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Seaweed aquaculture in NZ, status and trends
Dr Marie Magnusson leads the Entrepreneurial Universities Macroalgal Programme jointly funded by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission and the University of Waikato, with the objective to domesticate and develop bioproducts from NZ species of macroalgae to support a sustainable seaweed aquaculture industry. She leads a team of research fellows, technical officers, and post-graduate students to deliver leading-edge multi-disciplinary research in macroalgal biology and production, biotechnology, and bioproduct development, with a strong focus on industry engagement and commercial outcomes. Dr Magnusson’s most recent research has focused on Ulva, Ecklonia, and Asparagopsis, including human health, ruminant livestock productivity, and pollution remediation applications.
During 2020, Dr Magnusson’s team put its new macroalgal research facility (pictured) into operation. The facility is the first in NZ to provide state-of-the art infrastructure for seaweed cultivation from nursery stages to grow-out to deliver closed life-cycle aquaculture production of seaweed, and is quickly becoming the foundation of additional excellent research.