Warm & wonderful Estonia

This weekend, we went for a quick fieldtrip to the Estonian island Saaremaa to collect some seaweed, as we so often do. The West Estonian Archipelago Sea, or Väinameri is very shallow and well sheltered as you can see on the map. Increaseing depth is deeper blue, and there is not much dark blue there.

The Väinameri is often no more than 5-10 meters deep.

The Väinameri is often no more than 5-10 meters deep.

As before, we rented a car in Tallinn and drove down to Virtsu, where the ferry over to Saaremaa is. It is a nice trip through the rural landscape, we even saw 7 storks lined up next to the road on a field. They looked almost fake, until one of them moved.

On Saaremaa we have been fortunate enough to get to stay at the fieldstation of our Estonian collegue Jonne Kotta. It is a lovely place, a small house with outdoor toilet, the sea just behind a sheltering border of trees and a small garden with berries and rhubarbs. And a wooden outhouse for equipment and smelly experiments.

The fieldstation is Jonnes familys' summerhouse.

The fieldstation is Jonnes familys’ summerhouse.

The fieldstation outhouse in 2011

The fieldstation outhouse in 2011

So imagine our surprise as we drove up and saw….this!

The brand new fieldstation at Köiguste was built in 2013

The brand new fieldstation at Köiguste was built in 2013

Three jaws dropped as we couldn’t believe our eyes!!

Where the old outhouse used to be, there is now a brand new lab building, with large kitchen/lecture room, computer/microscopy room, indoor bathrooms and showers, enormous storage space for stuff and a wetlab for sorting. There is also space outdoors for sorting and setting up experiments.

The lawn where one used to park is now extended and covered with gravel to fit several cars, boat trailers and whatnot. And two more cabins have popped up opposite the old ones, therby doubling the overnight capacity.

Lots of parking space and new cabins.

Lots of parking space and new cabins.

But in my astonished euphoria over this amazing change, due to Jonnes resourcefulness and hard work no doubt, I am almost forgetting the seaweed (that’s saying something, that is).

This time, we went roud to five sites, two old ones and three that I had not sampled before, but have only been sent material from by Jonne.

The office looks good some days.

The office looks good some days.

The weather was marvellous, all still and not a cloud in sight. On Saaremaa the Fucus grows much shallower than on the Swedish coast, probably due to higher turbidity in the water since the Väinameri is much affected by land nutrient runoff. It is also very shallow, so that, at some sites, I have to walk almost 100-200 meters for the water to reach my knees.

Our collection went smoothly and quick, so we decided to take a trip over to the island Hiiumaa, which is north of Saaremaa, since the ferry to there departs from one of our sampling sites, and because we wanted to see what kind of seaweed grew there. One often thinks that it will be the same in an area, but in reality there are sometimes quite large variations on small scales, so we take nothing for granted.

The trip from Saaremaa to Hiiumaa takes about 65 minutes

The trip from Saaremaa to Hiiumaa takes about 65 minutes

And, sure enough, the beaches we looked at were quite different from those on Saaremaa. It is amazing how much impact the difference in wave exposure does for the underwater environment.

But even though we didn’t find a seaweed paradise, it was nice to be on a ferry and see the sea. We could also note that the algal bloom was in its peak, same as in the Baltic Proper (we could see it from the plane was we flew over the Åland islands).

Microalgae bloom floating on the surface of a still sea.

Microalgae bloom floating on the surface of a still sea.

After enjoying a lovely dinner in the town Kuressaare and a good nights sleep, we went back up to Tallinn and even had time for lunch in one of the towns many great restaurants, and a coffee in a cozy café before we returned the car and headed back to Sweden.

Beer and chocolate cake....somewhat unorthodox but it was very warm...

Beer and chocolate cake….somewhat unorthodox but it was very warm…

And so, to round off this praise for Estonia and the new fieldstation, here’s a photo of the collected Fucus radicans from Saaremaa.

Estonian Fucus radicans is smaller than the Swedish ones.

