John Ramsdell, PhD

HAB Monitoring and Reference Branch Chief
Hollings Marine Laboratory
HAB Monitoring and Reference

Ramsdell manages the NCCOS HAB Portfolio for Phytoplankton Monitoring, Detection Technologies, Analytical Methods/Reference Materials and Prevention/Control Technologies. He is the NOS Science Integrity Officer and NOAA lead with International Atomic Energy Agency to transfer nuclear technology to measure toxins to Member States in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Arabian Gulf.

Trained as an endocrinologist at University of California, San Francisco and toxicologist at Harvard University, Ramsdell joined the faculty of Medical University of South Carolina to conduct NIH sponsored research on growth regulatory control of pituitary tumors. He changed fields in 1992 to develop a Ph.D. Program on Marine Biomedical and Environmental Sciences for MUSC and a National Program on Marine Biotoxins and Harmful Algae for NOAA.

Ramsdell served as major advisor and mentor for two M.S., six Ph.D students and four postdoctoral fellows. His laboratory investigated the toxicology of algal toxins and their metabolites on marine animal populations. The research paradigm monitors exposure, characterizes disposition and delineates impact on disease states through combination of clinical/field observations and laboratory animal models.

Contribution to scientific research includes 113 lead or senior author research/review articles, case definition for “Domoic Acid Epileptic Disease”, its origin at dendritic spines of olfactory granule cells and the brain pathways causing epilepsy and aggressive behavior.

Contribution to National HAB Planning includes invited testimony to House Government Reform and Oversight and Natural Resource Committees, Executive Editor of Harmful Algal Research and Response: A National Environmental Science Strategy 2005-2015 and a founding member of the National HAB Committee


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

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