Maryam MacCorquodale

        Picture of Maryam MacCorquodale

PhD student

My main research interest is in bioprospecting for novel bioactive compounds from marine environment. My present project on Kelp gametophyte bioreactors for metabolite extraction, focuses on optimising the methods for the cultivation of kelp gametophytes, to examine their composition and identify novel bioactivity.

The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the yield of compounds of interest by manipulating the culture conditions. My previous work includes extraction of polysaccharide from a noble marine bacterium; I am also experienced in extraction of isoprenoid lipid (HBI) as biomarkers to study Arctic ecosystems.

Contact details:
  • +44 (0)1631 559000

Kelp gametophyte bio-reactors for metabolite extraction

This project will assess the composition and growth rate of different gametophyte species using within controlled cultivation facilities at SAMS.

Kelp metabolites have numerous commercial applications within the Food and Drink and Life Sciences sectors. The global market for bioactive, is projected to reach $34 billion by 2018, growing 7.2% per annum. Alginate is the dominant structural polysaccharide and is valued as a gelling agent for food, medicine and industrial uses. Other compounds such as fucoxanthin, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are potential extracts that could be sold as a product.

Continuous cultivation of gametophytes could provide a year-round supply for numerous metabolites. Gametophyte cultivation could become a new industry, negating the need for harvesting of seaweed beds.

This study aims to identify the physiochemical tolerance of native species of Laminaria digitata, Laminaria hyperborea, Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima; as well as Non-natives species including Lessonia trabeculata, Macrocystis pyrifera and Macrocystis interfolia, to create a cultivation model at optimal conditions for vegetative growth. It is aimed to increase the culture volume and conduct medium scale cultivation to establish a chemical profile of species mentioned above. It is intended to select the most promising strains, and establish methods for long term maintenance of cultures including cryopreservation, preventing parthenogenesis and supplying stock to seaweed farms.  Finally it is aimed to conduct large scale cultivation in large indoor bioreactors and outdoor tanks.   


Dr Philip Kerrison, SAMS

Dr Adam Hughes, SAMS

Prof Phil Whitfield, UHI


European Social Fund

Scottish Funding Council


University of the Highlands and Islands