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Opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Advancing sensor technologies for algal biotoxin detection


National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

RO# Location
26.09.10.C0452 Charleston, SC 29412


name email phone
Gregory J. Doucette 843-508-3315


A research opportunity is available in the Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Monitoring and Reference Branch of the NOAA/National Ocean Service/ National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in the area of algal biotoxin sensor technologies. Bloom-forming algae and cyanobacteria, along with the many biotoxins they produce, represent an intensifying and expanding threat in coastal regions of the world’s oceans and the Great Lakes. Effective HAB management and mitigation rely on the availability of timely and actionable data for bloom development, trajectory, and toxicity. To address the need for developing early warning capabilities and supporting models to forecast bloom dynamics and toxicity, significant advances are being realized in sensor technologies for real-time detection of HAB species and toxins (1, 3). Accordingly, the aim of the current project is to build on prior our prior achievements (2) in deploying HAB toxin sensors on autonomous underwater and/or field-portable platforms. The focus of this effort will be on continuing to develop, validate, and implement sophisticated, yet automated sample preparation techniques, interfaced with miniaturized sensors, and integrated onto deployment platforms accessible to a broad range of resource managers and other stakeholders as part of NOAA’s mission.

1. Bowers, H.A., Ryan, J.P., Hayashi, K., Woods, A.L., Marin, R. III, Smith, G.J., Hubbard, K.A., Doucette, G.J., Mikulski, C., et al. 2018. Diversity and toxicity of Pseudo-nitzschia species in Monterey Bay: Perspectives from targeted and adaptive sampling. Harmful Algae 78:129-41.

2. Doucette, G.J., Kudela, R.M. 2017. In-situ and real time identification of toxins and toxin-producing microorganisms in the environment. In: Campàs, M., Diogène, J. (eds.). CAC: Recent Advances on the Analysis of Marine Toxins. Elsevier, B.V. 78:411-443.

3. Ryan, J.P, Kudela, R.M., Birch, J.M., Blum, M., Bowers, H.A., Chavez, F.P., Doucette, G.J., Marin III, R., Mikulski, C.M., et al. 2017. Causality of an extreme harmful algal bloom in the central California Current System during the 2014 – 2015 northeast Pacific warm anomaly. Geophysical Research Letters 44:5571–5579.

harmful algal blooms; red tides; algal biotoxins; biotoxin sensors and assays; Environmental Sample Processor; autonomous unmanned technologies; integrated observing systems; domoic acid; saxitoxins; microcystins


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$56,000.00 $2,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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