Donald M. Anderson is a Senior Scientist in the Biology
Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where
he also serves as Director of the Coastal Ocean Institute.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
and a doctoral degree in aquatic sciences from the Civil
Engineering Department of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. He accepted a postdoctoral position at WHOI in
1978 and joined the staff as an Assistant Scientist in 1979.
Anderson became interested in red tides and HABs as an MIT
graduate student when a massive red tide devastated the New
England coast. His work investigating chemical factors regulating
Alexandrium blooms led to discoveries of a cyst stage and
other biological processes that became his research focus.
Since then, his research program has expanded and now ranges
from molecular and cellular studies of toxin genetics to
large-scale studies of the oceanography and ecology of algal
blooms. He is actively involved in the organization and implementation
of national and international programs for research and training
He serves as director of the U.S. National Office
for Marine Biotoxins and Harmful Algal Blooms (based at WHOI).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named
him an “Environmental Hero” in 1999. He does
eat shellfish and other seafood, both at home and abroad,
but is careful to learn whether the product is from approved
waters. As a rule, he does not eat large, tropical reef fish.
Don is an accomplished golfer, and is currently the Massachusetts
Senior Amateur Champion.