Estonian Fucus radicans is smaller than the Swedish ones.

New book: Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment

Marine photosynthesis provides for at least half of the primary production worldwide. So Mats Björk, one floor down from The BalticSeaWeed blog, together with Sven Beer and John Beardall have publishyed the book “Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment”, available from Wiley.

Mats bok

“Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment constitutes a comprehensive explanation of photosynthetic processes as related to the special environment in which marine plants live. The first part of the book introduces the different photosynthesising organisms of the various marine habitats: the phytoplankton (both cyanobacteria and eukaryotes) in open waters, and macroalgae, marine angiosperms and photosymbiont-containing invertebrates in those benthic environments where there is enough light for photosynthesis to support growth, and describes how these organisms evolved. The special properties of seawater for sustaining primary production are then considered, and the two main differences between terrestrial and marine environments in supporting photosynthesis and plant growth are examined, namely irradiance and inorganic carbon. The second part of the book outlines the general mechanisms of photosynthesis, and then points towards the differences in light-capturing and carbon acquisition between terrestrial and marine plants. This is followed by discussing the need for a CO2 concentrating mechanism in most of the latter, and a description of how such mechanisms function in different marine plants. Part three deals with the various ways in which photosynthesis can be measured for marine plants, with an emphasis on novel in situ measurements, including discussions of the extent to which such measurements can serve as a proxy for plant growth and productivity. The final chapters of the book are devoted to ecological aspects of marine plant photosynthesis and growth, including predictions for the future.”

This is definetly on MY reading-list for the summer!

New position – Research assistant at Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg

Dept Biology and Environmental Sciences – Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg

Closing date for application: 2014-06-05

Job assignments
The research assistant will assist scientists in ongoing experimental research in evolutionary biology. Tasks may include field sampling, morphometric analysis of specimens, behavioural observations, preparation of DNA samples, culturing of marine invertebrates, data and statistical analyses, and updating and organizing data in simple databases. The research assistant will work in close collaboration with the research leader (Prof. Roger Butlin) and additional researchers and students. The working language is English.

Undergraduate training in evolutionary biology is a requirement. Previous experience of experimental work is desirable. Good communication abilities in written and spoken English are required qualifications. Skills in planning and organising work, social competence and independence are additional criteria for eligibility.

Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 1 year
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Tjärnö, Strömstad
First day of employment: 2014-07-01

More information at:

and/or contact:
Roger Butlin, Guest Professor, +460(0) 78610 00, roger.butlin@bioenv.gu.se

Kerstin Johannesson, Professor, +46 (0)31 786 9611, kerstin.johannesson@bioenv.gu.se

Ingela Dahllöf, Head of Department, +46 (0)31 786 93 33, ingela.dahllof@bioenv.gu.se

ECSA 54 Day 2

The Tuesday starts with the opening of a new topic “From genes to ecosystems: Effects of global change”. Keynote speaker is professor Filip Volckaert from Belgien, who talks about intraspecific biodiversity on a genetic level. Three years ago, I would have been lost at the first slide, but after having spent time hanging over the shoulder of my collegue Angelica Ardehed, who is the geneticist that extracts the DNA from all the seaweed i pull out of the water, I can follow the entire lecture. Thank you Angelica!

This was a really good keynote for the topic. Filip Volckaert lays the field for todays speakers really well, by going through the basics of genetics. This will save me some time, since I will have my presentation in this topic at the end of the day. Excellent!

IMG_4428Filip Volckaert summarizes genetica

During the following discussion concerning the need of biologists to also take courses in policy making, law and economics, Volckaert says “I live in Belgium, yes, but Brussels is abroad for me. I send postcards home when I go there.” A comment in true Groucho Marx-style.

