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Seminar: Dr. Patricia Tester, NOAA
October 21, 2015 @ 3:35 pm - 4:35 pm
Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in the Caribbean: What You Should Know Before You Take Your Next Tropical Vacation (Host: Marc Alperin)
Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is the most common non-bacterial illness associated with consumption of tropical fish. Fifty thousand cases of CFP are reported annually and this likely represents only 10% of the total number of illnesses. Since 2001 NOAA’s Beaufort (NC) laboratory has collaborated with staff from the Smithsonian Institution, the Institut Louis Malardé and UNC-Wilmington to discover new species, revise the taxonomy of the causative organisms (dinoflagellates in the genus Gambierdiscus), examine the effects of temperature on growth and develop qPCR assays to provide monitoring capabilities. Improved detection methods resulted in the discovery of more new species and documented range extensions to offer a view of the changing biogeography of the genus. Efforts have culminated in forecast modes for the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea to examine the effects of climate change on the growth, abundance and distribution of Gambierdiscus.