Welcome message

ISSHA members, colleagues and friends

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, it is a pleasure to invite all the members of the international harmful algae science community to the 19th International Conference on Harmful Algae (ICHA), to be held for the second time in Latin America. On this occasion, it will be hosted in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico from the 11th to the 16th of October 2020. The idea of hosting the 19th ICHA in Mexico comes from the scientific members of the National Society for the Study of Harmful Algae Blooms (SOMEFAN, A.C.) and from the National Research Network of Harmful Algae Blooms (RedFAN, CONACyT). The SOMEFAN association has hosted academic meetings every two years since 2011, and since 2015, RedFAN has supported many academic activities directed to increase our knowledge of HABs in Mexico. Both organizations include scientists from Chile, Spain, Ecuador, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, and USA, with whom we have initiated collaborations to study the different challenges our country encounters with harmful algae.

On our coasts, we have several harmful species in common with other geographic regions: Gymnodinium, Pyrodinium, Prorocentrum, Dinophysis, Pseudonitzschia, Margalefidinium, and Microcystis, among others. Many of them have caused important impacts that have led to economic losses. During the last years, we have increased our monitoring capacities for the detection of these species and their toxins, but we still have many unresolved issues including harmful benthic species and harmful algae blooms in freshwater systems. We are aware of the complexity of the impact of harmful algae worldwide and the importance to applying basic scientific knowledge to help resolve future challenges. For these reasons, our elected central theme for ICHA 2020 is “From Basic Studies to Future Applications”.

The 19th ICHA will include all topics related to understanding the causes, evolution and impacts of harmful microalgae and cyanobacteria. We are planning an enjoyable meeting where scientists can present their research, share new ideas, and establish new collaborations and friendships.

La Paz, a place where many academic institutes are found, is an ideal city for the meeting. It is a small, secure and quiet city, with beautiful surroundings, which is visited by many international tourists and academics all year round.

We welcome you to join us for the 19th ICHA in La Paz!

Christine Band-Schmidt
Chair of ICHA 2020, Mexico

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