Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
Keith A Loftin, Ph.D.
Science and Products
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other researchers combined field and laboratory approaches in two studies to understand the factors that drive cyanobacterial bloom development and associated cyanotoxin production in Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie River and Estuary, and the Indian River Lagoon in response to the large-scale Lake Okeechobee cyanobacteria bloom in 2016.
Algal blooms frequently occur in our Nation's water resources and can cause economic, ecologic and human health concerns. Natural toxins produced by cyanobacteria and other microorganisms are commonly associated with algal blooms. Yet, the actual health threats posed to the public, pets, livestock, and wildlife by these toxins in water resources used for recreation and drinking water remain...
About the Laboratory
Scientists at the Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory (OGRL) in Lawrence, Kansas, develop and employ targeted and non-targeted analytical methods for identification and quantitation of known and understudied algal/cyanobacterial toxins that can impact the health of humans and other organisms. Newly acquired (2018) instrumentation will expand...
Study findings indicate that cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins were not associated with mussel mortality at the concentrations present in Lake Erie during a recent study (2013-15), but mussel growth was lower at sites with greater microcystin concentrations.
Methods used for the collection and analysis of chemical and biological data for the Tapwater Exposure Study, United States, 2016–17
In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area, initiated the Tapwater Exposure Study as part of an infrastructure project to assess human exposure to potential threats from complex mixtures of contaminants. In the pilot phase (2016), samples were collected from 11 States throughout the United States, and in the...Romanok, Kristin M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meppelink, Shannon; Argos, Maria; Brown, Juliane B.; Devito, Michael J.; Dietze, Julie E.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James L.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.; Bradley, Paul M.
Understanding the effect of salinity tolerance on cyanobacteria associated with a harmful algal bloom in Lake Okeechobee, Florida
In an effort to simulate the survival of cyanobacteria asthey are transported from Lake Okeechobee to the estuarinehabitats that receive waters from the lake, a bioassayencompassing a range of salinities was performed. An overalldecline in cyanobacteria health in salinity treatments greaterthan 18 practical salinity units (psu) was indicated by...Rosen, Barry H.; Loftin, Keith A.; Graham, Jennifer L.; Stahlhut, Katherine N.; Riley, James M.; Johnston, Brett D.; Senegal, Sarena
Water-quality conditions with an emphasis on cyanobacteria and associated toxins and taste-and-odor compounds in the Kansas River, Kansas, July 2012 through September 2016
Cyanobacteria cause a multitude of water-quality concerns, including the potential to produce toxins and taste-and-odor compounds that may cause substantial economic and public health concerns, and are of particular interest in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that are used for drinking-water supply. Extensive cyanobacterial blooms typically do not...Graham, Jennifer L.; Foster, Guy M.; Williams, Thomas J.; Mahoney, Matthew D.; May, Madison R.; Loftin, Keith A.
Book review: Handbook of cyanobacterial monitoring and cyanotoxin analysis
Review of Meriluoto, Jussi, Lisa Spoof, and GeoffreyA. Codd [eds.]. 2017. Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester, West Sussex, UK, ISBN 978‐1‐119‐06868‐6 (978‐1‐119‐06876‐1 eBook), DOI 10.1002/9781119068761.Graham, Jennifer L.; Loftin, Keith A.
Associations between cyanobacteria and indices of secondary production in the western basin of Lake Erie
Large lakes provide a variety of ecological services to surrounding cities and communities. Many of these services are supported by ecological processes that are threatened by the increasing prevalence of cyanobacterial blooms which occur as aquatic ecosystems experience cultural eutrophication. Over the past 10 yr, Lake Erie experienced...Larson, James H.; Evans, Mary Anne; Kennedy, Robert J.; Bailey, Sean; Loftin, Keith A.; Laughrey, Zachary; Femmer, Robin; Schaeffer, Jeff; Richardson, William B.; Wynne, Timothy; Nelson, J. C.; Duris, Joseph W.
