Vera Trainer is a supervisory oceanographer for the Marine Biotoxins Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington, USA. Her current research activities include refinement of analytical methods for both marine toxin and toxigenic species detection, assessment of environmental conditions that influence toxic bloom development, and understanding susceptibility of shellfish and marine mammals to toxins in their environment. She is the U.S. delegate to the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) Harmful Algal Bloom Section and currently leads projects on forecasting fisheries and HABs in India and Guatemala. She is the president of the International Society on the Study of Harmful Algae and a member of the steering committee for the International Whaling Commission’s Unusual Marine Mortality Events, and GlobalHAB. She enjoys national and international collaborations, particularly with young scientists, as a means to enhance our cultural, scientific and personal understanding of one another. The first HAB conference she attended as a graduate student was in Lund, Sweden in 1989 where she gave a talk on the development of the brevetoxin ELISA.