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Developing and testing innovative approaches to support seaweed cultivation in the UK

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 03, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project Rationale :
Seaweed cultivation is one of the fastest growing components of global agriculture, with seaweed production contributing to a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, animal feed, fertilizer, biofuels and human food. Seaweed cultivation is generally low impact and has the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and the sustainable provision of food and products (1). Seaweed production in the UK, as elsewhere, has increased dramatically in recent years, although still is in its infancy. There is a pressing need to support the nascent UK seaweed industry through targeted applied research, in order to overcome barriers to production, reduce risk, optimize strategies and maximize yield (2, 3). This project will operate at the interface between fundamental biology and applied research within a commercial environment. The successful candidate will work closely with the industry partner to design and execute a range of trials, experiments and surveys to support the development and diversification of seaweed cultivation in the UK. Research activities will evaluate various approaches to kelp farming, including (but not limited to) species selection, breeding and grow-out strategies, and techniques to minimize issues associated with biofouling and grazing. The research will lead to high quality scientific outputs as well as directly assisting with commercial seaweed cultivation, thereby having both academic and socioeconomic impact.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


(1) Duarte, C. M., et al. (2017). Can seaweed farming play a role in climate change mitigation and adaptation? Frontiers in Marine Science 4(100).

(2) Rolin, C., et al. (2017). Regrowth and biofouling in two species of cultivated kelp in the Shetland Islands, UK. Journal of Applied Phycology 29(5): 2351-2361.

(3) Lüning, K. and L. Mortensen (2015). European aquaculture of sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) for food industries: iodine content and epiphytic animals as major problems. Botanica Marina. 58: 449.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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