Our international team of experts in algal biology, aquatic pathology, disease and pest taxonomy, biosecurity and policy development are working together to safeguard the future of seaweed aquaculture in developing countries.

SAMS is one of the UK’s leading marine scientific institutions. In 2013, SAMS became an Associate Institute of the United Nations University (UNU), firmly placing it as an international centre for marine research. Since 2000, it has forged a major role in seaweed disease research and marine biosecurity through Oceans2025, EU COST and Marie Curie Training Fellowships and UK initiatives, such as the NERC International Overseas Fund.

Programme Leader Professor Elizabeth Cottier-Cook is a leading international expert in marine invasive species and biosecurity. She has considerable leadership experience, currently coordinating a five year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society and has recently taken part in the NERC Growing New Leaders initiative. She leads the UNU-SAMS Associate Institute, is the Co-Investigator in a NERC International Opportunities Fund programme – GlobalSeaweed and was the lead author on the recent UNU Policy Brief. She has published 20 ISI-cited peer-reviewed articles in the last 5 years and has extensive media experience. Her role is to coordinate GCRF GlobalSeaweed* and to lead the team on biosecurity management and legislation (Work Package 2).

Professor Claire Gachon is a Professor at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle (France) and a Reader at SAMS. She is a molecular plant pathologist researching the ecology, physiology and genomic of diseases in algae and uses an interdisciplinary array of approaches (mostly biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics). Working with a broad range of algae and pathogens, she increasingly focuses on applied topics such as macroalgal breeding and disease management in industrial set-ups. Professor Gachon also has a strong background in domestication, crop improvement, and marker-assisted breeding, which led her to develop a NERC-funded worldwide GlobalSeaweed network on algal breeding and cultivation (2014-17). Professor Gachon has authored 50 peer-reviewed publications and 5 book chapters. Her role with GlobalSeaweed* is to deputise for the lead PI Elizabeth Cottier-Cook and to lead the team on the characterisation, conservation and exploitation of algal genetic resources towards crop improvement (Work Package 3).

Cefas is based in the UK and is a world leader in marine science and technology. It collects, manages and interprets data on the aquatic environment, biodiversity and fisheries. Cefas is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and as such, will be part of this programme as a Sub-contractor.

Professor Grant Stentiford is a Principal Scientific Officer, Team Leader of the Pathology and Molecular Systematics Team (Cefas) and is the Director of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Crustacean Diseases. His work focuses on aquatic species pathology and is based upon histopathology, transmission electron microscopy and molecular (PCR, QPCR, NGS) systematics for the classification of novel and emerging diseases. He has international experience in the diagnosis of disease in experimental, farmed and aquatic species. He has published extensively and was elected to Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRC Path) in 2014.

Dr David Bass holds a joint position at Cefas and NHM (Research Leader) and is an international expert on the biology and taxonomy of protists and other microbial eukaryotes, molecular ecology, in particular eDNA, and microeukaryotic parasites. He is President of ProtistologyUK, President Elect of the International Society of Protistologists, and the expert taxonomist for UniEuk and EukRef. His role with the project is to coordinate molecular taxonomy and eDNA work at Cefas and NHM.

NHM is an international leader in research of the natural world. It curates >80 million specimens, generates >5 million museum visits, >8 million web visits and hosts over 10,000 scientific visitor days per year. It collaborates with researchers in over 100 countries, has ~165 externally-funded projects delivering research/training outcomes, and 80+ full-time PhDs and PDRAs. It has first-class Molecular Laboratories, including next-generation sequencing equipment with dedicated bioinformatic support.

Professor Juliet Brodie is an international expert in seaweeds, including genomic approaches to macroalgae and microbiomes, taxonomy and phylogenetics. She has over 30 years’ taxonomic experience and her research includes next generation sequencing for gene discovery, microbiomes and population genetics of macroalgae. She has worked extensively in developing countries and she has published 26 ISI peer-reviewed articles in the last 5 years, held 3 presidencies of learned societies. Her role with GlobalSeaweed* is to lead the team on disease and pest detection (Work Package 1).

ODI brings together high quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate. ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries. It has experience in developing practical tools, skills and competencies for policy influence and has worked extensively on monitoring and evaluation, communicating evidence based policy, gender and environment research in developing countries.

Louise Shaxson is a Senior Research Fellow at ODI. She has 25 years’ experience working in the UK and internationally (e.g., World Bank, DFID, the European Commission and UNDP) and currently manages the Evidence and Policy Group for the £25m DFIDESRC Growth Research Programme. Louise has published extensively on the relationship between research and policy and the factors influencing evidence-informed policymaking. Her role is to lead the team studying the socio-economic resilience of the seaweed industry (Work Package 4).

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania, was established in 1978. It conducts research and offers undergraduate and postgraduate training and consultancy services in all aspects of marine sciences. UDSM has 22 academic/research members of staff and 25 administrative and technical staff. UDSM is working with famers and extension officers in different areas of aquaculture, including seaweed farming in Tanzania.

The GlobalSeaweed* team at UDSM is co-led by Dr Flower Msuya and Dr Amelia Buriyo.

Dr Flower Msuya is a Senior Researcher at UDSM and world class seaweed farming and innovation expert. She pioneered seaweed farming in southern Tanzania and has worked with seaweed farmers, export companies, government, UN FAO and she leads the Zanzibar Seaweed Cluster Initiative. She is a member of the International Seaweed Association Council and has published extensively.

