Algae and Seagrass Research Group

Research Areas

Our main research areas are:

Our Researchers

Michael Borowitzka

My research is in five main areas:

  1. the large-scale culture of microalgae for the production of valuable chemicals (esp. carotenoids and fatty acids) and biodiesel, or for processes such as waste-water treatment or as feed in aquaculture;
  2. Photobioreactor design and operation;
  3. marine ecology, especially intertidal ecology, seagrass epiphytes, and turf algae in coral reef systems;
  4. phytoplankton primary production and photosynthesis;
  5. monitoring of toxic phytoplankton;
  6. algal calcification;
  7. invertebrate-algae symbioses (especially sponges and cyanobacteria).

John Huisman

  • Systematics and taxonomy of seaweeds.

Mike van Keulen

  • Seagrass Ecology
  • Seagrass Rehabilitation
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Biological Hydrodynamics
  • Physiology of Seagrasses and Algae

Seagrass Ecology

The distribution and community structure of local seagrass ecosystems; the role of physical factors in seagrass community structure; sediment dynamics in seagrass ecosystems; the role of seagrass epiphytes as indicators of eutrophication.

Seagrass Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of seagrasses and processes influencing recruitment success of seedlings, both in Western Australia and elsewhere in Australia. Involved in large-scale and experimental transplantation of seagrasses on Success Bank and in Cockburn Sound, as part of the Seagrass Research and Rehabilitation Plan (working in conjunction with the Marine and Freshwater Research Laboratory)

Coral Reef Studies

I have several research projects at Ningaloo Reef, dealing with seagrasses, benthic primary production, coral reproduction, coral reef metabolism and physiology, and interactions between corals, algae and grazers. As part of this work, I have been involved in the construction and management of a marine field research station, located at Coral Bay, and operated by the North West Research Association, in conjunction with the Murdoch University Foundation.

Biological hydrodynamics

The role of water motion in structuring marine communities; the effects of water motion on the physiology of marine plants; the effects of marine plant morphology on water flow around them; dye visualization studies of water flow over marine plants; the role of plant spacing on flow through seagrass meadows; water velocity profiles through seagrass communities

Physiology of algae and seagrasses

The role of water movement in photosynthesis and respiration of marine plants; the interaction of physical factors on seagrass and algal physiology

Improving communications between seagrass and mangrove researchers

List-owner and maintainer of the WA Seagrass Web Page and the WA Mangrove Web Page , and affiliated international e-mail discussion lists: Seagrass_Forum and Mangrove

Developing innovative teaching methods
See report of an assessment by the Teaching & Learning Centre of innovations in teaching Plant Diversity.

Navid Moheimani

My main research areas are:

  • Microalgae cultivation in open ponds and closed photobioreactors.
  • Limits to the growth of microalgae.
  • Algal physiology.
  • Algal photosynthesis
  • Algal calcification.
  • Solar energy conversion to biomass and electricity.
  • Botryococcus braunii non-destructive hydrocarbon extraction.
  • Microalgae culture for wastewater (i.e. domestic, piggeries) treatment.
  • Macroalgae culture for wastewater (i.e. domestic, piggeries) treatment.