Category Archives: Algal blooms and cyanobacteria

Alternative term is Phycology and Blue-green algae. Category includes cyanobacterial or other algal blooms in freshwater, estuarine and marine waters.
Focus on Australian waters.
Cyanobacteria, cyanobacterial toxins, algal blooms, algal toxin analysis.

Researcher finds way to keep cow pee out of waterways

ABC Rural | Jennifer Nichols 17 August 2016

A young Queensland scientist has won a people’s choice Fresh Science award for her groundbreaking research into keeping cow urine out of waterways.

Amanda Neilen discovered that if carbon was added to paddocks, it could reduce nitrogen run-off, fertilise pasture, and prevent the pollution of creeks, rivers and reefs.

“Cow urine is a problem in waterways because it is readily available for algae,” Ms Neilen said.

“Algae gobble it up and they can form into blooms, which means we can’t swim in our waterways and also it costs more money to treat the water, so we really want to keep the food source for algae out.

“Your average cow can have up to five or six urination events a day, and each time a cow pees it can produce between half a litre to about two litres of liquid.”

Read more:

Fresh Science Competition:

Public and Environmental Health Forum Series 12 July 2016

Tuesday 12 July 2016;  FSS Conference Theatre; 9:30 am

A study of the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. in retail raw fresh chicken meat in QLD – Anna Sartor and Ellena Heading

Reef monitory in Qld – Rohan Wallace

All staff are welcome – refreshments provided following the talks

MethodsNow – Webinar and free trial of SciFinder add-on

MethodsNow is a new add-on feature of SciFinder which provides easy access to search and compare the largest collection of scientific methods extracted from the CAS database.  It provides step-by-step instructions for analytical and synthetic methods in all areas of chemistry including HPLC, food analysis, and water analysis.  It has more than 200,000 fully described analysis methods, including chemical, microbiological and life sciences.  The platform allows searching via analyte, matrix, and equipment used as well as more advanced search functions.

Please note that, while primarily of interest to chemists, MethodsNow also collects microbiological methods.

The FSS Library has arranged a free 2-week trial of MethodsNow commencing 25 July.  Andrew McKay, an Australian representative of CAS, will conduct a 30 minute WebEx seminar on Thursday 21 July to introduce and demonstrate the product for FSS SciFinder account holders.  He will spend 10-15 minutes demonstrating, followed by up to 15 minutes question time during which you can ask him to search for specific methods etc.

Webinar details will be advised when confirmed.

If you do not currently have a SciFinder account please contact the FSS Library to request one

Collecting data to help protect Australia’s waters from toxic algal blooms

The Conversation Penelope Ajani 22 June 2016

Ever heard of Thalassiosira, Detonula, Leptocylindrus or Chaetoceros? No, they are not the names of Greek gods but arguably some of the most important and beautiful organisms on earth: the diatoms.

Diatoms are largely unseen due to their microscopic size but they are the most abundant and diverse single-celled phytoplankton (or microalgae) in the ocean.

These ancient lifeforms arose during the Triassic period, about 200-250 million years ago. They house themselves in intricate glass cases, the patterns and structures of which delight artists, architects and engineers as well as marine biologists.

Read more:

Biodegradable quick test reveals blue-green algae toxins in swimming water

EurekAlert 16-Jun-2016

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku have developed an easy-to-use and affordable blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) test. The testing device enables ordinary consumers to check that the water at their beach is free of cyanobacteria toxins. A commercialiser is now being sought for this rapid biodegradable testing device.
The cyanobacteria testing device, which is suitable for mass production and the size of a bank card, can be used both by consumers and authorities. The disposable, paper-based testing device can identify the occurrence of the most common cyanobacteria toxins, such as microcystins and nodularins.
“The cyanobacteria test requires only a few drops of water and indicates the result within 15 minutes. If two red lines appear on the display, the water contains cyanobacteria toxins. One line means that the water sample is toxin free,” explains VTT Senior Scientist Liisa Hakola.

Read more:

Conference alert – NT Water in the Bush 2016

AWA NT Water in the Bush 9 September 2016; Darwin Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Branch of the AWA is delighted to present the 27th Water in the Bush Conference, this year to be held on Friday 9th September 2016.  Water in the Bush brings together water professionals, the community and industry from across northern Australia.

The Australian Water Association (AWA) are calling for abstract submissions for oral presentations for the conference. Water professionals from all backgrounds (academia, utilities, consultants, government etc.) are encouraged to participate.

Visit conference website

Conference Alert – World Water Congress, Brisbane 2016

Shaping our Future – World Water Congress & Exhibition;  9 – 14 October 2016, Brisbane Australia

The IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is the global event for water professionals. It offers new insights into how pioneering science, technological innovation and leading practices shape the major transformation in water management that is underway. It draws over 5,500 of the top water, environment and related professionals from more than 100 countries from across the water sector, including thought leaders from within and beyond the water sector.

The Congress will cover 5 programme themes: Cities, Utilities and Industries Leading Change; Re-Charting the Course of Water Resources; Enabling Progress with Good Governance, Sustainable Finance and ICT; Water Quality, Safety and Human Health and Water and Wastewater Processes and Treatments.

View Programme

Visit conference website