10.5 US symposium on harmful algae: emerging voices and blooming careers – May 25-27, 2021

Date: May 27, 2021

Time: 10:45-11:30 am

Location: virtual

Title: Harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification: defining a research agenda


Halle Berger
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT 06340
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Silver Spring, MD 20910

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and ocean acidification (OA) are threats to marine ecosystems and human communities. HABs and OA have common drivers in coastal areas and often co-occur in space and time. Although many studies have provided insight into HAB dynamics, only a few of these have included OA. Similarly, OA studies have examined biogeochemistry and impacts to marine resources and have started to expand into multi-stressor studies, but less is known about the influences of HAB-OA interactions and cascading impacts to coastal ecosystems and economies.

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Competitive Research Program (CRP) held a virtual workshop to identify research needs at the intersection of HABs and OA.


This presentation will focus on the regional and national grand challenges, research priorities, and research products highlighted at the workshop. Research areas of high priority at the national level include modeling for prediction, attribution, and sensitivity testing; leveraging monitoring assets to measure HAB and OA parameters simultaneously; data management to foster integration; data product development; and enhanced communication and outreach efforts. Importantly, the workshop identified a need for increased collaboration between HAB and OA scientists. Interdisciplinary approaches will be required to disentangle the complexities of HAB-OA interactions and address stakeholder needs. This effort will be facilitated by the NOAA OAP and NCCOS CRP through the development of a community of practice and a federal funding opportunity.


Halle Berger is a 2021 Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow serving as a Coastal Stressors Program Coordinator with the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Competitive Research Program. She is working on building a research community to address the overlapping challenges between harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification. Halle is also currently a PhD Student at the University of Connecticut. Her research assesses the vulnerability of important shellfisheries to changing ocean conditions.

Plenary Session will be followed by a Q&A panel with Halle and NOAA Program Managers Quay Dortch, Maggie Broadwater and Erica Ombres.

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