Detection of microcystin and other cyanotoxins in lakes at Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, northern Michigan, 2012–13
Although cyanotoxins released during algal blooms have become an increasing concern in surface waters across the United States, the presence of cyanotoxins in northern Michigan lakes had not been evaluated in detail. The U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service (NPS) led a 2-year study (2012 and 2013) to determine the presence of...Fuller, Lori M.; Brennan, Angela K.; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Loftin, Keith A.; Johnson, Heather E.; VanderMeulen, David D.; Lafrancois, Brenda Moraska
Satellite monitoring of cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom frequency in recreational waters and drinking water sources
Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHAB) cause extensive problems in lakes worldwide, including human and ecological health risks, anoxia and fish kills, and taste and odor problems. CyanoHABs are a particular concern in both recreational waters and drinking water sources because of their dense biomass and the risk of exposure to toxins....Clark, John M.; Schaeffer, Blake A.; Darling, John A.; Urquhart, Erin A. ; Johnston, John M.; Ignatius, Amber R.; Myer, Mark H.; Loftin, Keith A.; Werdell, P. Jeremy; Stumpf, Richard P.
A method for examining temporal changes in cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom spatial extent using satellite remote sensing
Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHAB) are thought to be increasing globally over the past few decades, but relatively little quantitative information is available about the spatial extent of blooms. Satellite remote sensing provides a potential technology for identifying cyanoHABs in multiple water bodies and across geo-political...Urquhart, Erin A. ; Schaeffer, Blake A.; Stumpf, Richard P. ; Loftin, Keith A.; Werdell, P. Jeremy
A critical review of the postulated role of the non-essential amino acid, β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, in neurodegenerative disease in humans
The compound BMAA (β-N-methylamino-L-alanine) has been postulated to play a significant role in four serious neurological human diseases: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Parkinsonism Dementia Complex (ALS/PDC) found on Guam, and ALS, Parkinsonism, and dementia that occur globally. ALS/PDC with symptoms of all three diseases first came to the...Chernoff, Neil; Hill, D. J.; Diggs, D. L.; Faison, B. D.; Francis, B. M.; Lang, J. R.; Larue, M. M.; Le, T.-T.; Loftin, Keith A.; Lugo, J. N.; Schmid, J. E.; Winnik, W. W.
Cyanobacteria of the 2016 Lake Okeechobee and Okeechobee Waterway harmful algal bloom
The Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway (Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River, and the Caloosahatchee River) experienced an extensive harmful algal bloom within Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and River and the Caloosahatchee River in 2016. In addition to the very visible bloom of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa,...Rosen, Barry H.; Davis, Timothy W.; Gobler, Christopher J.; Kramer, Benjamin J.; Loftin, Keith A.
Expanded target-chemical analysis reveals extensive mixed-organic-contaminant exposure in USA streams
Surface water from 38 streams nationwide was assessed using 14 target-organic methods (719 compounds). Designed-bioactive anthropogenic contaminants (biocides, pharmaceuticals) comprised 57% of 406 organics detected at least once. The 10 most-frequently detected anthropogenic-organics included eight pesticides (desulfinylfipronil, AMPA,...Bradley, Paul M.; Journey, Celeste A.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Barber, Larry B.; Buxton, Herbert T.; Foreman, William T.; Furlong, Edward T.; Glassmeyer, Susan T.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Jones, Daniel K.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn M. ; Loftin, Keith A.; Mills, Marc A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L. ; Reilly, Timothy J.; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Villeneuve, Daniel L.
Methods used to characterize the chemical composition and biological activity of environmental waters throughout the United States, 2012-14
A vast array of chemical compounds are in wide commercial use in the United States, and the potential ecological and human-health effect of exposure to chemical mixtures has been identified as a high priority in environment health science. Awareness of the potential effects of low-level chemical exposures is rising. The U.S. Geological Survey, in...Romanok, Kristin M. ; Reilly, Timothy J.; Barber, Larry B.; Boone, J. Scott; Buxton, Herbert T.; Foreman, William T. ; Furlong, Edward T.; Hladik, Michelle; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Journey, Celeste A.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Kuivila, Kathryn ; Loftin, Keith A.; Mills, Marc A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L. ; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Villeneuve, Daniel L.; Bradley, Paul M.