How do nutrients and temperature affect cyanobacterial bloom toxicity?

How do nutrients and temperature affect cyanobacterial bloom toxicity?

Aquatic Ecology

Contact Person:

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

Project Focus

Toxic cyanobacterial blooms threaten freshwater quality, made worse by climate change and eutrophication. The toxicity of these blooms depends not only on cyanobacteria quantity but also on the presence potentially toxin-producing species and genotypes, and their varied toxin production. While we understand the individual factors driving these changes, conflicting effects on different parts of bloom toxicity make predicting toxicity levels challenging.

In the Netherlands, eutrophication is predicted to increase cyanobacterial blooms. Yet, the impact on toxicity remains uncertain. This project delves into the effects of phosphorus, and nitrogen variations, influenced by global stressors, on toxicity dynamics in controlled 10L microcosms. 

This project is part of the BLOOMTOX project led by Dedmer van de Waal. The experiment will take place between July and September, so it is important that you are available during this period. You will of course be able to take a vacation at a different time. 

Your Role

  • Visit the field to collect materials for the experiment. 
  • Helping to establish and manage the 10L experimental microcosms.
  • Conducting lab work and supporting data analysis.
  • Collaborating closely with the supervisory team to interpret findings. 


If you are interested in this project, please contact Annemieke Drost, PhD-candidate at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

Level: MSc & University of applied sciences

Location(s): Wageningen

Duration: 5+ months, preferably starting in summer (around August). Suitable for a thesis and/or internship.

Rob Buiter, Vroege vogels