GreenWater Laboratories / CyanoLab

The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Algal Toxin Testing Lab

The following links provide our clients with a chain of custody (COC - analysis request form), information about our services, and general sampling instructions. Please call or email us if you have any questions and our experts will be happy to assist.

Chain of Custody

Analysis Request Form - Algal toxins

Please fill out our Analysis Request Form and ship it with your sample(s). This will also serve as a chain of custody (COC).

Description of

Description of Services

The linked document explains some of our services, including descriptions of the different types of analyses we conduct.


Sampling Instructions

The linked instructions include how to sample a bloom and how to package samples for shipment to our Lab. To order a sample kit, send us an email.

GreenWater Labs

Algal Toxin Standards

CyanoLab produces and provides a variety of algal toxin standards for research purposes, including microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. These standards are isolated from cyanobacterial sources and purified in strictly controlled environments to >95% purity.

Algal Toxin Standards

The linked document shows pricing for all cyanotoxin standards that CyanoLab produces. Due to high demand, many are not in stock. Refer to the order form to see which standards are currently in stock.

Algal Toxin Standard Price

Order Form &
Current Stock

Please us the linked document to order cyanotoxin standards. The analytes shown represent reference standards currently in stock. You can fax or email the form and we will contact you when your order ships.

Algal Toxin Standard Order Form
Algal Taxonomy

Phycological Services

Potentially Toxigenic (PTOX) Cyanobacteria Screen:

Many times, a client has an algal bloom but does not know what it is. The approach we recommend is to send the sample to determine if the bloom is comprised of potentially toxigenic (toxin producing) cyanobacteria. If the sample is dominated by cyanobacteria, recommendations are made for analyses based on what is present.

We find this approach equally beneficial to us and our clients. Using algal identification prior to analysis helps us to learn more about potential toxin producers and helps to save the client money by preventing unnecessary analyses/testing. The PTOX cyanobacteria screen can be completed within hours of receiving the sample, with toxin testing results provided within 24 hours. We continually scour the literature to make sure our recommendations are up to date, both taxonomically and with regard to potential toxin producers.

Example Report

Algal Taxonomy

Our phycologists have over 4 decades of experience with algal identification, and we strive to remain up to date with the continually changing field of algal taxonomy. All identifications are made to the lowest practical level.

Algal Enumeration:

When a quantitative analysis of the algal community in a sample is required, an algal identification and enumeration can be requested. Counts can be performed on only a single group of algae (i.e. cyanobacteria) or on the entire algal population. Results for each species are recorded in natural units/mL (cells, colonies, filaments) and cells/mL. Numbers for each group of algae (i.e. diatoms, green algae, cyanobacteria) are tallied as well as the total sample cell density. If desired, biovolume estimates can be made for an additional cost. For a full description of phycological services, click on the below Description of Services link.

Phycology Classes

GreenWater Laboratories now offers private algal taxonomy workshops, to be held on site at GreenWater Laboratories in Palatka (groups under 4) or in your own facilities.

Andrew Chapman is a skilled phycologist and has been conducting workshops for over 10 years. Workshops typically take place over 1-3 days. Please email Andrew to find out more about this opportunity.

Andrew Chapman


Cyanotoxin / Algal Toxin Analysis

GreenWater Laboratories is one of the first commercial laboratories with the expertise to perform and interpret cyanotoxin analyses. All analyses are conducted by professionals in the field of chemistry with rigorous QA/QC. Confirmatory analyses are available upon request (e.g. LC-MS/(MS) for ELISA assays).


(Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay)


ELISAs are very popular screening assays that provide limited quantitative information for specific groups of cyanotoxins. ELISAs typically have the ability to detect toxins at low levels for both surface and drinking waters. It should be noted that ELISAs are also prone to sample matrix interference that may confound results, leading to erroneous conclusions. It is important to have the ability to verify any positive ELISA responses with other techniques, such as HPLC coupled with PDA, FL or MS.

Algal Toxins analyzed with ELISA:

Algal Toxin Reporting Limit
ng/mL (ppb)
Microcystins/Nodularins 0.30 Adda ELISA (Method 546 & Ohio EPA DES 701.0)
Cylindrospermopsin 0.10 Cylindrospermopsin (522011)
Saxitoxin 0.05 STX specific assay (52255B)
Brevetoxin (NSP) 0.10 PbTx3 specific assay (520026)
Anatoxin-a(s) (OP carbamate) qualitative screen Organophosphate / Carbamate specific assay (550051)


Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry


GWL/CL currently maintains and operates multiple high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems with photodiode array (PDA), fluorescence (FL), and mass spectrometry (Ion Trap and Triple Quad) detection. This provides GWL/CL the ability to report data with a high level of confidence as well as the ability to supply confirmatory analysis on ELISA data.

