IOC Training Course and Identification Qualification in Harmful Marine Microalgae, August-October 2023 

Since 1993 the IOC has conducted training courses on harmful microalgae. The purpose has been to improve the taxonomic and identification skills of the participants for research purposes and for practical monitoring of harmful algal blooms.

From 2006 the IOC training in HAB identification has been offered within a new framework which gives accreditation. The present course includes now a practical exam at the end of the course with an IOC Certificate of Proficiency in Identification of Harmful Algae issued to participants who pass the exam. We know by experience that many of the more than 500 trainees we have had over the years have wished the courses to give accreditation, and in some countries, the IOC courses have become a reference for laboratories to be approved for carrying out regulatory monitoring for harmful microalgae.

The IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, University of Copenhagen, Denmark is organizing the course. 

Course description: The course includes 100 hours of teaching and is divided into two parts. 1) The first part of the course is an internet teaching programme on the Ocean Teacher platform giving general introductions to the various groups of harmful algae; this part is mainly for self-study and estimated to 40 hours of reading. 2) The second part is a practical course in species identification (see tentative programme below). Part 2 includes 60 hours of teaching and a microscope will be available to each participant during the entire period.

Participants: The course is aimed at participants who have some years of practical experience in identification of microalgae. The number of participants is limited to 16. If there are more applicants than available seats, priority will be given to applicants who have direct research or management responsibilities with regard to the occurrence of harmful algae.

Dates: Part 1 will be available on the ‘International Oceanographic Data Exchange’ (IODE) teaching platform ‘Ocean Teacher’ from August onwards; part 2 takes place from 15-26 October 2023.

Venue (Part 2): IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, c/o Danhostel, Lejrskolevej 4, 3400 Hillerød.

Application: Deadline for application is 1 June 2023, see link to application form below.

Language: English.

Course lecturers: Dr. Heléne Annadotter, Dr. Santiago Fraga, Dr. Jacob Larsen, Dr. Nina Lundholm, Professor Øjvind Moestrup.

Enquiries may be sent to Jacob Larsen,


The course is organized on a cost-recovery basis. The price of the course is 3950 EUR and it is a package deal, which covers all expenses during the course period, see also link below; thus

  1. Accommodation, arriving to the course venue on 15 October, check-in from 16.00, and check-out on 26 October at 10.00;
  2. All meals during the course, starting with an evening meal upon arrival on 15 Oct. and finishing with breakfast on 26 Oct;
  3. Access to the distant learning programme on Ocean Teacher which will be available two- months prior to the practical course;
  4. Use of facilities, microscopes, samples, and cultures;
  5. Tuition during the practical part of the course;
  6. Teaching material including hard copies or pdf-versions of the following books which will be distributed during the practical part of the course:
  • Hoppenrath, M., Murray, S.A., Chomérat, N. & Horiguchi, T. 2014. Marine Benthic Dinoflagellates: Unveiling Their Worldwide Biodiversity. – Kleine Senckenberg-Reihe, Volume: 54, 1-276 (hard copy)
  • Lassus, P., Chomérat, N., Hess, P. & Nézan, E. 2016. Toxic and Harmful Microalgae of the World Ocean. – Denmark. International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of Unesco. IOC Manuals and Guides 68, 523 pp. (hard copy)
  • Karlson, B., Cusack, C. & Bresnan, E. (eds). 2010. Microscopic and molecular methods fro quantitative phytoplankton analysis. – IOC Manuals and Guides 55, Paris, Unesco, 110 pp. (pdf-version)
  • Larsen, J. & Nguyen, N.L. (eds). 2004. Potentially toxic microalgae of Vietnamese waters. – Opera Bot. 140: 5-216 (pdf-version)
  • Reguera, B., Alonso, R., Moreira, A., Méndez, S., Dechraoui-Bottein, M.-Y. (eds). 2016. Guide for designing and implementing a plan to monotor toxin-producing microalge. 2nd – IOC Gudies and Manuals 59, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of Unesco and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Paris and Vienna, 66 pp. (pdf-version)
  • Proceedings from various HAB conferences (pdf-versions)
  • Copies of all lectures given during the course

    Application form 

    Course Programme