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Don Anderson, Ph.D.

Don Anderson is a Senior Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He earned three degrees from MIT – a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1970, and a MS (1975) and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1977. He joined the scientific staff at WHOI in 1978. He has received the following awards: the Stanley W. Watson Chair for Excellence in Oceanography (WHOI, 1993), the NOAA Environmental Hero award (1999), the Dr. David L. Belding Award (Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, 2005), the Yasumoto Lifetime Achievement Award (the International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae , 2006), the Bostwick H. Ketchum Award (2017), and the Lifetime Research and Service Award from the US National Harmful Algal Bloom Committee. Anderson is the former director of WHOI’s Coastal Ocean Institute (COI), and presently serves as Director of the Cooperative Institute for North Atlantic Research (CINAR). Anderson also serves as Director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms.


Anderson’s research focus is on toxic or harmful algal blooms (HABs), commonly called “red tides”. His research ranges from molecular and physiological studies of growth, sexuality, and toxin production to the large-scale oceanography and ecology of the “blooms” of these microorganisms, including numerical modeling, forecasting, and a range of monitoring and management strategies, many reliant on novel instrumentation and biosensors. Another new area of researchis on the effects of climate change and global warming on HABs and coastal communities. Anderson is heavily involved in national and international program development for research, monitoring, and management of red tides, marine biotoxins, and HABs. He has testified nine times before Congressional committees, and has been actively involved in legislation and appropriations related to HABs and hypoxia.

Anderson is the author, co-author, or editor of over 330 scientific papers and 14 books.