Huxley Speaker Series 5/11: Dr. Misty Peacock on Algal Toxin Events within the California Current

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Posted: Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 11:23pm

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

Location: Miller Hall 138

As part of the 2016-17 Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series, Dr. Misty Peacock will deliver her talk “Blurred Lines: Multiple Freshwater and Marine Algal Toxins at the Land-Sea Interface,” at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 in Miller Hall 138 on the Western Washington University campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The California Current spans nearly 3,000 km, from Southern British Columbia to Baja, California. Over the last few years, there have been multiple, dramatic algal toxin events within the California Current. In her Speaker Series talk, Dr. Peacock will discuss San Francisco Bay, CA, a region that was once assumed to not have harmful algal bloom problems. Sampling shows that multiple toxins are present nearly all the time, and that at least four toxins are present simultaneously in shellfish. Comparatively, Bellingham Bay, WA, which has had historic Paralytic Shellfish Toxin events, has recently been identified as at risk for other freshwater and marine algal toxins. These findings are put in the context of ecological drivers and explore improved monitoring and management efforts to deal with the simultaneous presence of multiple toxins.

Dr. Misty Peacock is the Director of the Salish Sea Research Center at Northwest Indian College, a renowned research center that promotes development of students as Indigenous scholars. She is a phytoplankton ecologist and her research focuses on coastal and estuarine environments. Her expertise is on freshwater biotoxins and the transfer into the marine food web through shellfish at the land-sea interface. The goal of her research is to disseminate and inform the public at the local, federal, and tribal government levels for the purpose of managing and mitigating human and wildlife exposure to toxins.