The term “seaweed” describes several species of macroscopic and multicellular marine macroalgae. Notably, this artificial group is not monophyletic, meaning, they do not necessarily have the same evolutionary origin. However, they get divided into three main types: Rhodophyta or red algae, Phaeophyta which stands for brown algae and Chlorophyta or green algae.
From an ecological perspective seaweeds play a pivotal role as food source or as nursery habitats for fisheries and other invertebrates. Furthermore, they are a carbon sink and important oxygen source due to their photosynthetic activity.
Besides their huge ecological impact they are a future source for high value and biological active compounds such as fatty acids, proteins or polysaccharides. Such compounds find use in nutrition, biomedicine, pharmacy or bioremediation and find already today increasing influence in everyday products.
Thus, their cultivation in sustainable aquacultures becomes of more importance also in the western world. This growing sector, of course, requires profound scientific species knowledge about the used taxa, their potentially useful compounds and how to successfully cultivate them. I am trying to investigate these topics within my research projects.