Our vision is to improve environmental, economic and social outcomes through the production of world-class seaweed research and development.
Made up of more than 30 academics, students and technical staff, the group is unique in its cross-disciplinary approach to seaweed research.
These leading experts help communities, government and business identify opportunities to develop and cultivate seaweed as a resource that is good for the economy, the environment and communities everywhere.
The Seaweed Research Group integrates diverse perspectives into their work from science, technology, health, business, creative industries and social science for seaweed-based solutions.
Explore the Asparagopsis genome and more
We are excited to have developed our own Asparagopsis Genomics Portal (AGP) as a freely available resource for researchers and scientists globally interested in the Asparagopsis genome.
Seaweed is perhaps not the most glamorous of marine creatures, but it is certainly among the most important. In the sea, seaweeds form vast forests, which, just like forests on the land, underpin entire marine ecosystems by providing food and shelter to thousands of species of fish and invertebrates. Seaweed forests also make substantial contributions to global biogeochemical cycles. For example, as primary producers, through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 and produce oxygen.
Economically, seaweed is the largest aquaculture crop in the world with more than 25 million tonnes of seaweed produced per annum, which is steadily increasing at a rate of 8 percent per year and represents an aquaculture industry worth more than $US7 billion.
Seaweed also has enormous social value in terms of benefiting people's health, wellbeing and livelihoods. The versatility of seaweed, and diversity of its uses, is why a multi-faceted program is so important to the Seaweed Research Group. In addition to seaweed being an important food source for a growing global population, there is also massive scope to increase the commercial side of the industry in order to create positive societal change at a grand scale.
Professor Nick Paul
Nick is a Professor of Marine Science and leads applied research and development on seaweed and algae for new product development, based upon a platform of sustainable production.
Dr Alexandra Campbell
Alex is a Senior Lecturer in BioScience and an award-winning marine ecologist who combines field ecology with environmental microbiology, natural products chemistry and environmental science.
Dr Libby Swanepoel
Libby is a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics whose research sees her working across food systems for global development. Libby currently has projects across the Asia-Pacific region, including Kiribati, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
Dr Min Zhao
Min’s seaweed research focuses on bioinformatics and genomics with high-throughput integration of multiple dimensional data, focussing on the biosynthetic pathways of seaweed and industry-facing genomic browsers.
Dr Saskia de Klerk
Saskia is a Senior Lecturer in international business. Her areas of research include entreprenuership and innovative ecosystem development for seaweed, with an emphasis on cross-cultural management and capacity building.
Associate Professor Dawn Birch
Dawn is a consumer researcher with a specific interest in local food and sustainable seafood. Her areas of research expertise include seaweed and seafood consumption, food waste, and food related lifestyle.
Dr Martina Jelocnik
Martina is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow. Her research on seaweed takes a One Health approach to veterinary microbiology through the control of infections in Australian livestock and aquaculture production.
Dr Peter Brooks
Peter is a chemist with expertise in the analysis and isolation of bioactive compounds in seaweed. His research includes chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques and the quantitation of bioactive compounds from seaweed.
Professor Scott Cummins
Scott is a Professor of Molecular Biology and focuses his research on the molecular basis for natural product variation in seaweeds, with applications in the fields of ecology, aquaculture and health. Scott's multi-omics approach towards our research integrates genomics, transcriptomics, proteomic and metabolomics through the latest next-generation sequencing and mass spectrometry approaches.
Professor Nick Paul
Tel: +61 7 5459 4533
Alternatively, contact key members directly using their profile above.
Tel: +61 7 5459 4553
Seaweed for healthy waterways
Members of our Seaweed Research Group, in partnership with Urban Utilities, are testing ways to offset nutrients and support healthy waterways in the Moreton Bay region. By using Moreton Bay Rock Oyster’s existing structures, we found farming certain types of seaweed is effective at improving water quality and can also support oyster crops while allowing farmers to diversify their activities.
Methane reducing seaweed
We are trying to find a way to produce a particular species of seaweed on a scale that would allow it to be added to the world's livestock feed. Why? To potentially contribute significantly to a reduction in the agricultural industry's global greenhouse gas emissions.
Seaweed to improve fish immunity
Our researchers, Valentin Thépot and Nick Paul, have been conducting trials at the Bribie Island Research Centre to see how seaweed can improve the immune system of fish.
Latest seaweed news
Seaweed consumption among young Australians6 Jan
Young Australians are increasingly turning to seaweed for its flavour, nutrient content, and health benefits, despite facing barriers to buying it.
Fighting cancer and climate change: UniSC researchers use genetic research to unlock seaweed’s hidden secrets4 Nov 2022
UniSC researchers have undertaken genetic analysis of 12 edible seaweeds to identify potential cancer-preventing compounds.
Become a citizen scientist
We’re assembling a squad of passionate citizen scientists to restore lost underwater forests on the iconic Sunshine Coast. Repairing damaged ecosystems is not only good for the environment, it’s a great way to boost your own well-being too. Thank you very much for your interest – please complete the form below to join the squad!