Algae a blooming interest at workshop

Friday, 14 April 2000

An algal workshop hosted by Adelaide University early next week aims to redress a shortage of algal experts in Australia - a shortage which is hampering efforts to detect and monitor algal outbreaks in Australian waterways.

Convenor of the second Australian Algal Workshop, Dr Peter Gell, says the workshop is designed to train industry and government scientists in algal monitoring and will draw together some 60 experts from around Australia. It is being held between Monday, 17 April and Wednesday, 19 April at the Polygon Lecture Theatre.

"Presently there simply aren't enough qualified algal experts in the country to keep on eye on the nation's waterways ­ these workshops are aimed at redressing this," he said.

"There is always the potential for outbreaks of things like toxic blue-green algae affecting drinking water quality, and other nasty forms of algae like toxic dinoflagellates (a type of single-cell algae) contaminating seafood products, as well as algal blooms causing fish kills.

"While most of us recognise and appreciate the biodiversity of terrestrial plants and animals, the wealth of genetic diversity in the microscopic plant life in the water environment is largely overlooked.

"Having conferences like these is fantastic for getting everyone in the country together to share the latest developments in this area. The support for algal monitoring is lacking and unfortunately there just aren't enough of us in positions to be able to monitor the algae of all of South Australia's and indeed Australia's waterways."

This year's workshop includes presentations on algal species such as dinoflagellates, cyanobacteria, and diatoms.

Media Contact: Doctor Peter Gell, lecturer in biogeography and environmental change in Adelaide University's Department of Geographical & Environmental Studies ph (08) 8303 4774 (w), 0414 870 280 (mobile).


Contact Details

Dr Peter Gell
Senior Lecturer
Geographical & Environmental Studies
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4774
Mobile: 0427 870 280

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762