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Detection and isolation of harmful algae in the Belgian Part of the North Sea

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Institutes (2)  Top 
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Diergeneeskunde; Vakgroep Veterinaire Volksgezondheid & Voedselveiligheid; Laboratorium voor Chemische Analyse (LCA), more
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen; Vakgroep Toegepaste Ecologie en Milieubiologie; Laboratorium voor Milieutoxicologie en Aquatische Ecologie (GhEnToxLab), more

Over the past decade, our global oceans have changed dramatically. Through global shipping, mankind has inadvertently spread organisms to such an extent that many are now considered cosmopolitan. Moreover, overfishing and the associated habitat degradation have restructured food webs of our coastal seas substantially. Further aggravated by climate change and eutrophication, these processes have led to an increasing occurrence of harmful algal blooms in virtually every sea across the globe. Aside from marine pathogens, these recurring toxic events have now become the second largest threat to the global aquaculture industry. As this industry has surpassed global fisheries production, feeding the ever growing global population hinges on the continued reliability and safety of the present and future seafood production. For this reason, there’s a clear need to map the occurrence of harmful species as well as the biotic and abiotic factors that govern their bloom-potential. In light of this, our research at GhEnToxLab (Prof. Dr. Colin Janssen) aims to monitor the occurrence of potentially harmful microalgae in the Belgian Part of the North Sea. In addition, their toxin-producing potential is investigated in close collaboration with the laboratory of Chemical Analysis (Prof. Dr. Lynn Vanhaecke)

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