Algal Toxins analyzed with HPLC-MS/MS:

Algal Toxin MDL (ppb - ng/mL) Method
dmMC-RR (2), MC-RR, NOD, MC-YR, MC-HtyR, MC-LR, dmMC-LR (3), MC-HilR, MC-WR, [Leu1]MC-LR, MC-RY, MC-LY, MC-LA, MC-LW, MC-LF
0.01-0.10 Foss & Aubel 2015
Total Microcystins using MMPB 0.05 Foss & Aubel 2015
Cylindrospermopsin / Epi-cylindrospermopsin 0.05 Foss & Aubel 2013
Anatoxin-a / Homoanatoxin-a 0.05 Foss et al. 2018
Anatoxin-a / Cylindrospermopsin 0.03 / 0.05 Method 545 per UCMR4
Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
Including analogs: STX, dcSTX, NEO, C1C2, GTX 1,2,3,4,5,6, dcGTX23
0.02-0.60 Yilmaz et al. 2018
BMAA (includes isomers BAMA, 2,4-DAB, 3,4-DAB & AEG) 0.5-10.0 Foss et al. 2018
Domoic Acid 0.05 In House LC-MS/MS
Dermatoxins (Lyngbyatoxin-A, Aplysiatoxin/Debromoaplysiatoxin) 0.1 - 5.0 In House LC-MS/MS
Okadaic Acid & Dinophysitoxins 1&2(DSP) 0.05 - 2.00 In House LC-MS/MS
Brevetoxins (PbTx 2 & 3) 0.05 - 2.00 In House LC-MS/MS
Method Dection Limits

Method Detection/Reporting Limits (MDLs & MRLs) are based on water samples and may vary depending on spike (LFM) returns. Other toxin analyses are available but not listed. Please call regarding your specific needs.

Rapid Turnaround Times

Rapid turnaround times are available on most toxin analyses conducted on water samples. Please call for rapid TAT requests.

Complex Matrices

GreenWater Laboratories conducts cyanotoxin analyses on many different biological matrices, including tissues and food products. We have developed many methods to address exposure to HABs and you can find our research on our articles page. For more information on analyzing biological matrices, click here.

Additonal extraction charges do apply to complicated matrices. Please contact us with specific requests.


Biological & Complex Matrices

At GreenWater Laboratories, we have developed multiple approaches to handling complicated matrices, such as animal tissues, plant material, sediment/soil samples and algal supplements.  We understand the importance of providing reliable data and continue to develop and improve upon our approaches to serve our client goals. 

GreenWater Laboratories uses the highest level of QAQC to verify that the data we provide clients is accurate. This includes using standard addition to validate method procedures and for quantitation, as well as continued calibration checks, lab fortified blanks and verifying blanks are free of contamination.

Algal Poisoning of Pets

The most sensitive individuals to algal toxin poisoning are those that ingest cyanobacteria when they are in the water. Many times, those individuals are dogs, since they are entering and exiting algal blooms at shorelines. It is a good idea to keep pets out of the water when cyanobacteria may be present. If your family pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms after swimming, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • Malaise/lethargy/loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
  • Collapse/Inability to walk
  • Pale or Jaundice (yellow) gums
  • Seizures/Tremors
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Hypersalivation


Samples to submit for testing should include the source water, vomitous (or any retrievable stomach contents) and/or urine. If the animal is deceased, the kidney or liver can be submitted.

Pet Intoxication Instructions
Dog Algal Toxin Poisoning

Wildlife Mortality Events

Cyanobacteria blooms have been attributed to mass mortality events of many different animals, including fish, birds and livestock.  If you suspect an event is tied to an algal bloom, the first collection should be of the water source so that identification of the cyanobacteria present can be made.   Toxin testing of the water/bloom material also helps to determine if toxin levels are sufficient to have caused animal intoxication.  Many times, an event has a complicated etiology, with more than one toxin and/or stressor present.  GreenWater Laboratories can help wildlife officials diagnose these events.

