Uptake and release of ship-borne ballast water is a major factor contributing to introductions of aquatic phytoplankton and invasive macroinvertebrates. Some invasive unicellular algae can cause harmful algal blooms and produce toxins that build up in food chains. Moreover, to date, few studies have compared the efficacy of ballast water treatments against different life history phases of aquatic macroinvertebrates. In the present study, the unicellular green alga Dunaliella tertiolecta, and three discrete life history phases of the brine shrimp Artemia salina, were independently used as model organisms to study the efficacy of sonication as well as the advanced oxidants, hydrogen peroxide and ozone, as potential ballast water treatments. Algal cells and brine shrimp cysts, nauplii, and adults were subjected to individual and combined treatments of sonication and advanced oxidants. Combined rather than individual treatments consistently yielded the highest levels of mortality in algal cells (100% over a 2 min exposure) and in brine shrimp (100% and 95% for larvae and adults, respectively, over a 2 min exposure). In contrast, mortality levels in brine shrimp cysts (66% over 2 min; increased to 92% over a 20 min exposure) were moderately high but consistently lower than that detected for larval or adult shrimp. Our results indicate that a combination of sonication and advanced chemical oxidants may be a promising method to eradicate aquatic unicellular algae and macroinvertebrates in ballast water. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.