Current Research

Antarctic campThe focus of my recent research has been on the effect of environmental change on the growth and productivity of Antarctic marine algae. These studies have involved the use of high-tech oxygen microelectrodes and PAM fluorometers, to measure in situ the primary productivity of sea ice algae and bacteria that grow on the underside of Antarctic sea ice. So far 5 PhD and 4 Masters students have completed their studies on Antarctic research.

I am also interested in the mat-forming, toxin-producing cyanobacteria that cover rocks in rivers worldwide. These cyanotoxins apparently target liver or nervous systems, but they are ancient molecules that arose before animals, so toxic defence is an unlikely primary role. Current research aims to investigate the real role of these compounds.