Dr Iona Campbell

        Dr Iona Campbell holding a kelp grown in the SAMS aquarium

Seaweed Biosecurity Researcher

I am a marine ecologist focusing on the sustainable development and diversification of aquaculture.

I have conducted research under the themes of environmental impacts, and seaweed cultivation, and I am currently working to develop biosecurity strategies for the seaweed aquaculture industry in Indonesia, Philippines and Tanzania. 

Contact details:

Research interests

With the global drive for food security becoming more dependent on food farmed in the sea, producing food sustainably is an increasingly important issue.

I am most interested in working with producers to find innovative ways of reducing the potential environmental and biosecurity risks of farming, and translating this knowledge into innovative management procedures and policy changes. I have the unique experience of working with the seaweed industry at its full-scale in China, Indonesia, Philippines and Tanzania, and have previous experience of working in the NGO sector to translate biosecurity risks in aquaculture into high level policy.

My research explores ways to improve biosecurity frameworks and legislation of the seaweed aquaculture industry, and develop innovative predictive risk based tools to improve farm management and biosecurity protocols.


Current research project

GlobalSeaweedSTAR. Funded by Research Council UK via the Global Challenges Research Fund. 2017-21. I am employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in Biosecurity for the Global Seaweed Industry


Peer-reviewed publications

Kambey, C.S.B., Campbell, I., Cottier-Cook, E.J., Adibi R. M. Nor, Azhar Kassim, Ahemad Sade & Phaik E. Lim (2021) Seaweed aquaculture: a preliminary assessment of biosecurity measures for controlling the ice-ice syndrome and pest outbreaks of a Kappaphycus farm. J Appl Phycol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-021-02530-z

Brakel J,  Sibonga RC,  Dumilag RV, Montalescot V, Campbell I, Cottier-Cook EJ, Ward G, Le Masson V, Liu T, Msuya FE, Brodie J, Lim PE, Gachon CMM. (2021) Exploring, harnessing and conserving marine genetic resources towards a sustainable seaweed aquaculture. Plants, People, Planet. 00: 1 13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp3.10190

Mateo, J.P., Campbell, I., Cottier-Cook, E.J. et al. Understanding biosecurity: knowledge, attitudes and practices of seaweed farmers in the Philippines. J Appl Phycol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-020-02352-5

Rusekwa, S.B., Campbell, I., Msuya, F.E. et al. Biosecurity policy and legislation of the seaweed aquaculture industry in Tanzania. J Appl Phycol 32, 4411–4422 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-020-02194-1

Mateo J P, Campbell I, Cottier-Cook E J, Luhan M R J, Ferriols V M E N, Hurtado, A Q (2020) Analysis of biosecurity-related policies governing the seaweed industry in the Philippines. Journal of Applied Phycology https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10811-020-02083-7

Kambey, C.S., Campbell, I., Sondak, C.F., Nor, A.R., Lim, P.E. and Cottier-Cook, E.J., 2020. An analysis of the current status and future of biosecurity frameworks for the Indonesian seaweed industry. Journal of Applied Phycology, pp.1-14. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10811-019-02020-3

Campbell, I., Kambey, C.S., Mateo, J.P., Rusekwa, S.B., Hurtado, A.Q., Msuya, F.E., Stentiford, G.D. and Cottier-Cook, E.J., 2019. Biosecurity policy and legislation for the global seaweed aquaculture industry. Journal of Applied Phycology, pp.1-14. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10811-019-02010-5

Campbell, I., Macleod, A., Sahlmann, C., Neves, L., Funderud, J., Overland, M., Hughes, A. and Stanley, M., 2019. The environmental risks associated with the development of seaweed farming in Europe-prioritizing key knowledge gaps. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, p.107. (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00107/full)

Hughes, A. D., Black, K. D., Campbell, I., Davidson, K., Kelly, M. S., Stanley, M. S., & Association, S. (2012). Does seaweed offer a solution for bioenergy with biological carbon capture and storage? Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology, 2, 1–6.

Hughes, A. D., Black, K. D., Campbell, I., Heymans, J. J., Orr, K. K., Stanley, M. S., & Kelly, M. S. (2012). Comments on “Prospects for the use of macroalgae for fuel in Ireland and UK: An overview of marine management issues”. Marine Policy, 38, 554–556.


Contributor to the following EU guidelines

PEGASUS - PHYCOMORPH European Guidelines for a Sustainable Aquaculture of Seaweeds (2019) Michèle Barbier, Bénédicte Charrier, Rita Araujo, Susan L. Holdt, Bertrand Jacquemin & Céline Rebours eds. COST Action FA1406 (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333059340_PEGASUS_SUSTAINABLE_SEAWEED_AQUACULTURE_9May2019)


Book chapters

Wilding T.A., Black K.D., Benjamins S., Campbell I. (2018) Mariculture. In: Salomon M., Markus T. (eds) Handbook on Marine Environment Protection. Springer, Cham



Macleod, A., Campbell, I., Sahlmann, C., Neves, L., Funderud, J., Øverland, M., Stanley, M. (2017) Are we ready for scaling up seaweed farming in Europe? Assessing the environmental interactions, research priorities and monitoring objectives. BIOFEED - Novel salmon feed by integrated bioprocessing of non-food biomass. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 2015-18. Project no. 239003

2014 Six month research placement at the Yellow Seas Fisheries Research Institute in Qingdao, China in the aquaculture department: 

  • >Led a small research team in a 6-month environmental assessment of the world’s largest Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) sites.
  • >Collaborated with the largest global macroalgae producer (Xunshan) to compile nutrient data for a Saccharina japonica cultivation site, to provide information on growth and cultivation strategies.

2016 Selected and funded to attend 'Future sustainable aquaculture' workshop in Thailand. Funder: British Council


Media coverage 

Listen to a Gastropod podcast on the 'kale of the sea' that I contributed to.


2011-15 PhD 'The potential influence of kelp exudates produced at large-scale kelp cultivation sites on microplankton assemblages. University of Aberdeen

2007-11 BSc (Hons) Marine and Freshwater Ecology. University of Glasgow


Employment history

Since 2017 PDRA in Biosecurity for the Global Seaweed Industry. SAMS

2016-17 Aquaculture Scientist. Marine Conservation Society (UK) / Monterey Bay Aquarium (USA)

2016 PDRA in Sustainable Aquaculture. SAMS