First out of the presentations is Mike Elliot from University of Hull, who summarizes ”Conceptual models of the consequences of global climate change for estuaries and seas”. He kindly warns us that he will make our Brains explode with the amount of “horrendograms” he is about to show us. I myself rather like conceptual models, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We do, luckily survive, however. Many of the models are really good, but a Little colour never goes amiss. It is a brilliant summary of what needs to be done to achieve the EU’s marine framework directive. Mike ends by showing a slide of the ”to do”-list. I just wish politicians would understand how much work this will require.

IMG_4433“We only need to know all this to achieva good ecological status

Guillem Chust from Spanin follows with ”Vulnerability of estuarine species and communities under climate change”. He has inverstigated how a warmer climate might affect the distribution of the seagrass Zostera noltii along the Basque coast by coupling hydromorphological models with species distribution models. He presents how the seagrass’ distribution would change at two different scenarios, elevated temperature and elevated sea level, with reductions of biomass between 20-40 %.He also shows a neat setup where they are trying to recreate a seagrass bed by putting out boxes of sediment in which they have already planted Zostera noltii. I’m rather tempted to try that at home at the Askö laboratory, just for fun, with our Zostera marina.

Next presenter is an old friend from Tjärnö, Greg Charrier. He has been ther for five years, and we met at a CeMEB course where he was teaching genetic methods. Small world. Greg, who is now safely back in France, presents ”Integrative approach on the responses of a coastal fish to global warming”. They have worked with flounder (Platichthys flesus) which has turned out to be a good indicator for water quality and stress, along the French, Spanich and Portugese Atlantic coast. Using common garden experiments, they checked if the Southern populations, at the edge of its distribution, are more tolerant to warmer temperatures (heat stress) that the others. They have also tested the sensitivity to other chemicals (chemical stress) and low oxygen levels (hypoxic stress). Stress is measured by comparing the growth rate of small stressed flounders to non-stressed, and also by measuring different metabolic processes.

The research of Morgana Tagliarolo from Rhodes University focuses on what mechanisms Controls the distribution of the two bivalves Perna perna and Mytilus galloprovincialis (a relative to our blue mussel Mytilus edulis) outside the Namibian and South African Coast. Perna perna is the native mussel, and Mytilus galloprovincialis has arrived later and is considered invasive. Morgana has tested if they differ in metabolism, which means looking at who grows fastest and can thus compete better for space, and also if the metabolism differs at different temperatures. The South African coast is tidal, wich means that the mussels are pup in the air at low tide. Therefor they have measured both in water and in air, to get a true image of the mussels life. It is important that studies should have ecological relevans, something not everyone always remembers.

After coffee (mini-lunch) with a small cup of coffee a la Black Death, we take our seats again to listen to Adriana Verges talk on ”Climate-driven shifts in herbivory and the disapperance of kelp forrests in eastern Australia”. She focuses on what will happen when the herbivorous fish that keep the coral reefs in the tropical Waters clean from algae, moves into temperate Waters due to rising sea temperatures. On the coral reefs, the fish are the key to keeping the reef algae- free, so that the corals aren’t shaded or suffocated. But in temperate Waters, algae are the foundation species, providing the shelter as trees in the marine forrest. And they cannot withstand the intense grazing by the coral reef fishes.

IMG_4434Horror films for seaweed lovers

Inventories of the kelp forrests along Eastern Australia show that the kelp has been reduces since 2002. In some localities it’s been grazed to a barren. Adriana shows some film clips of where they hade put out kelp and filmed how soon fish and sea urchins, two notorius kelp eaters, finds and consumes the kelp.The research is part of a cooperation with amongs others Japan, who have the same problems.

B Duarte continues along the same line but up on land with ” The impact of extreme temperature events on halophytic vegetation”. Being halophytic means that you, as a plant, are able to grow in salty environments, and that in some cases even grow better there. The Camargue delta in southern France, for example is a very good place for halophytes.
These plants have to cope with growing submerged from time to time, which may cause low or no access to oxygen for the roots, sometimes there are periods of drought. A tough life. The results show that halophytes are generally not significantly affected by colder periods, but that extreme periods of heat causes a great loss of energy for this group of plants.

