2017 - International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety, May 14-18 (ICMSS)

Dorothy-Jean’s career has been immersed in environmental public health; 30 years in New Zealand regulatory roles and the last 10 years expanding to food safety matters in other countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. While doing practical work in the trenches, she has also earned a BSc in Zoology and Botany from Massey University, along with a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Auckland.   In 2013 she was awarded a two-year education scholarship with the Seafood Branch of the US Food & Drug Administration. Since then she has been pondering the truth, and the alternative truth, of science and governance while completing her PhD with the University of Auckland.   Her professional activities include all aspects of public health, yet the shellfish food safety world remains her passion.

Jim Oliver is Bonnie Cone Distinguished Professor and Professor of Microbiology at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and Adjunct Professor at Duke University. He received his BS in microbiology from the University of Arizona, his PhD at Georgetown University, and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Ottawa. He has held visiting professorships in Sweden, Denmark, Scotland, and here at NUI Galway, and was a McCurdy Scholar at the Duke University Marine Laboratory.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, on the Editorial Board of FEMS Microbial Ecology, and has presented nearly 130 seminars/invited talks in 19 countries. He lists 175 scientific publications and 21 book chapters, the great majority of which are on the human pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus. The WHO introduced Jim as “a microbiologist who has studied the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus for 35 years and is considered..….to probably be the foremost expert in the world on this bacterium”.


As Principal Chemist in the Cefas Weymouth Food Safety Group, Andrew is responsible for the biotoxin testing in shellfish performed on behalf of the UK competent authorities. He oversees the development and implementation of new methods for food safety surveillance and leads the development of research activities of the chemistry team. He has over 18 years postgraduate experience delivering analytical chemistry in a commercial environment. Current research interests include the development of new instrumental methods for marine biotoxins, assessment of rapid testing methods and the impact of cyanobacteria on food safety. They also include the development and production of stable reference materials, risks from new and emerging toxins & chemical contaminants within UK waters.


Donald M Anderson is a Senior Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is the Director of the Cooperative Institute for North Atlantic Research (CINAR), and is Director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms.  His research is on toxic or harmful algal blooms (HABs), with focal areas that range from molecular and physiological studies of growth, sexuality, and toxin production to the large-scale oceanography and ecology of HABs, including numerical modeling, forecasting, and a range of monitoring and management strategies, many reliant on novel instrumentation and biosensors.   In his keynote presentation, Don will provide a brief overview of HABs. recent global trends in their occurrence and impacts, and the many challenges in monitoring and managing shellfish and other resources impacted by toxic blooms.  He will then highlight some of the new “ocean observing”  technologies that are already being used for early warning of HABS, as well as to provide near real-time, in situ data on HAB cells and their toxins to augment traditional monitoring approaches.  Given costs, logistics, and regulatory issues, it is currently unrealistic to expect these instruments to be broadly incorporated into monitoring and management programs worldwide, but progress in that direction has been steady and  it is now possible to envision a future where networks of instruments will provide managers with valuable information on HABs and the environmental conditions that regulate their distribution, abundance, and toxicity.

Jan Vinjé Ph.D. is Head of the National Calicivirus Laboratory and Director of CaliciNet at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Vinjé received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands in 1999. After a postdoc and an appointment as research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, he joined CDC in 2006. Over the past 11 years, he has served on several program advisory committees from several European research projects (FP6, FP7). He is serving as technical expert on the norovirus subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and is the current Chair of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses study groups on Caliciviridae. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and associate editor of the journal Food and Environmental Virology and he serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for journals such as Nature, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Virology, Applied and Environmental Virology. Dr. Vinjé has published over 140 peer reviewed publications and several book chapters and he is a guest lecturer at Emory and the University of Georgia. His research interests include all aspects of viral gastrointestinal disease including detection, characterization, molecular epidemiology, immunology and prevention and control of norovirus infections.


Ana Gago-Martinez is Professor at the Analytical Chemistry and Food Department of the University of Vigo in Spain and Director at the EU Reference Laboratory for Marine Biotoxins, Co-chair of the International Association Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) Task Force on Marine and Freshwater Toxins. Prof. Gago-Martinez completed her Ph.D studies in the University of Vigo, Spain, working in the development of instrumental methods for the analysis of marine biotoxins and conducted postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Marine Biosciences from the National Research Council in Halifax, Canada. She carried out several research projects on the development and implementation of chromatographic-based analytical methods for marine biotoxins, as a visiting scientist at the Ministry of Health in Ottawa, Canada, as well as in other Universities and Research centers in EU and USA, such as University of Jena, (Germany); Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, (Norway); Cork Institute of Technology, (Ireland), and also working in the development and optimization of sample pretreatment procedures, as well as Mass Spectrometric methods for Proteomics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), (USA). She has been involved in several research projects through both National and EU funding and published extensively in the field of phycotoxins analysis. She has supervised 16 Doctoral Thesis and more than 25 research projects for Masters Degree based on the research areas above mentioned.  At present she shares her teaching and research activities at the Analytical Chemistry and Food Department of the University of Vigo, with the responsibility of leading the activities of the EU Reference Laboratory for Marine Biotoxins (EURLMB).

Researcher interested in the detection, chemistry, ecological role and impact of phycotoxins on marine environment and human health. After studies of chemistry at EHICS Strasbourg (FR), he completed his PhD in 1998 on organic contaminants in the marine environment (UK). Subsequently, he studied algal toxins, initially focussing on domoic acid and saxitoxins. In 2001, he helped implement chemical testing for lipophilic toxins in parallel to mouse bioassays to combat azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (IE). He then investigated toxin isolation and reference materials for official control, facilitating legislative changes in Europe for lipophilic toxins. Furthermore, he implemented proficiency testing for shellfish toxins within QUASIMEME, undertook method validation exercises for domoic acid and lipophilic toxins and contributed to method standardisation (UK-FSA, EU-project BIOTOX, ECVAM, CEN, INAB, AFNOR, AOAC Presidential Task Force for Phycotoxin Methods). In parallel, he contributed to risk evaluation & management, through a number of WGs (Irish, UK and French Food Safety Agencies, European Food Safety Agency, FAO Expert consultation 2005, Codex alimentarius). Since 2008, P. Hess continues his studies on phycotoxins at the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Seas, Ifremer. His research interests are algal culture for the production of purified toxins and generic methods for biodiscovery (miniaturised bioassays and metabolomic techniques based on high resolution mass spectrometry). He also teaches a course on phycotoxins at Nantes University and is the co-director of the French Research network on harmful algae (www.phycotox.fr). Since 2011, he contributes to communicating science to policy stakeholders through the Marine Board WG “Oceans and Human Health”, European Science Foundation and represents France on the Intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (IOC-UNESCO).

Robert L. Atmar is the John S. Dunn Research Foundation Clinical Professor in Infectious Diseases in the Departments of Medicine and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, and he serves as the interim Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine.  He received a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Texas A&M University in 1978 and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1981.  He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Atmar’s research interests include the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of norovirus infections.  He has studied noroviruses for more than 20 years, with a special emphasis on the diagnosis, clinical evaluation, and immunology of norovirus infection and on the development and evaluation of norovirus vaccine candidates.