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Vera Trainer, Ph.D.

Supervisory Oceanographer
Environmental Chemistry Program
Office: (206) 860-6788

Vera Trainer, Ph.D.

Supervisory Oceanographer


Vera Trainer earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Miami in 1991 and an M.S. in biological oceanography from the University of Illinois in 1986. She joined the University of Washington School of Pharmacology for postgraduate work. Dr. Trainer joined NOAA Fisheries in 1996 as a research oceanographer. She holds an affiliate faculty position at the University of Washington. She is the Science Board Chair or the North Pacific Marine Science Organization, the President of the International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae, and is a member of the GlobalHAB steering committee and the working group on unusual marine mammal mortality events

Current Research

Vera's current research on harmful algal blooms focuses on the assessment of climatic factors that influence toxic bloom development and understanding susceptibility of shellfish and marine mammals to toxins in their environment. Her recent publications demonstrate the influence of climate change, particularly basin-wide elevations in temperature, on the increased intensity of harmful algal blooms in the northeast Pacific. This work has led a comprehensive "ecological forecast" to alert tribal, state and federal managers to toxic events that threaten coastal shellfish harvest. She has led international comparative approaches to study the intensity, geographical distribution and toxicity of harmful algal blooms that have increased our understanding of environmental stressors that promote these events across the North Pacific. She enjoys national and international collaborations as a means to enhance our cultural, scientific and personal understanding of one another.