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Current Research

Project 1: Harmful algal bloom dynamics: assessing physiological and behavioral plasticity in natural populations

This project’s scientific premise is that our ability to assess and predict short- and long-term responses of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their human health impacts to climate change requires characterization of critical rates and behavioral patterns in natural populations, generated, whenever possible, through in situ observations.

Project 2: Climate forcing of harmful algal blooms and toxicity exposure in the Northeast U.S.

Our goal is to understand and predict how climate variability influences harmful algal bloom (HAB) dynamics, toxin exposure to the human population, and impacts on human health.

Project 3: Cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying long-term effects of early life exposure to HAB toxins

The overall objective of the proposed research is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which early-life exposure to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins may interfere with neurodevelopment to cause persistent neurobehavioral changes later in life.

Community Engagement Core

The overall objective of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to prevent human heath exposure to harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins by strengthening public and stakeholder knowledge about HABs and their impacts, fostering collaboration among stakeholders and bi-directional dialogue with WHCOHH researchers, and improving awareness of HAB issues in public health communities.

Previous Research

Research during 2012 - 2018

The major goal of the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health (WHCOHH) during 2012 - 2018 is to carry out research on harmful algal bloom (HAB) detection and bloom dynamics, and HAB toxin effects, through a strong and integrated set of research projects, in the context of a Center structure.

Research during 2003 - 2011

Past research at the WHCOHH examined a variety of oceanographic issues, ranging from modeling Alexandrium populations in the Gulf of Maine to the distribution of pathogens in coastal waters. Included are also the center's many pilot projects and information regarding the Genomics Core Facility.