Seaweed Research Group | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Seaweed Research Group

Improving environmental, economic and social outcomes through world-class seaweed research and development.

Why seaweed?

Seaweed is perhaps not the most glamorous of marine creatures, but it is certainly among the most important.

Sustaining ecosystems

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.

Economic benefits

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.

Societal and health impacts

Seaweed also has enormous social value, 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.

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Spider venom, seaweed and bee research projects share million-dollar funding
15 Apr

Is spider venom the solution to controlling locusts? What secrets do underwater Golden Kelp forests hold? And can the propolis of native stingless bees spawn a new health industry?

Making Waves
7 Mar

The University of the Sunshine Coast is embarking on an ambitious 3.5-year project aiming to empower women in the Pacific – using seaweed.

Not such a silly (seaweed) sausage
30 Jan

Our researchers used 'seaweed sausages' in a trial project to help purify Moreton Bay waterways.

UniSC Newsroom


Members of USC's Seaweed Research Group: Professor Nick Paul, Dr Libby Swanepoel and Dr Alexandra Campbell.
Burp-free cow feed drives seaweed science at UniSC
11 Jun

A puffy pink seaweed that can stop cows from burping out methane is being primed for mass farming by UniSC researchers.

Fighting cancer and climate change: UniSC researchers use genetic research to unlock seaweed’s hidden secrets
11 Jun

UniSC researchers have undertaken genetic analysis of 12 edible seaweeds to identify potential cancer-preventing compounds.

Seaweed consumption among young Australians
11 Jun

Young Australians are increasingly turning to seaweed for its flavour, nutrient content, and health benefits, despite facing barriers to buying it.