We return bavk into the sea and the macroalgae with the presentation of I Rodil, ”Effects of global climate change factors on macroalgae subsides and consequent impacts on sandy beach consumers” which shows that the sandy beaches are not the marine deserts as previously thought, because they are supplied with macroalgae from adjacent hard bottoms, allowing for a richer fauna. If the nutrient content of macroalgae would be negatively affected by climate change, this will in turn affect the faunal assemblage of the sandy shores. But how? Exciting research on Laminaria ochroleuca and Sargassum muticum follows, and is then connected to the sandy shore animals. A fun study in several steps to ensure the overall system is covered and links two different habitats.

It is always wonderful to see the beautiful images of marine organisms. The BalticSeaWeed blog is generally positive to algae, but there are times when they are not wanted. Aschwin Engelen does research on corals along the coast of Portugal and presents his group’s research “Temperate gorgonians during invasive seaweed proliferation and acidification preassure,” which shows how invasive algae are smothering coral. Most prominent is the invasive alga Asparagopsis armata . But corals are also grappling with problems with infections due to hot water and mechanical damage from fishing lines.

To really get a clear picture of what affects corals, they have also mapped all the microbes on corals (microbiome) by genetic sequencing. Apparently, many coral species have unique microbes that they do not share with other, closely related , coral species.

By exposing corals to different algae by allowing water from an algae to pass over the coral, they could see how microbes respond to the seaweed chemical signal by moving away. This could cause a lowering of the coral’s defense against epiphytes, which would allow the algae to attach to the coral. Exciting!

After a long lunch with a dip in the refreshing Atlantic Waves (16 degrees is not bad), we returned to the Conference to listen to the presentation with the best title: ”Photosynthetic sea slugs and global climate change: The role of kleptoplasty in a changing world”. Giselle Dionisio works with the wonderful Little green velvet sea slug Elysia viridis and has tested how the chloroplast that they take from the algae they feed on, survives at high temperatures. Cleptoplasty (stolen chloroplasts) is very complex and suprisingly Little is known about it, so it was a very interesting talk, and we had a great chat afterwards.

IMG_4447Cleptoplast – one of my favourite words

After a sugarhyped coffeebreak it was time for yours truly to proclaim the wonders of Fucus radicans and its sexual dimorphism (more on this over a pint or in the upcoming thesis).

Ellens presentationThe magic World of Fucus radicans!

After ten minutes of presentation and a couple of good questions, we moved on about 50 meters down the road to the postersession, that was held in a Beautiful building with a tiled exterior, typical of Portugal.

IMG_4413Nice and very picturesque.

Cacophony is a rarely used word, but it describes well what erupted. 200 scientists in a small room with beer, wine fruit juice and tapas, and 60 posters that everyone want to read and discuss. Scientific mingle at its very best. Worth noting is that beer in Portugal comes in 20 cl bottles. That’s called a mouthful in other countries.


After mingling and chatting for well over two hours, we are now back at the hotel for a short rest Before dinner. Yesterday was the Day of Molluscs, today it will be Crustaceans.

ECSA 54 – Coastal systems under change: tuning assessment and management tools 12-16 May Sesimbra Portugal

Waking up to the noise of the rolling waves of the Atlantic meeting the shore of Sesimbra bay is not a bad way to start a Monday.

This week, the BalticSeaWeed blog attends the ECSA54 conference in the lovely seaside town of Sesimbra, on the southern coast of Portugal. What a wonderful venue for a marine conference, indeed. Even though we spend most of the time indoors, it’s still nice to know that outdoors there is a sunny 20 degrees C waiting for you.

ECSA stands for Estuarine and Coastal Science Association, and is closely linked to the Elsevier scientific journal Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science, which publishes the papers from the conference in a special issue each year.

Men in suitsThe welcome comittee

We start the conference by the mandatory opening session with information, thanks to the sponsors, organizers and welcome by the Sesimbra mayor. There are 250 participants from more than 40 countries, which is a really good scope.

