New publication in Biology 2018, 7(1), 12;

We are proud to announce that one of our third year project students from last year, Ellie Mayhead,  has had their project work published:

“Comparing Nutrient Removal from Membrane Filtered and Unfiltered Domestic Wastewater Using Chlorella vulgaris” Elyssia Mayhead, Alla Silkina, Carole A. Llewellyn and Claudio Fuentes Grünewald


Integrating seaweed aquaculture to the third biggest port in the UK  

Dr Sara Barrento gave three oral presentations at the Aquaculture Europe 2017 Conference, which took place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, from the 17-20th October 2017. All presentations are available on slideshare.

  1. Barrento, S., Weston, K., Fernandes, F.,  Nuuttila, H. Integrating seaweed aquaculture to the third biggest port in the UK  
  2. Barrento, S., Whittaker, B., Stringwell, R., Howes, P., Pires, A., Jennings, B., Smith, R., Garcia de Leaniz, C. Training the next generation of aquaculture technologists in the era of climate change
  3. Barrento, S., Whittaker, B., Stringwell, R., Howes, P., Pires, A., Jennings, B., Smith, R., Garcia de Leaniz, C. Testing the low octane diet to keep lumpfish small

Swansea Science Festival 2017

We were there, and it was awesome. The science festival which took place in Swansea Water Front Museum from the 8th to the 10th of September was entertaining and full of hands-on experiences to discover science through theatrical presentations, music, and demonstrations. We had a stall full of creatures and fun activities to do with the family. You can download our fun activity pack here


These activities were created and delivered by Sara Barrento (lecturer at Swansea University); the Swansea University PhD candidates: Jessica Knoop, Ben Whittaker, Suzana Leles and master student Katie Weston. Pietro Francinetti kindly helped out packing up. A great team work and some lessons learnt – we need more volunteers for the weekend days!

Kelp forests are magical places. These threatened habitats are vital for the functioning of the planet. Follow the journey of the creation of the seaweed Wonder Bay at the Natural History Museum in this two part film.

Part 1

Part 2



Photography competition: Hilda Canter-Lund 2017

Dig out your best algae-themed photographs.

Keep the date: 9th of June – the closing date for the 2017 Hilda Canter-Lund photography competition.

A prize of £250 will be awarded to the photograph that best combines the informative, technical and aesthetic qualities embodies by Hilda Canter-Lund’s photography.  It can be of a micro- or macroalga, marine or freshwater, taken by any photographic medium and the competition is open to all.

More info here

Seaweed vegetables, sea veggies, sea veg …

rebranding macroscopic, multi-cellular marine algae

Dr Sara Barrento recently presented a  CoS lunchtime talk about the emergence of the sea vegetables. CoS Lunchtime Talks is an event run by the Colledge of Science at Swansea University, aiming to bring together each department of the college to discuss their research, combine expertise, and perhaps collaborate. You can see her presentation below.

Collaborative visit to Mexico

During last week (13.02.17-17.02.17), part of Swansea University team of PhycoPigment project (Innovate Uk- Newton-CONACYT), Dr Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald  and Dr Bob Lovitt visited INECOL and Tecnológico de Monterrey facilities in Mexico. It was the first face to face meeting with our Mexican colleagues and it was a great opportunity to discuss latest results of our experiments. Swansea University Team in this project Robert Bob W Lovitt, Carole A Llewellyn, Alla Silkina, Darren Oatley-Radcliffe Tecnológico de Monterrey colleagues Saul García @Gibran Aleman Nava, INECOL team @Eugenia Olguínmexico-visit-tec-1

Trending Research published by Dr Carole Llewellyn

Taylor & Francis selected as a highlight a review published by Dr Carole Llewellyn (AlgaeWales team member) in the European Journal of Phycology on Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers.

The article is now trending and reviews the diverse beneficial impacts of cyanobacterial metabolites and emphasize on the many oppurtinuties to use these high value products in cosmetics which is a booming industry for the use of Algae.

You can read the full article here

Abstract :

The recognition that ultraviolet radiation has harmful effects on the skin has led to the commercial development of inorganic and synthetic organic UV filters that can reduce the negative effects of exposure to sunlight. In addition, moisturizing chemicals are extensively used in personal care products to improve the ability of skin to retain water. Whilst current UV filter and moisturizing chemicals have clear beneficial qualities, they may also have adverse effects such as contact sensitivity, oestrogenicity and even tumorigenic effects on human skin. Furthermore, the accumulation of these chemicals in the aquatic environment could be potentially harmful. Consequently, there is interest in exploiting safer alternatives derived from biological sources, especially from photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria which have developed mechanisms for coping with high UV irradiation and desiccation. In order to overcome the detrimental effects of UV radiation, these microorganisms produce UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin, which are good candidates as alternatives to current synthetic UV filters. In addition, extracellular substances produced by some extremophilic species living in hyper-arid habitats have a high water retention capacity and could be used in cosmetic products as moisturizers. In this review, we present an overview of the literature describing the potential of cyanobacterial metabolites as an alternative source for sunscreens and moisturizers.

Algaewales at the BPS Winter Meeting

AlgaeWales team members represented Swansea University at the British Phycology Society Winter meeting organised at Bangor University on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January.

The conference was the oppurtunity for Algaewales to present the diversity of its research thanks to 3 oral presentations and 1 poster presentation : wp_20170112_13_50_23_pro

Alla Silkina : “An algal-bacteria consortium for successful waste remediation and probiotic effect for aquaculture feeding”

Fleuriane Fernandes : “Use of FTIR spectrophotometry to monitor post-harvest treatments in seaweeds for enhancement of macromolecular composition”

Kevin Flynn : “A new paradigm for marine planktonic primary production”

Jessica Knoop : “Seasonal observation of life history stages and population dynamics of the red alga Porphyra dioica in South Wales”

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