Nuisance and Harmful Algae

Harmful Microcystis aeruginosa bloom

Climate change is driving algal blooms which are of concern in water supply systems due to their potential to release harmful toxins and nuisance taste and odour compounds and their adverse impact on treatment processes. Of particular concern notorious cyanobacteria, commonly known as "blue-green algae" which are known to form these "harmful algal blooms (HABs). Waste stabilisation ponds, used for the advanced treatment of wastewater, are also highly susceptible to algal activity which can limit recycled water production.

The AOM Lab are involved in projects relating to the sensitive detection of algal blooms to provide early warning to water treatment plant managers, in developing and applying advanced characterisation techniques to determine cell and algal organic matter properties, and in the development of innovative separation processes to enhance their removal from water supplies, where we work from lab to pilot scales.  

Recently, A/Prof Rita Henderson, leader of the AOM Lab, helped establish the Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science-Practice Partnership (NHASP) in collaboration with colleagues in the UNSW Water Research Centre and Melbourne Water. For further information on this initiative, see:                              


Image: Harmful Microcystis aeruginosa bloom in South Australia in January 2018 (Photo credit: Florence Choo)


To see our current projects in this stream, click here


To see our past projects in this stream, click here


For opportunities in nuisance and harmful algae projects, see here


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