report health effects
report fish kills current red tide status
Who we are:

This section of our web site is dedicated to our 120+ Florida Red Tide Research Study Participants. The study participants range from 12 years of age and older that have asthma. Due to the numerous health reports we’ve received over the years of respiratory irritation during a red tide, we have specifically recruited a sensitive subpopulation in the SW Florida community (Pinellas County- St. Petersburg area, as far south to Sarasota County- Venice and Port Charlotte).

Our goals for this website are:

  • To be a resourceful tool to YOU while you are a part of our research study.

  • To keep you updated with upcoming events and field studies.

  • To report to you the current red tide status report.

  • To provide you with new data and published literature.

  • And, to share with you some of the photos and videos we’ve taken during the field studies and educational events.

Currently, this component of the project is funded for 5 more years (until 2011). However, when the time comes, we are hoping to extend that deadline with more projects that will allow us to continue studying the impacts of human health exposure from the Florida red tide.

Be sure to visit this site often and don’t forget to share it with your family and friends. Most importantly, "Thank You" for your continued interest and dedication as a Red Tide Research Study Participant!

Throughout the study each one of you are extremely important in providing information that will:

  • Help those with asthma and lung disease to make more educated decisions about when to visit the beach during a red tide;
  • Provide data to support the development of a test the medical community can use to screen patients for air-borne exposure to red tide;
  • Help scientifically identify what the common health symptoms are; among much, much more.

Did you know?.... This is the first epidemiological (human health) study in history to study the human health effects of air-borne toxin exposure from the Florida red tide! You are making a difference! Thanks again for your dedication and support! top

What we do:

Field Study Photos

Sarasota , Florida Field Study Site

field station

Dr. Kirkpatrick hauling equipment
Family checking-in

Teenager checking-in

What should you expect during a day at the beach with us during an exposure and non-exposure (with red tide and without) field study?

Rain or shine, windy or calm, we are there waiting for you. Once you arrive, we will check you in and orient you on what to expect for the time you are with us- which is usually between 1.5- 2.0 hours. This is the time to update us on any changes with your contact information or medical information. top

asking health questions


health questionnaire station

Pre-exposure symptom questions are asked first. This information will provide us with a baseline of information to compare with your medical information from the post-exposure symptom questions you answer after you return from the beach walk. top

measuring height


measuring weight

Height and weight are measured and used to calculate your lung capacity using a spirometer.


swabbing nostrils

preserving slides

Gently using a cotton swab, a sample of mucus from inside your nose is collected before and after you return from the beach walk. The samples are then preserved on a slide and analyzed. This is to challenge the idea of identifying a biomarker that would be used in the medical field as a test to specifically identify a health change from air-borne Florida red tide toxins. Further medical treatment could then be used to treat the symptoms. top

Lifeguard performing spirometry


Adult performing spirometry

Pulmonary function testing is conducted using a spirometer. This commonly used medical instrument is used to measure the volume and flow rate of your air with a full exhalation. Repetitions of at least 3 tests are taken before and after the beach walk. top

Lovelace Respiratory Research Team

attaching the personal sampler

personal sampler

Personal Air Samplers are individually worn while you walk along the beach. This instrument collects all the air particles onto a filter that is preserved and sent back to University of North Carolina Wilmington to be analyzed for brevetoxins. The instrument is attached to a belt with a tube clipped to your shirt. top

family enjoying the beach

Mother supporting daughter in the research project

family walking the beach

Walking the beach is always fun. Be sure to dress for the weather! Feel free to bring a book to read, a Frisbee to toss around or just come to relax and enjoy the sounds of the waves crash along the shore. Once the hour has passed you rejoin the research team to report your symptoms and provide more data. top

checking out

proud couple with souvenir

Goodbye until the next field study

Check out is the last station before you leave. We collect your paperwork, update you on our next gathering, answer any of your questions, and pay you for your assistance. top

support from the local media


Interviewing Investigators in the research study

The local media has been a great supporter. With your permission they may ask you a few questions about your experience during the field study.

Check out our video here:


Medical Disclaimer
The information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.

If you experience any problems with this site, please contact the webmaster.