Digital Access to the Publications (1944-2008) of Professor Enrique Balech

Access List of E. Balech Publications

Citation and use of the data from this website, if used in a publication, should be cited as follows: Akselman, R.,(Ed) (2012). IOC-UNESCO Digital Access to the Publications (1944-2008) of Professor Enrique Balech.

Available by courtsey of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO): Balech, E., 1988, Los dinoflagelados del Atlántico sudoccidental

Acknowledgements: see end of page.

This initiative, supported by IOC UNESCO, provides public access to most of the planktological studies published by the late Professor Enrique Balech. Some of them are little known and others are hard to find, even in specialized libraries. The great advantage is their availability in digital format and to have all of them in the same “place”. Our intention is to incorporate more papers in successive stages. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.if you have articles to add.

While E. Balech is mainly known for his taxonomic studies of dinoflagellates, especially those related to the genus Alexandrium, a producer of paralytic shellfish toxins, many of his publications (more than a hundred) focused on floristic studies of plankton communities, which he applied to improve biogeographical and hydrodynamic knowledge. Planktonic communities were thoroughly characterized in Balech’s studies, because he could identify most of the species of the taxonomic groups present in each sample, from diatoms, dinoflagellates and tintinnids, to coccolithophorids, radiolarians or heliozoans, when present, thus taking into account both the phytoplankton and zooplankton.

The main features of Balech’s professional career and an almost complete list of his published works can be found in these obituaries:

“Enrique Balech (1912–2007), More than a dinoflagellate taxonomist” (Harmful Algae 7 (2008): 713–716), prepared by R. Akselman, S. Fraga & K. Steidinger.

“In memoriam, Enrique Balech” (Rev. Invest. Desarr. Pesq. 19 (2008): 81-88), prepared by R. Akselman.



E. Balech (Photo by R. Akselman-Cardella)

About the journals

Since his first period of scientific work in the Invertebrate Section of the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences "Bernardino Rivadavia" (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "B. Rivadavia" – MACN,, E. Balech published his works in the journal "Physis” of Buenos Aires, edited by the Argentine Association of Natural Sciences (Asociación Argentina de Ciencias Naturales - AACN). The AACN for decades brought together biologists from Argentina and other South American countries, and provided through Physis, a vehicle for publication of papers on continental and marine topics of the region. Balech was a regular participant in meetings of the AACN, where studies intended for publication in Physis were presented and discussed. Balech was an active member of this group from 1938 to 1988.

Linked throughout his professional life to the MACN, Balech also published for over half a century an important number of studies in several of the Museum’s journals, mainly in its “Revista”. On this website we also provide access to studies published in Neotropica (journal of the former Zoological Society of Plata [Sociedad Zoológica del Plata]), by the Naval Hydrographic Service of Argentina (Servicio de Hidrografía Naval – SHN) as a result of oceanographic cruises carried out by SHN vessels on the continental shelf and adjacent areas including the confluence of the Brazil and Malvinas currents, and those edited by the former Institute of Marine Biology of Mar del Plata (Instituto de Biología Marina – IBM), now National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero – INIDEP,, during the short period in which E. Balech served in the IBM.

International cooperation in times of economic crisis in Argentina was also important and fruitful, and the long monographs on dinoflagellates from the Southwestern Atlantic (1988) and on the genus Alexandrium (1995) were published by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and the Sherkin Island Marine Station, Ireland, respectively.

Balech worked at first in the Invertebrate Laboratory at the MACN in Buenos Aires, then for decades at the Hydrobiological Station of Quequén Port (Estación Hidrobiológica de Puerto Quequén – EHPQ). The simple old wooden building of the EHPQ has its own historical interest; it was imported from the Netherlands in 1902 by the Dutch company that dredged and built Quequén port. In 1928, the building was transferred to the MACN to create the EHPQ, which thus became the first marine biology research station in South America. For decades, Professor Balech served as its Director and after his retirement was named Emeritus Director.


 MACN Facade

Facade of the Argentine Museum of Natural   Sciences "Bernardino Rivadavia" (Museo Argentino de Ciencias   Naturales "B. Rivadavia" – MACN) at Buenos Aires

Topics of publications

Balech worked initially with euglenophytes and ciliates from freshwater environments, but soon went to work permanently with the marine environment. The existence on the Atlantic coast of the Hydrobiological Station of Quequén Port (EHPQ), under the MACN, where researchers could then not only use the laboratory but also stay, may have played an important role in that decision. “Transferred" to the marine environment, he continued to work with tintinnids, and soon added the dinoflagellates to which he devoted most of his studies and to which he made so many taxonomic contributions. Although Balech focused mainly on the microplankton of the Southwest Atlantic, he also made important contributions in other regions, such as the equatorial Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the South Pacific and Antarctica.


Prof. Balech spoke Spanish, French (he spoke the language, as he descended from French Basques), English, and he preached in favour of Esperanto as an international language of science.


Front view of the recently repaired   Hydrobiological Station of Quequén Port (Estación Hidrobiológica de Puerto   Quequén - EHPQ) where Prof. Balech conducted most of his research and was Honorary Chief from the early 1960s until a few years before his death.


This compilation would not have been possible without the commitment and the excellent collaboration of Carlos Guerrero (INIDEP), who digitized many of the publications made available on this site.

A special acknowledgement to Santiago Fraga (IEO, Spain), for his suggestion to compile the papers of E. Balech.

We thank the following people for permission to digitize the publications of E. Balech:

Enrique E. Boschi and Otto C. Wöhler (Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero, Mar del Plata, Argentina), for its authorization of the journals “Boletín del Instituto de Biología Marina” and “Revista de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero”

Axel Bachmann (Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), for his authorization of the journal “Physis (Buenos Aires)”

Atilano Contreras Ramos and Gerardo Arévalo Guzmán (Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México), for its authorization of the journal “Anales del Instituto de Biología”

Ricardo Bravo and Mauricio F. Landaeta (Universidad de Valparaíso,Viña del Mar, Chile), for its authorization of the journal “Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía”

Yves Desdevises (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France), for his authorization of the journal “Vieu et Milieu”

Mercedes Azpelicueta (Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina), for her authorization of the journal “Neotrópica”

Javier González (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Montevideo, Uruguay), for his authorization of the journal “Comunicaciones Zoológicas”

Cristina Garcia (MAGRAMA, Spain) for her arrangements to get the permission from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and to Concha Mosquera (IEO, Madrid) for making the issue 'Balech, E., 1988, Los dinoflagelados del Atlántico sudoccidental 'of "Publicaciones Especiales del Instituto Español de Oceanografía" available to the HAB community through the IEO repository

To María del Carmen Moro (Servicio de Hidrografía Naval - SHN, Buenos Aires, Argentina), for its cooperation with the SHN publications

  • Thanks to the INIDEP librarians, Guillermina Cosulich, Gabriela Silvoni, Gladys Fernández and Leticia Lizondo, by the provision of part of the digitized files and by providing work experience in the management of documentation. 
  • Thanks to the Scielo (Scientific Electronic Library Online) Project of Brazil by the digitized work of 1979, “Tres dinoflagelados nuevos…”, downloaded from the website 
  • Thanks to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma of México (UNAM) by the digitized work of 1980, “On thecal morphology of dinoflagellates…”, downloaded from the website of the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología: 
  • Thanks to the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations - CalCOFI (California Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Fisheries Service and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA) by the digitized work of 1959 “The changes in the phytoplankton…”, downloaded from the website:

Hosted by UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium