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2015 PSA Annual Meeting (updated July 21/15)

  • Drexel University 3141 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA, 19104 United States (map)

Plan To Attend PSA’s Annual Meeting In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, One of The Most Vibrant and Diverse Cities in the Country!  

Come feel the LOVE, run the Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visit the Liberty Bell, catch a Phillies game, have a cheesesteak, and most importantly attend a world-class scientific meeting on algae.

The PSA 2015 Annual Meeting theme is "50 for 50--Phycology in Philly," a celebration of the 50th year of publication of the Journal of Phycology, the premier journal on the science of algae

Registration is at the following link:

Program Guide (UPDATED July 21/15) and General Meeting Information (UPDATED July 14/15):

We are planning an exciting set of plenary lectures and symposia, in addition to the contributed talks on all areas of phycology, and pre- and post-meeting scientific and cultural field trips.  The meeting is timed to take place between new and full moons so as not to interfere with intertidal forays, and it is several weeks earlier than the European Phycological Congress.

Please view the pdf below which is the program guide (added June 21, 2015) for this meeting.  Please note that this program is subject to some change but we will do our best to keep revisions to an absolute minimum.  Also included below is a pdf file with general information (added July 14, 2015) about how to get to Philadelphia, dormitory and Event locations  and information on the amazing food to eat in Philly! On the last page is a map of campus with key venues identified.  

Program Guide (check back for program updates and last minute changes) 

General Meeting Information (also included in the above program guide)

Special showing of Beneath the Tides (UPDATED June 12/15)

This is a documentary on seaweed farming in Zanzibar, with a special lecture by Kat Zoulas to be presented on Tuesday (late afternoon or evening).  See the following link for more information on this documentary.

Workshops (UPDATED April 29/15)

 1. Microscopy workshop: Taxonomy under the scope (Saturday 12:30-5:30 PM)

 The microscopy workshop will cover the uses of microscopy, specific dyes, and photography in identifying, characterizing, and documenting the sometimes cryptic species of algae. Dr. Juliet Brodie (NHM of London) will cover the filamentous red algae and Dr. Karolina Fucikova (U Connecticut) will cover the unicellular green algae (FW, SW, and subaerial). We encourage students and early career scientists to attend this workshop which will also be a helpful precursor to the collection trip with Dr. John Hall the following day. The workshop will be held on Saturday after the lunch hour (eat first!) and is available for $70. 16 slots are available.

 2.  Cyanobacterial taxonomy and systematics workshop (Saturday 8:30-5:00 PM)

Have you ever been interested in identifying and untangling the Gordian Knot of the new cyanobacteria taxonomy.  We are pleased to announce that one of the worlds foremost cyanobacterial experts, Dr. Jeff Johansen (John Carroll University), will be conducting a workshop on the taxonomy and systematics of cyanobacteria.  Participants will be introduced to relevant morphological features and current evolutionary relationships and taxonomy of these woefully neglected, yet vastly important organisms.  The workshop will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 8th, and will include a lunch.  As Pope Francis recently remarked:  those who do not know cyanobacteria, do not know God.

3. Successfully Competing for Your First Academic Position (time and place to be arranged) (Dr. Steven Murray, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus, California State University Fullerton)

 The path to obtaining a tenure-track faculty position at an academic institution consists of several important steps.  For example, once an opening at a desirable institution has been identified, the first step is to prepare a competitive application.  If selected as a finalist, the next step will likely be an on-campus interview.  How does the search process work from the institution’s perspective?  What should be considered in preparing a competitive application?  How should a candidate prepare for an on-campus interview?  Insights into the recruitment and hiring process will be discussed from the perspective of the institution and also the candidate based on years of experience as a departmental chair and search committee member, a dean, and the provost of a large, comprehensive university.

To sign up for the cyanobacteria or the microscopy workshops, please do so during the registration process. For the publishing and career workshops please contact the Program Director, Dale Casamatta.

Post-meeting Workshop - Teaching Metagenomics - "I, Microbiologist" - Drexel University August 14th.

There is also a post-meeting workshop on teaching metagenomics by Dr. Erin Sanders (UCLA) and Dr. Jordan Moberg-Parker (UCLA) at Drexel University on August 14, 2015.  Please see this document for more information. To sign up for this workshop, please contact Dr. Rick McCourt.

Field Trips (UPDATED March 31/15)

Marine Field Trip 1 (Sunday August 9th): Jersey Shores (Dr. Elizabeth Lacey, Stockton University)

Take a trip to the Jersey Shore! This marine field trip will be to the sandy beaches near Atlantic City at the Nacote Creek Marine Field Station of Stockton University.  Dr. Elizabeth Lacey, marine ecologist, will lead participants on a trip to collect samples of flora and fauna from the nearshore eelgrass beds.  Participants will return to the field station to further identify and press samples should they wish to add to their herbarium collections.  There may be an additional opportunity to visit the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.  Participants should bring a swimsuit and change of clothes.  