The following biological samples can be submitted for testing, in order of importance:

  • Water
  • Stomach Contents
  • Urine
  • Kidneys
  • Liver

Specimen Collection Instructions
Algal Toxin Mass Mortality Events

Food Products -
Shellfish/Fish, Algal Supplements, Vegetables

GreenWater Laboratories frequently tests food products for algal toxins, including shellfish, fish filets, algal supplements, and vegetables that have been in contact with water with active algal blooms.  We conduct testing for the same algal toxins present in water, with the addition of extraction charges.

For prompt quotes and timeframes for our services, please call or e-mail us.

Supplement Instructions
Algal Toxin contamintaed food

We work hard

So you can be safe

GreenWater Laboratories / CyanoLab

The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Algal Toxin Testing Lab

Learn more about our services and cyanobacteria.

Potentially Toxigenic

Analysis Request Form - Algal toxins

Learn about some of the common bloom forming cyanobacteria lurking in our waters, what they look like and what toxins they potentially produce.

Peer Reviewed

Peer Reviewed Research

At GreenWater, we encourage employees to share scientific methods and findings with the public when possible. Take a gander at some peer reviewed literature we have published. Many techniqes published we currently employ for client samples.

Algal Toxins /

Algal Toxins

What kinds of toxins do cyanobacteria produce and what are safe levels? We have compiled some information to assist clients and the public in interpreting algal toxin (cyanotoxin) data

Meet the

Cyanobacteria Experts

Who are we?

Established in 2001, GreenWater Laboratories/CyanoLab is the only private full-service laboratory of its kind, with a strict focus on cyanobacteria/algae and the toxins they produce. Our experts work closely with our clients to provide technically advanced testing, analyses, monitoring and research - tailored to fit each of their individual needs.

Mark Aubel

Mark Aubel, Ph.D.

President / Analytical Chemist

Mark is the lead analytical chemist and President of GreenWater Laboratories/CyanoLab. Mark directs all laboratory tasks and manages all major projects. As an analytical chemist, he performs liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis on samples, supervises new protocol development and monitors quality assurance and control.

Mark has co-authored multiple papers on cyanobacerial toxin analysis and has almost three decades in analytical chemistry experience. His experience with chemistry includes acedemic, private and corporate laboratories.

Andrew Chapman

Andrew Chapman, M.S.

Phycologist, Limnologist

Andy has been the senior phycologist at GreenWater Laboratories since its establishment in 2001. Andy is a nationally recognized phycologist with over 20 years of experience with identifying algae. Andy specializes in the identification and enumeration of algae/cyanobacteria, specifically potentially toxin producing genera/species.
Andy has organized, assisted and administered workshops on the identification and classification of freshwater algae to such organizations as the Florida Lake Management Society, the North American Lake Management Society, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Florida Drinking Water Treatment Plants.

Amanda Foss, M.S.


Amanda is a chemist with a focus on analytical extraction and analysis techniques. She received a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry and M.S. degrees in Forensic Toxicology and Fisheries/Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. Amanda has over a decade of experience with cyanotoxin analysis.
Amanda performs algal toxin analyses and directs research involving the development and validation of methods for the extraction and quantification of algal toxins from biological matrices (e.g. tissues, serum). Amanda also assists with algal identification and extracts/purifies toxin standards.

Kamil Cieslik

Kamil Cieslik, B.S.


Kamil has a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida. Kamil currently conducts algal toxin analysis using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and LC-MS/MS. With a strong background in Chemistry, Kamil is an integral part of the CyanoLab division of GreenWater Laboratories with a focus on providing clients with high quiality purified cyanobacteria toxins for calibration and research purposes. Kamil is also learning about phycology to assist in microscopy work.

Shirley Rodman

Shirley Rodman, B.S.

Administrative Assistant / Bookkeeper

Shirley provides administrative support and is the point of contact for clients at GreenWater Labs. With a B.S. Degree in Counseling Psychology and an extensive background in bookkeeping, Shirley provides support to the team in a variety ways. Maintaining accurate accounting records and providing excellent customer service are some of Shirley’s main duties.


The GreenWater Laboratories Newsletter

Get updates on new products, services and research news from GreenWater Laboratories. Our newsletter is sent approximately every 6 months to a year or when critical algal news is "blooming".

To receive the newsletter, simply fill out the form below. Our e-mailing list is kept strictly confidential and will never be shared.

Contact Us

(386) 328-0882

(877) 869-2542

205 Zeagler Drive, Suite 302

Palatka, FL 32177