Hayley Swanlund

        Picture of Hayley Swanlund

PhD student

I have an aquatic ecology and conservation background with experience in fisheries and aquaculture (seafood) sustainability, where I have worked for NGOs, government and closely with industry. My research interests include aquaculture production, blue foods and ecosystem services. For my PhD, I will be investigating the enhancement of key ecosystem services by seaweed aquaculture. This includes the quantification of these services and informing ways to valorize and maximize their benefits. 

Contact details:
  • Hayley.Swanlund@sams.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)01631 559 000

  • Linkedin

Seaweed farming in Europe: Appraisal and quantification of ecosystem services

Seaweed cultivation enhances key ecosystem services including climate mitigation, nutrient remediation and habitat provision. There has been growing interest in further developing and upscaling seaweed cultivation in Europe, however in order to achieve this multiple criteria for environmental sustainability must be met. Further understanding of this will allow for alignment with policy and commercial ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ (PES) initiatives which can directly valorize ecosystem services and contribute to the economic sustainability of seaweed production.

This PhD project will use an ecosystem service approach to investigate the climate and biodiversity risk reduction potential of seaweed aquaculture. This will be done by developing analytical techniques to quantify the ecosystem services and magnitude of risk reductions, where possible, across a range of operational farms. This information will help advise mechanisms for valorization and farming operations to maximize benefits, and feed into the policy dialogue across Europe as the industry develops.

Start date: February 2023



Dr Adam Hughes, SAMS

Dr Alasdair O’Dell, SAMS

Prof Michael Burrows, SAMS



Industry funded




University of the Highlands and Islands


Fieldwork experience

2017: The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) juvenile fish surveys on the River Thames, London, UK

2015: University of Toronto Physical-Biological Coupling in Lake Ecosystems, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada


Media mentions

Fishing News, November 2022

Food Made Good, September 2022

Ontario Nature, June 2015



2020 – 2023 - Seafood Sustainability Officer - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-UK)

2019 – 2020 - Technical Officer – Reporting, Water Security - CDP

2018  - Capilano River Hatchery Seasonal Worker - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

2016  - Assistant to the Secretary-General/Treasurer and Competition Coordinator - International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST)


Higher Education

2017 - MSc Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London

2016 - HBSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (Major), Statistics (Minor), and Environmental Studies (Minor), University of Toronto