 Marine Field Trip 2 (Sunday August 9th): Rocky Coasts (Dr. Naomi Phillips, Arcadia University)

 Take a trip to the Hampton's and explore the rocky intertidal communities of Montauk point on the south fork of Long Island, NY! This marine field trip will explore the flora of the rocky intertidal communities. This represents the southern distribution limits of many floral components and is purported to be one of the last rocky intertidal communities until the Florida keys. The trip will be lead by Dr. Naomi Phillips a marine botanist from Arcadia University. Participants on the trip will have the opportunity to collect samples of the flora and will return to the Arcadia University to further identify and press samples should they wish to add to their herbarium collections. Participants should bring a swimsuit, change of clothes and money to purchase food along on the way.

 Freshwater Field Trip (Sunday August 9th) (Dr. John Hall, UMD)

 Come walk in the footsteps of the Reverend Francis Wolle while exploring freshwater habitats near Philadelphia! We will visit a variety of high quality habitats to collect samples and observe the algal communities typical of the greater Philadelphia region. We expect to encounter lots of green algae and cyanobacteria as well as dinoflagellates, chrysophytes and even a few red algae! The trip will be enjoyable for experts and novices alike. We will travel as a group from Philadelphia to freshwater habitats in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The morning will be spent in the field observing algae and collecting samples. We will return to the Academy of Natural Sciences in the afternoon to look at the algae using high quality microscope. A small library of books will be available for identification and experts will be on hand to help with unfamiliar algae.

Participants should be prepared to travel and spend a few hours in the field. Lunch is included in the fee.  Please note that these are all-day trips and transportation will be provided.  Details will be provided upon registration.  The number of participants is limited so register soon. 

The Meeting Venue

The meeting will take place in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, on the campus of Drexel University, one of the nation’s premier urban universities, and at the Academy of Natural Sciences.  The Academy is the nation’s first and oldest natural history museum, home to the botanical collections of Lewis & Clark (including at least one seaweed), John James Audubon, Edward Drinker Cope, and Joseph Leidy, just to name a few. The Academy was home to the diatomist legends Ruth Patrick (1907-2013) and Charlie Reimer (1923-2008) and is today a center for phycological research, with one of the largest Diatom Collections in the world. Exciting field trips, plenary sessions, and social activities will be announced on the PSA website ( and Facebook page.   For behind-the-scenes tours and requests to work on the algae or diatoms in the herbarium (acronym PH), contact the curators (Rick McCourt and Marina Potapova).  Scientific sessions will take place on the campus of Drexel University. Social events are planned at the Academy of Natural Sciences, including behind-the-scenes tours of the 18 million specimens in the collections and a banquet in Dinosaur Hall.

Staying in Philly (UPDATED April 2/15)

Drexel University Dorm Rooms - On behalf of the organizing committee for the upcoming 2015 PSA Meeting in Philadelphia, we are pleased to announce that we have obtained a number of dorm rooms at Drexel University’s Race Street Residences available from August 8-August 14.  

The luxurious dorms are conveniently arranged as 2 to 4 person suites, with each suite having two private rooms and a common area.  Single rooms are a mere $74 per night and doubles $64 (these prices include taxes as well as the one-time linen fee of $16).  Each room has access to a private bathroom in the suite.   If you wish a double room you may either request a roommate or experience the potential joy and excitement of having one assigned by PSA.  For those requiring parking, this is also available at $17 per day (a true bargain in Philadelphia).  For additional views of the rooms please see:

Alas, due to the nature of the facilities, we must stress that these particular rooms are non-refundable.  Please use the paypal form below to reserve your dorm room. Room prices are per night, please select the quantity (number of nights) you need the room for on the "Your Shopping Cart" page.

Room Type per Night
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Request a specific roommate

Room prices are per night, please select the quantity (number of nights) you need the room for on the "Your Shopping Cart" page. Payment will be possible through credit and debit cards.

If you have any questions, please contact our awesome Program Director Dale Casamatta ( for assistance.

There are also many hotels and inns nearby.  In terms of eating, Philly is a foodie’s paradise from brewpubs to cheesesteaks, to some of the hippest food trucks, Philadelphia’s food scene has restaurants of all prices and atmospheres.

Please see this document for information about lodging and transportation in Philadelphia.

What to Do in Philly--History, Art, and More 

Center City Philly is home to National Park Service sites, including the Independence National Historical Park, home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Ben Franklin Museum. And there’s even more history at the National Museum of American Jewish History and the National Constitution Center, the U.S. Mint and the Betsy Ross and Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site.

You’ll find numerous cultural museums with unmatched collections of art and artifacts, such as the Philadelphia Museum of ArtBarnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, the American Philosophical Society, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

Beyond Philly

Philadelphia is also close to the Atlantic shore, Valley Forge National Park, the Brandywine Battlefield Park, and innumerable gardens.  Within a few hours driving or train ride are New York City, Washington, DC, Gettysburg, Longwood Gardens, and of course, the Jersey Shore!


For more information and some great photographs, videos, and news about events in Philadelphia, visit  Or just search YouTube for "visit Philadelphia". 


So save the date and we will see you at 50 for 50--Phycology in Philly!!!!! 


Rick McCourt (Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University) 


Naomi Phillips (Arcadia University), Local Hosts


Earlier Event: April 17
Northeast Algal Symposium
Later Event: August 19
3rd International Volvox Conference