Establishing land tank cultivation of Asparagopsis sp. In Scotland
Asparagopsis sp. has been identified as a candidate to act as an antimethanogenic supplement in cattle feed. In quantities in as little as 0.1-0.2% of cattle feed, recent studies have revealed the positive potential of this red algae. Methane emissions from cattle have been observed to be reduced by between 40 and 98% in these small-scale studies. Leading onto interest in upscaling the research into the capabilities of these red algae.
Previous studies have used wild harvested Asparagopsis sp. from tropical and warm temperate waters. This project seeks to increase availability into these algae to have a readily available supply. This will reduce the chances of environmental damage from mass wild harvesting, and potential dangers of by-hand harvesting. To develop an understanding of the potential for using Asparagopsis sp. on a larger scale, our key aim is to identify the optimum growth conditions throughout its haplodiplophasic life cycle. Due to these species being more suited to warmer temperate waters, this work with SAMS will be developing methodology in tank conditions.
Key objectives of the research will involve identifying the conditions under which each life-cycle stage performs best to reach the adult stage. These will include water temperature, levels and length of light exposure, growth substrate and media suitability.
Achieving a readily available supply would allow long term research programs into the effects of including dried product as a supplement in cattle feed. Thus giving further evidence into the suitability of Asparagopsis sp. as a candidate to aid in reducing the carbon footprint of agriculture.
Professor Michele Stanley (SAMS)
Dr Philip Kerrison (SAMS)
University of the Highlands and Islands
During my time at Heriot-Watt I engaged with multiple forms of fieldwork in the marine environment. We practiced shore surveys on the east and west coast of Scotland. Key aims of this work were to analyse their topography, substrate types, factors of exposure, and fauna and flora present. On a few occasions I led teams of students to complete these shore surveys. Ensuring that everyone was informed of their roles and data was collected in line with JNCC MNCR littoral survey guidance. I have also had experience as a marine survey diver, whilst on field courses based at Heriot-Watts Orkney campus. Tasks included collecting survey data under MNCR sublittoral survey guidance, as well as photographical and video records of activity and findings.
My time at Heriot-Watt also including a two-week expedition to Malaysia. We were based on Pulau Bidong to complete our Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management course, in collaboration with the University of Terengganu. Here we practised the techniques required to collect data under the Reef Check guidelines, surveying corals, key species, invasive species and human interaction with the reefs.
My undergraduate thesis was titled, ‘A comparison of species composition in coastal saline lagoons in the Firth of Forth, south west Scotland and the Uists.’ I collaborated data collected from surveys across the Uists with my own from saline lagoons on the mainland of Scotland. Sampling techniques included, stone washing, algae washing, sweep netting and sediment collection.
09/19 - 11/19 - Marine Protected Area Intern and Divemaster Student, Bali Diving Academy
07/17 - 08/17 - Volunteer aquarium assistant, St Abbs Marine Station, Eyemouth
06/17 - 08/16 - Volunteer marine invertebrate curator, National Museum of Scotland Collection Centre, Edinburgh
07/14 - Turtle conservation volunteer, International Student Volunteers, Costa Rica
2018 - MSc (Hons) Climate Change: Managing the Marine Environment, Heriot-Watt University
2017 - BSc (Hons) Marine Biology, Heriot-Watt University