We mostly use molecular methods to study the population genetics and understand the genetic diversity of New Zealand algae.
Historically seaweeds have not been studied as intensely as terrestrial plants and the scope for taxonomical examination and documentation in this area is vast. By combining molecular data and distributional patterns we hope to understand the history of the algae of New Zealand. We also use traditional morphological and reproductive data to understand algal diversity.
Other projects include working towards commercial uses for algae from New Zealand waters, such as neutraceuticals or bioactive compounds.
I am willing to discuss postgraduate research with any student with an interest in algae. It is best if you have a record of algal interest, such as a Master's degree that has an algal theme, for a PhD project. The best way to start this process is to contact me, and discuss your interests. It is also necessary that you receive a scholarship for a PhD degree, so look at the VUW scholarship web page. For Master's students, scholarships can be difficult to obtain and self-financing may be necessary. If you have any interest in understanding these organisms, and have an interest in biodiversity, evolution or molecular methods to understand these processes better, please contact me by email.