Capstone Title

Toxic Phytoplankton

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Richard E. Dodge


This paper is an overview of the field of toxic algal bloom phenomenon including aspects of taxonomy, ecology, and toxicology. The objective of this paper is to describe six types of toxic conditions that have detrimental effects on human health and industry. These include: Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP), Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP), Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP), and Ichthyotoxic blooms. Each condition is described using the following subheadings as an organizational scheme:

  1. Taxonomy - The classification and morphology of the toxin producing groups
  2. Toxin chemistry - The molecular structures of the toxins
  3. Mode of Action and Symptomology - The biochemical activity of the toxins.
  4. Transvectors - Representative examples of the species that accumulate the toxins
  5. Bloom Organism Toxicity - Bloom parameters and factors that affect toxicity.
  6. Testing methods - Representative and unique assays used for monitoring.

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