ICHA 17 October 9-14 2016 – "Harmful Algae, from cells to fisheries: species, toxins, ecology, management and new technologies"
Vera Trainer, ISSHA President
Bonjir, Floripa! (Hello, Florianopolis!)
The conference, from 9-14 October 2016, which was the first held in South America, featured 350 participants from 35 countries who presented 145 talks and 210 posters over 5 days. A series of “ignite” talks (2 sessions of 10 presentations each) were a great way for poster presenters to give a 5-minute introduction to their topics. Among the submitted papers, 355 were selected for presentation in 14 different topic areas. Considering all the works submitted, the total number of authors participating in the event reached about 1500, representing 438 institutions around the world. We extend our sincere thanks to Luis Proenca, the local and international organizing committees, and the staff at the University of Santa Catarina for making the conference a great success. We thoroughly enjoyed the excellent scientific program, the conference locale including lovely historical Floripa and its fantastic seafood, and the Wednesday afternoon tours that gave us a “taste” of the surrounding region.
There were 36 applicants for the first ever Student Speed Networking mini-course, held on Sunday, October 9, led by mentors Vera Trainer and Lisa Campbell (USA), Adriana Zingone and Marine Montresor (Italy) and Mohammad Abdul Baki . Highlights were our discussion on the importance of networking and how to give an interesting and captivating elevator speech to your colleagues. It was emphasized that it should take about 30 seconds to introduce yourself and your work by including a hook or something that captures your listener, and ending by summarizing where you are in your career and whether you are looking for a position. Students were encouraged to tell their listener when their presentation (poster or talk) would be given at the meeting. They rotated among 4 tables and while practicing their speeches, had the opportunity also to get to know one another. These students commented that the speed networking session was a nice ice breaker that enabled them to meet one another and more senior members of the HAB community.
There were 36 applications for travel awards from 19 countries. ISSHA, through its Travel Award funds, was able to support 27 students from 13 different countries. There were 71 candidates for the Maureen Keller student award, given to outstanding graduate student oral and poster communications at the ICHA conferences.
The 2016 auction was a success as more than 3000 € were raised. A new feature of the auction considered a success was a student lunch with Gustaaf Hallegraeff, that enabled a student to obtain valuable career advice from a senior scientist.Stay tuned for such innovative opportunities at future auctions!
Other highlights of the 17th ICHA (2016) included a Sea Dance, which was available during coffee breaks. This was a motion-sensing dance designed to serve as an outreach project to explain the marine food web and blooms of algae. It is an interactive game in which the dancers get to know species and organisms that comprise our marine ecosystem while dancing to the music. It was great fun to watch our colleagues whirl around the dance floor!
Lovely textiles were available at the conference, designed by Crubag and sponsored by ISSHA, to represent harmful algae in artist ways. Scarves, bow ties and bags were sold; a portion of the proceeds will benefit ISSHA. The new book Toxic and Harmful Microalgae of the World by Nicolas Chomérat, Philipp Hess, Elisabeth Nézan and Patrick Lassus was revealed at the conference and is now available at cost on the ISSHA website (see http://www.issha.org/News/Book-release).
The ISSHA members were busy during the meeting and elected the following new council members to serve as your representatives: Wayne Litaker (US), Ichiro Imai (Japan) and Po Teen Lim (Malaysia). The council members who were re-elected for another 2 years include: Vera Trainer, Gustaaf Hallegraeff, Anke Kremp, Beatriz Reguera, Christine Band-Schmidt, Keith Davidson, Marta Estrada, Ian Jenkinson, Karen Lebret, Lincoln McKenzie, Luis Proenca, Phillip Hess, Henrik Enevoldsen.
The vote for the 19th International Conference on Harmful Algae was held and will be in Baja, Mexico in 2020. In two years from now (2018), the 18th International Conference on Harmful Algae will be in Nantes, France. Stay tuned for more details about the next conferences and other newsworthy items, such as job postings, workshops and courses, and HAB publications at the ISSHA website.
The deadline for submission of the conference proceedings is 1 March 2017, so please don’t delay writing your papers. Manuscripts are a maximum of 4 pages long, with a fixed format. For more information, please go to the ISSHA website at www.issha.org for conference photos, conference highlights and information on the format for the conference proceedings.