD, 2 MSc. and countless Honours students across a diverse range of HAB topics.

A review of Gustaaf’s more than 150 publications demonstrates the breadth of his scientific knowledge, enquiring mind, and even his artistic talent. His expertise in taxonomy, physiology, ecology and algal toxins is evident through many publications, reviews, and book chapters on key HAB species and groups such as Gymnodinium catenatumAlexandrium and Pseudo-nitzschia species, and ichthyotoxic flagellates. More recently, Gustaaf’s research has focused on the impact of climate change on phytoplankton. Just as importantly, Gustaaf established ballast water introduction and global spread of toxic marine as an international issue. Over three decades his research has tackled treatment and control, risk mitigation, ballast water management and regulation, and ultimately prompted development of international policy and regulation of ballast water. The positive impact of this research on marine industries, as well as human and environmental health protection, resulted in the 2004 Eureka Prize for Environmental Research and his election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy for Technological Sciences and Engineering (2005).

Gustaaf has been a member of the Harmful Algal Bloom community and a leader in the field for 35 years. He has served the broader HAB community by authoring and editing many HAB methods and identification guides and state-of-the-science books such as Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae (1995, 2003), Aquaculturists’ Guide to Harmful Australian Microalgae (2002), and Algae of Australia: Phytoplankton of Temperate Coastal Waters (2010). In particular, his expertise, research training and leadership has developed or inspired almost all HAB research capacity in the Australasian region. Gustaaf hosted the Ninth International Conference on Harmful Algal Blooms in 2000 in Hobart, Australia, attended by 526 participants from 47 countries. The first Yasumoto Award was given to F. J. R. “Max” Taylor at this meeting. All conveners of such conferences know what sacrifices Gustaaf made to provide such a successful meeting. Gustaaf has always played a very active role in ISSHA devoting considerable time and energy to the publication of the Proceedings and now serves as Vice-President and on several committees.

Professor Hallegraeff is a gracious, meticulous, hard-working individual. His contributions to the advancement of HAB science, mentoring of students, and support and leadership in the HAB community and to this Society have been truly outstanding over his whole career and fully merit the honor of the Yasumoto Award.

Maureen Keller Students Awards

Best student oral presentation

Awarded to Amanda Neilen, from the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Australia, for her contribution on “Sources of Dissolved Organic Nitrogen and implications for Harmful Algae Blooms”, co-authored with her supervisors, Michele Burford and Chengrong Chen. The research Amanda presented was produced from her honours degree that was submitted only days before the 16th ICHA conference in Wellington. Amanda had relocated to live in Brisbane city (Queensland, Australia) to join the Australia Rivers Institute, after graduating in 2013 from the University of Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Environment Science (minors in chemistry and mathematics). Amanda’s keen interest in chemistry and mathematical modeling led her into this exciting world of CyanoHABs, dissolved organic nitrogen and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Fascinated by the dominance of recurring freshwater CyanoHABs in South East Queensland reservoirs and elevated organic nitrogen loads, Amanda ‘submerged’ herself in her project. The work presented investigated the relationship between land use, nitrogen loads and the associated impacts on Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii growth, the results from a series of soil and aquatic microcosm experiments. Amanda’s research found that amount of bovine urine applied to the soil affected the concentration and composition of nitrogen that leached from the soil. Leaf litter leachates were a potential source of bioavailable organic nutrients to Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii proceeding photolysis reactions. Currently, Amanda is designing a series of field experiments for her PhD to fulfill her interest in catchment land use practices, nitrogen cycling mechanisms and the downstream effect on CyanoHABs.

