January 11, 2012

MIT Sea Grant supported researcher to deploy robotic Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) for "red tide" toxins in Spring 2012

With support from MIT Sea Grant, Don Anderson of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in collaboration with Co-Principal Investigators Juliette Smith (WHOI) and Gregory Doucette (NOAA’s Marine Biotoxin Program), is scheduled to deploy an enhanced Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) in Spring 2012.

If testing using laboratory-based instruments is completed in time, the deployment at a mooring site near Casco Bay, Maine will include new capabilities to detect and quantify Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins in phytoplankton.

Currently, the ESP is capable of identifying and enumerating the cells of targeted species, such as those of Alexandrium fundyense, the “red tide” or harmful algal bloom species responsible for recurrent outbreaks of PSP in New England waters.

The near real-time, in situ toxin data provided by the ESP are expected to benefit the overall goals of protecting natural shellfish resources and human health and expanding our understanding of harmful algal bloom dynamics and toxin production.

This project is supported through funding for the project, Development of real-time instrumentation for the robotic detection of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins in Massachusetts coastal waters.

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Environmental Sample Processor

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