The first topic for the conference today is “Shifts in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning” which is opened by keynote speaker Anne Magurran from St Andrews University, Scotland. We are happy to see that of the invited speakers, there are more women than men. A first for me, hoping this positive trend will last. Anne takes us from Darwin and his observations of species richness and abundance and explains how ecological communities’ richness changes over time. She uses a data set from the Bristol Channel as an example, where scientists have sampled fish in the water intake mesh to a power station every month for 33 years! What a data set! (If you want to read some nice fish papers, look for Magurran & Hendersson 2003 Nature, 2011 Phil. Trans. or 2012 PRSB, and Shimadxu et al 2013 BMC Biology).

AnneAnne Magurran shows interesting and thoughtprovoking data

This data set really provides good background for community modelling, which will come up in the program several times during the week. I will be interesting to see if anyone has as good a background data as this. After showing the natural changes in the system, Anne moves on to speculate on how much chance is caused by human impact. She concludes that the consequences for ecosystem functioning is yet to be understood, and this should be a future area of research.

After this very inspiring talk, we move on to three fish presentations. First out is Felipe Martinho from Portugal, presenting “How well do fish community-based measures of ecological quality track change over time? The role of anthropogenic vs climate-driven pressures.” He and his research group have made an Anthropogenic Pressure Index (API) and tested it on local data from 2003 an forward. He presents a decreasing trend in anthropogenic pressure for their estuary, which is nice to see for a change, also that 2006 was a dip in diversity. It would be very interesting to see if this dip can be seen at a larger scale. He ends by pointing out the need for data, and to point out that some pressures will not be measured if they do not significantly affect the biota due to, for example, too low levels.

Prabath Jayasinghe from University of Cadiz, Spain, presents “Links between descriptors of good environmental status (GEnS): Commercial fisheries and marine biodiversity”. The goal of the European Marine Framework Directive is to maintain a good environmental status through high biodiversity. So, what are the pressures from commercial species fisheries on marine biodiversity? This is actually not very well known. Dismantling all the different factors used by the DPSIR Framework to analyze the impact of commercial fishing, and where their data comes from, we see that there are gaps, and quite large ones, too.

Some of the major points are the impacts of bottom dredging and trawling, which destroys so much more than just what they are after, the destruction of macrophytes, which are important nurseries, and several depressing numbers (and photos) on the amount of turtles (60. 000 die each year in ghost nets in the Mediterranean Sea alone), sharks and sea birds that fall victim to long lines, nets and other plastic debris. We need to define which pressures we can do something about, and do it!

Last out before coffee is Rita Vascaconselos from Portugal, presenting her work on “Worldwide patterns of fish species richness in estuaries: Investigating the effects of spatial scale”. Estuarine environments have less species than the adjacent marine environments, and have the gradient from freshwater to marine waters (ecotone/ecocline). Rita has compared data from 130 estuaries around the world, based on ecological realm (salinity) within the estuary, between continents, water temperature and precipitation (which is a factor that has a much larger impact on estuaries than marine environments and must not be forgotten). The take home message is the overwhelming importance of considering different spatial scales and biogeography to quantify important predictor variables.

After discovering that coffee in Portugal means lunch (with meat pies and sweet cakes) and the coffee is made cup by cup by a barrista (oh joy), we trotted down the narrow sunny street to the smaller venue for next session.

coffeeNice and sugary! But where is the coffee?

JN Franco showed how the kelp Laminaria ochroleuca has decreased in distribution and abundance along the Portuguese coast, and presented his research on the top down (grazing) and bottom up (nutrients) effects that might cause this. Also, the effect of high temperature on growth was tested.

Copper in the sea is both of man made and natural origin, but is toxic in the ppb (parts per billion) for some organisms. E Davarpanah have tested if the micro plastic particles that are littering the oceans, in any way change the toxicity of copper on marine organisms. The results show that micro plastics are having large effects on whole ecosystems, and although the tested concentrations were low, there are toxicological interactions.

