SEED aims to understand how and to what extent anthropogenic forces influence the non-vegetative stages of the life cycles of harmful algal species thereby contributing to the increase in harmful algal blooms in European marine, brackish and fresh waters systems. The overall objectives are to improve and extend our understanding of the transition between the different life history stages to identify the environmental and physiological factors that regulate those transitions, and hence the relative importance of anthropogenic versus natural causes, and to integrate the recent acquire knowledge in the development of new simulation model or refining existing ones. This will allow improved prediction, mitigation and management strategies. The approach of SEED is comparative, from species to ecosystem level. It is imperative to recognize common patterns of response among species to facilitate the development of conceptual and numerical models of HAB dynamics. SEED will focus on an array of target HAB species, ranging from marine to brackish to fresh water organisms, and covering a broad range of phylogenetic types. SEED research is multifaceted, as the problems in life history transitions are complex and processes occur over a wide range of scales. SEED will combine field studies and laboratory experiments. Field work is centered on areas where ongoing monitoring programs and much baseline information about distribution of species and physical-chemical data already exists. The innovation is to implement the most appropriate research strategies to be applied to the non-vegetative phases which determine the success of HABs and their expansion due to anthropogenic forcing. Moreover, a mitigation strategy, analogous to sterile insect releases that are an effective element of agricultural pest control on land will be investigated for the dormancy stages of HAS.