Final Report Summary - MEAT (Microcystin Exposure Associated Toxicity)
This IRSES had the goal to better understand toxic cyanobacterial blooms in surface waters and their potential impact of these toxins on humans within the vicinity of surface waters with blooms. Mesocoms studies, studies with different environmental conditions, including some modelling enhanced the understanding of the blooms. In addition, more refined analytical tools and methodology including LC-MS/MS determinations of toxins in human blood samples from blood banks were developed. The exchange of Argentinean, German and New Zeland scientists led to an intensive collaborative effort with a huge scientific output as measure by peer-reviewd publications and presentations at international meetings and with governmental institutions. The exchange and training of nearly 71% female scientist supported the important role of female scientists in applied research and especially supported the position of female scientists in Argentinean research. Intensive communication of results and expertise led to mutiple intractions with government authorities, whereby the first cyanobacterail conference held between Argentina and Ururguay in Colon 2015 was organized by one of the IRSES female scientist trainees and was a huge success in that it raised the awareness of the problems associated with cyanobacterial toxin exposure in humans and resulted in a grant from MINCyt Argentina to another female scientist trainee at INA Cordoba. Similarly the 16th International Conference on Harmful Algae (ICHA), held in Wellington in October 2014, was hosted by Cawthron Institute, thereby highlighting the impact the research efforts carried out under the MEAT IRSES had on international activites and science recognition.