This project aims to investigate how bacteria can improve the growth, health and environmental adaptation of marine seaweeds (macroalgae).

By using new knowledge of microbial functions and innovative approaches in experimental ecology, the project intends to develop bacterial consortia that benefit seaweeds. It is anticipated that these bacteria will constitute novel marine probiotics that can be used to enhance and protect the performance of macroalgae in their natural environment or in aquaculture systems.

Such outcomes may contribute to safeguarding marine ecosystems against anthropogenic stressors (such as pollutants) and provide opportunities for the development of a blue economy. 


Associate Professor | Postgraduate Coordinator Suhelen Egan
Associate Professor | Postgraduate Coordinator
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Coastal microbial observatories

Our large-scale coastal microbial observatory program investigates the temporal and spatial dynamics of microbial communities in the water column. We observe sediments and coral, seaweeds, sponges and seagrasses.

Functional diversity and redundancy of marine communities

In this important project, we aim to define the assembly of microbial communities by functional properties rather than by the species. 

Microbial contribution to life in the deep sea

Despite the lack of sunlight and nutrients, many deep-sea environments are full of coral reefs and sponge gardens. We’re aiming to understand how the metabolic capacity and versatility of symbiotic bacteria support their growth.