Honorary mention for students’ oral presentation to Andreas Seger, from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), Tasmania, for his contribution on: “Mitigating fish-killing algal blooms: clay revisited to remove ichthyotoxins” co-authored with Juan José Dorantes-Aranda, Marius Müller and Gustaaf Hallegraeff
Born and raised in Hanover, Germany, Andreas moved to scorching hot Queensland, Australia in 2006, where he visited the last two years of high school. Seeking milder climates more comparable to home, he migrated to Tasmania in 2008 to complete his bachelor of marine science degree at the University of Tasmania in 2010. Thanks to Gustaaf Hallegraeff’s teachings, he quickly developed a keen interest in ichthyotoxic algae that led him to complete an honours project with him at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart, Tasmania (2011). The project investigated the use of clay to mitigate ichthyotoxic Prymnesium parvum blooms in response to fish mortalities at an Australian Barramundi’s farm. Hooked on harmful algae, he is now working on his PhD project (supervised by Gustaaf Hallegraeff and Zanna Chase) to further explore the ichthyotoxin adsorptive properties of clay minerals and assess their potential application to other harmful algal species. “I have developed a strong interest in the physiology of fish-killing algae, particularly with regard to their toxic principles and quantification of ichthyotoxicity through cell line assays. I greatly enjoy utilising this knowledge in an applied way to help develop strategies to mitigate fish-killing effects”.

Best poster presentation was awarded to Wittaya Tawong, Kochi University, Japan, for his contribution on: “Characterization of Gambierdiscus and Coolia(Dinophyceae) isolates from Thailand based on morphology, phylogeny and toxicity”, co-authores with Tomohiro Nishimura, Hiroshi Sakanari, Shinya Sato, Haruo Yamaguchi and Masao Adachi. Born and raised in Chiang Rai (Thailand) in 1982, Wittaya received his bachelor’s degree of Fisheries in 2005 and Master of Fisheries Technology in 2008 from Maejo University (Chiang Mai, Thailand). During 2005–2008, he had a great experience as a research assistant with Japanese researchers in the topic of toxic cyanobacteria species and algal toxins in aquaculture ponds. That opportunity was very important to inspire him and improve his knowledge on the interesting topic of harmful algae. Furthermore, he received a scholarship from Naresuan University since 2010 to undertake a doctoral program under the supervision of Masao Adachi at the Laboratory of Aquatic Environment Science (LAQES), Kochi University, Japan. “My Ph.D dissertation was focused on the morphology, molecular biology, distribution, toxicity and growth factors of toxic benthic dinoflagellates causing ciguatera fish poisoning, in particular GambierdiscusOstreopsis and Coolia from Thai coasts. Currently, I am working as lecturer and researcher at Naresuan University and continuinga research with the application of molecular tools in the study of marine and freshwater harmful algae species from Thailand”.

Honorable mentionfor poster presentation to Sara Harðardóttir, University of Copenhagen, for her poster on: toxic diatoms in the Arctic marine food web: “The effect of domoic acid on arctic Calanus copepodites grazing on the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia seriata”, co-authored with Marina Pančić, Anna Tammilehto, Bernd Krock, Torkel Gissel Nielsen and Nina Lundholm. Sara was born in Iceland but migrated to Denmark to undertake her studies. In 2009 she obtained a BSc. in Molecular Biology and in Philosophy and Science studies from Roskilde University, Denmark. On a cruise between Tromsø Norway and Nuuk Greenland in 2010, she met Nina Lundholm, her supervisor for the master project and the current PhD project. Since then Sara has been working with phytoplankton from Arctic waters. In 2012 she graduated with MSc in Engineering -Aquatic Science and Technology ­from the Technical University of Denmark. Sara did her thesis on phytoplankton succession during a Phaeocystis pouchettii dominated spring bloom in Disko Bay, west Greenland. The project had an additional focus on succession of sea ice algae in newly forming sea ice and she found and described a new species, Pyramimonas diskoicola. Currently she is working on her PhD studies, supervised by Nina Lundholm, Torkel Gissel Nielsen and Uwe John, at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. The main theme of her project is to study toxin (domoic acid) producing diatoms in the arctic marine food web. In her thesis she investigas the interaction between domoic acid-producers Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and their grazers.

The award was shared with co-author Marina Pančić, a Masters student from the University of Copenhagen supervised by Nina Lundholm and Per Juel Hansen. Marina received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Immediately following her primary university education she started her master studies in Aquatic Science and Technology. Marina is currently working as an intern at University of Copenhagen, and planning to continue her career path as a PhD student in the next year. Her main interests are the effects of climate change on arctic diatoms as well as effects of toxic diatoms on the arctic marine food web.