Dr. Amelia Sylvery Buriyo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Botany, College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CoNAS), UDSM. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Microbiology; M.Sc. and PhD in Marine Botany (Phycology) from the University of Dar es Salaam. Dr. Buriyo has been teaching and doing research for over 20 years in areas of macroalgal ecology, diversity, taxonomy and utilization potential (agar, carrageenan and antimicrobial activities). She has supervised and examined a number of postgraduate theses and dissertations in the fields of mangroves, seagrasses and seaweeds. Dr. Buriyo has published a number of papers in peer-reviewed local, regional and international journals. Apart from her academic and research roles, she also serves as Deputy Director of Innovation at the UDSM Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (UDIEC) (2016 to date).

The University of Malaya (UM) has its roots in Singapore with the establishment of King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1905. In 1949, the University of Malaya was formed with the amalgamation of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College in Singapore. The University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur was established in 1962. UM is a public research university located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the oldest university in Malaysia and is the highest ranking Malaysian institution of higher education according to several international ranking agencies. Today, UM has more than 2,300 faculty members and is divided into 12 faculties, two academies and three academic centres. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings, UM ranked at 70th in the world, 19th in Asia, 3rd in Southeast Asia and the highest ranked learning institution in Malaysia.

Professor Dr. Lim Phaik Eem leads the GlobalSeaweed* team at UM. Professor Lim Phaik Eem is the Deputy Director and Head of the Marine Biotechnology Research Unit at the Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Malaya. She is an internationally renowned phycologist in the South-East Asian region, where she has actively worked on the taxonomy and conducted phylogenetic studies of seaweeds since the 1990s. She is a founding member and current secretary of the Consortium of Southeast Asian Seaweed Taxonomy (SEASTax), which is under the auspices of the Asian Pacific Phycological Association (APPA). She has published more than 100 refereed journal articles, co-authored a number of books and published more than 10 book chapters. Her research interests also include; the use of omics in understanding the responses and adaptations of algae towards abiotic stress, taxonomy, seaweed culture and biotechnology applications of algae. She is currently a council member of APPA and past secretary and treasurer of the Asia Pacific Applied Phycology Society (APSAP). She is also on the editorial boards for several referred journals such as Journal of Species Research (ISSN: 2234-7909), Journal of Fisheries and Environment (ISSN : 2630-0702 ) and Maritime Technology and Research (E-ISSN: 2651-205X).

The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) is a public research university and is a constituent university of the University of the Philippines System. It has campuses in Miagao, Iloilo; Iloilo City; and Tacloban City — with Miagao being the main campus where the central administration offices are located. UPV has four colleges and a school. These are the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the College of Management (CM), the School of Technology (SoTech), and the UPV Tacloban College (UPVTC). UPV aims to develop excellence and leadership in the field of fisheries and marine sciences, thus making it the center of fisheries education, research, and extension in the country. It also aims to contribute to the development of the region through relevant instruction, research, and extension programs. Faculty and research staff have implemented research projects in different disciplines with funding support from national and international agencies implemented by various colleges and units. It also packages training. Some of these are in aquaculture, fish processing technology, marine fisheries, aquatic biology, social sciences, arts and culture and coastal resource management.

The GlobalSeaweed* team in the Philippines is co-led by Assistant Professor Victor Marco Emmanuel N. Ferriols and Professor Anicia Hurtado.

Dr. Victor Marco Emmanuel N. Ferriols is currently an Assistant Professor at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of the University of the Philippines Visayas where he trains students and researchers in formulating science-based solutions for the needs of the fisheries industry. He has spearheaded several projects, funded by the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology, related to microalgal production systems as well as aquaculture mechanization. He is also currently leading the establishment of the Philippine Genome Center Visayas Satellite Facility with the aim of utilizing omics technologies to aid research in the fields of fisheries and aquatic science. His research interests range from aquaculture engineering to algal molecular biology, biochemistry, and synthetic biology.

Professor Anicia Hurtado is a Senior Scientist with over 20 years’ experience in seaweed cultivation. She has worked with the FAO, local government and NGOs. Her research focuses on new strain development and mitigation measures for pests. She has published extensively and has been involved in delivering local and international training programmes.

SEAFDEC/AQD has almost 3 decades of experience in seaweed aquaculture, promoting sustainable practices and accelerated technology transfer though partnerships with fish farmers, investors, entrepreneurs, government agencies, academic and funding institutions.

The Institute of Water, Environment and Health – United Nations University, Canada acts as the “UN Think Tank on Water” and contributes to the resolution of the global water challenge through a unique programme of applied research and education. It conceives, develops, and manages water initiatives that help developing countries build their capacity for lasting improvements in human and ecosystem health, and overall reduction in poverty.

Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla is a Programme Officer with UNU-INWEH. She holds a Master’s degree from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (Pantnagar University), and a Ph.D. (2005) from University of Pune and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). She obtained a working Ph.D. degree while serving as a scientific staff of ISRO’s Research Institute and implementing a national-level program in small island systems. Owing to her deep interest in a rights-based approach to sustainable development, she undertook post-graduate study in International Humanitarian Law study from National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR, India).

Prior to joining UNU-INWEH, Dr. Nagabhatla served on various positions and assignments with diverse international institutions such as The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); The Climate Center of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APCC) – South Korea; and with academic institutions in Germany and the United Kingdom. Her geographical experience spans the South Asian, South-East Asian, Western Europe, and South African regions.

Dr. Nagabhatla currently serves as the Chair of Steering Committee Board of YPARD – an international movement for Young Professionals in Agricultural Development hosted with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. She also serves as a Task Force expert with Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Dr. Nagabhatla has over 100 publications to her name that includes peer reviewed scripts, research reports, book chapters, conference publications, and popular articles.