IMG_4388A comparison of models

Rui Gaspar finishes the kelp session with “The use of biodiversity surrogates to describe intertidal macroalgae patterns at small spatial and temporal scales”. The idea is to reduce costs and the need for taxonomic expertise in species rich surveys, previously elaborated upon by Steneck and Dethier 1994, Orfanidis et al 2011, Balata et al 2011 and Smale 2010, and find surrogates that are more easily monitored. Surveys were made, using 50×50 grids on transects through gradients. Each grid was photographed and fed into GIS to get % cover and mean cover per species. Comparing this model to previous ones, this one seems to have a much better resolution as a taxonomic surrogate for family, but not order, and the is not as effective as the model by Seneck and Dethier, so, all in all, maybe one should focus less on time-is-money and just get down and do the work?

With more than 2 hours until next session, and not really hungry for lunch, there was only one thing to do.

PoolsideAnother Monday at work

Ascophyllum babies at Askö

Springtime means spring cleaning, wherever one thinks it might be needed.
This Monday we went out to the Askö laboratory to prepare for the upcoming season.

As usual, the thermoconstans room (walk-in fridge) at our disposal in the lab has been filled with pots and pans containing different experiments over the winter. High time to see what amounted to something and what didn’t, throw things out and clean the buckets.

We kept some Ascophyllum nodosum from the Swedish west coast in a bucket with saltier water, to see if we could get it to reproduce and get little babies to settle on ceramic tiles in the bottom of the bucket.

The Ascophyllum did not dissappoint us!

Wee baby-Ascophyllum on tile.

Wee baby-Ascophyllum on tile.

This is how cute Ascophyllum-babies are when they are but a millimeter tall.
The picture is taken by mobile camera through the ocular of a stereo loupe.

Lectures on Ecology and Diversity of the Baltic Sea

As part of a PhD-course organized by BEAM (Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management), there were several lectures on the theme “Ecology and Diversity of the Baltic Sea”.

If you are interested in what the benthos looks like, what role the blue mussel plays, or want to know more about the planctonic life of the Baltic Sea, you will find the lectures by klicking HERE.

There is, of course, one or two lectures containing seaweed.

Seaweed is the key to low-fat chocolate

Can it be true? Is I possible to get low fat chocolate that doesn’t taste of cardboard or feels like margarine in the mouth?

An article claiming that most welcome breakthrough was published in the Christmas special of the New Scientist magazine (21/28 December 2013).

Stefan Bon, and his PhD student Adam Morgan, of Warwick University, UK, are the names to remember. The article explains about previous research into the wonderful properties of chocolate, and why once melted chocolate is not the same even if you put it in the fridge.

The latest research in order to reduce the fat content of chocolate has been to insert nano air bubbles or water droplets, but this has not been entirely successful.
Now, however, it seems like Bon and Morgan have managed to solve something that will be celebrated by the many chocoholics over the world.

Instead of air, they replace up to as much as half the fat in a chocolate bar with jelly made from seaweed agar mixed with fruit juice. They first created a jelly that was based on gelatin. However, gelatin is made fom animal skin and bones, something not everybody want in their chocolate, so they developed one based on prawns instead. But considering seafood allergies (not to mention that prawn on the ingredient list would put even more people off, nor is it vegetarian), they finally settled for good old seaweed agar, and that seems to have done the trick.

Read the full article ( and reporter Caroline Williams’ DIY recipie for low fat chocolate) in New Scientist.

Guest blog from the 15th Scientific Conference of the Section Phycology

At the end of Feburary, our German collegue Balsam Al Janabi attended the 15th Scientific Conference of the Section Phycology, organized by the German Botanical Society. We persuaded her to tell us about it as a Guest Blogger.

