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Marine algae and plants

The OPAL Project Toxic Algae Dr Murray Brown
Dr Maria Donkin
Local collaborators
Professor Brownlee (MBA)
Professor James Readman (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)
Dr Schroeder (MBA)
International collaborators
Professor Gao (China)
Professor Han (Korea)
Dr Orfanidis (Greece)
Professor Pawlik-Skowronska (Poland)

Our research activities focus on the responses of marine algae and seagrass to environmental stress (both natural and man-induced) and the mechanisms by which resistence/tolerance to these stressors are developed. From studying the processes by which different stages in the life histories of these organisms respond to e.g. inputs of chemical pollutants, global climate change etc predictions can be made about whether adaptive changes are likely. The work progresses at levels of biological organisation from the population to the molecular, and utilises a rang of methodological approaches. We are now applying our research results to the development of stress response markers (biomarkers) and toxicity tests for use in monitoring the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Current research projects

  • Elucidating the impacts of metals on developmental, physiological and cellular processes
  • Understanding the eco-physiological responses to organic pollutants (e.g. antifouling booster biocides, surfactants)
  • Understanding the eco-physiological responses to global climate change
  • Determining cross-signalling responses to multiple stressors
  • Monitoring the health of aquatic environments
    • OPAL - Explore Nature website (opens in new window)        Big Lottery Fund website (opens in new window)