The 15th Phycology seminar took place in the beautiful marine museum of Stralsund from 23rd until the 26th of february 2014. Members from the Phycology Section of the German Botanical Society and other researchers presented a huge variety of phycology research. Organized by the University of Rostock, Prof. Dr. Ulf Karsten lead us through 59 oral presentations and 2 poster sessions, so that about 100 scientists had the change to know the research of almost all phycological disciplines and to establish contacts. English presentations were held from Bachelor-, Master-, PhD-students and Professors from Austria, Ireland, Greece, Netherlands, Mongolia as well as all over Germany, especially Kiel, Rostock, Cologne and Constance.

Phycological presentations
Eleven structured sessions, brought the audience through different principle topics with special secctions of Polar and high Alpine Phycology, the Bioacid project and a presentations in memorium to Prof. Dr. Dieter Mollenhauer (who passed away May 2013) and in honor to his contributions to his activities to promote phycology in Germany.

The antarctic research session included fascinating sessions showing the kelp system in the Antarctic seaweed system with regard to global change revealing biomass and biodiversity changes up to ecotypic differentiation. Stecher, winner of the best talk award, brought the audience below the ice of the Arctic and the DNA- and RNA of sea ice algal communities. Besides future research, also insights into the past were discovered by means of Paleolimnological studies: radiocarbon-dated sediment revealed informations about diatoms, pollen and geochemical proxies up to the Neolithic period. Analysis of biodiversity was another focus of the seminar, as for instance the diversity of the rain forest in equador. Physiological aspects, as the light regulation in diatoms explained the role of aureochromes and cryptochromes by gene silencing methods. Other approaches from terrestrial habitats revealed transcriptomic analysis as in Klebsormidium crenulatum with regard to the physiological performance under desiccation stress. Investigations about microphytes were often interesting in this seminar, as during the applied phycology session, showing the usage of algae for biogas production. The variety of disciplines was also shown by a presentation about the BIOMEX project illustrating not only the laboratory analysis of space conditions for cyanobacteria, algae and even mosses, but also the planned analysis in the international space station (ISS).

Seaweed research
The Bioacid session focused on the climate change scenaria from mesocosm experiments in the Kiel Benthocosms, a near-natural scenario analyzing a seewead community as including an experiment on the interaction of environmental stress and genetic diversity of Fucus vesiculosus. Also bacterial communities of the biofilm between the present and future scenario are compared. Fucus vesiculosus was also analyzed for their seasonality of defense as a response to the seasonal variation of micro- and macrofouling pressure. Furthermore, the gen expression under herbivore grazing was demonstrated for Fucus vesiculosus. Also other physiological aspects of brown macroalgae (Phaeophyceae) showed the iodine to salinity response in Laminaria digitata and mechanisms of photoacclimation of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera revealed the relation of antioxidants with the depth at which algae appear. The role of two bacteria for morphogenesis was presented for the green algae Ulva mutabilis.

Networking and Award Ceremonies

Future network was supported by talks about the GBIF database for algae and protists as well as by insights in the SAG culture collection. During the award ceremony of best poster, Algological study and E.G. Pringsheim-Prize, the winner of the ‘Hans-Adolf von Stosch Medal’ was Prof. Dr. Michael Melkonian for his great contributions in Protistology and Phycology. He shared his experiences of decades of phycological investigations as well as appreciated cooperations.
Personally I appreciate the participation of the phycology seminar, especially due to the mixture and the connection not only of disciplines, but also of specialists and opportunities as a PhD student having the chance to discuss my methods and results with during a nice coffee brake.
//Balsam Al Janabi

Have you attended any seaweed events or do you work with seaweed and would like to tell us about it?
Feel free to contact us and become a Guest Blogger at http://www.balticseaweed.com

New artwork at the Askö Marine Laboratory

On Thursday last week, we gathered at the Askö Marine Laboratory for this years Winter Party. For dinner was served, amongst other dishes, a very nice smoked salmon, fresh from the new laboratory smokehouse. The activity for the evening was to create a painting duringthe dinner. It turned out an inspired new piece of art where the bladderwrack was a given part, together with a golden Saduria entomon, a mussel containing a pearl and other important objects from the station.

Winter Party Painting

Winter Party Painting