Dr Philip Kerrison

        Dr Phil Kerrison with seeded line in the SAMS seaweed hatchery

Macroalgal Cultivation Researcher

I am an applied phycologist researching seaweed cultivation.

This includes hatchery techniques, new species, developing new innovations at our two experimental seaweed farms and conversion and storage of the seaweed biomass.

Contact details:

I mainly work on collaborative projects focused on solving applied problems faced by the seaweed industry and the development of future innovations. This involves the development of cultivation techniques for a range of seaweed species, physiological/compositional analysis and growth trials at our two seaweed farms.

I also have an interest in more fundamental research regarding seaweed photophysiology and gene expression in the face of ocean acidification/climate change and algal production of the climate relevant gas dimethylsulphide.


Current research projects

NoriMara: The UK's first demonstration of Porphyra spp (Nori) seaweed aquaculture and processing. In this project we are developing robust methods for Nori cultivation for the UK industry. Funded by the Aquaculture Industry Engagement Fund. Jan-Jul 19

Bindweed: Binder seeing to improve the economic case of UK macroalgal cultivation. In this project we are developing a reliable method for direct seeding at sea, so the industry can move away from using twine. Funded by NERC/BBSRC. Oct 18 - Sep 20

Genialg: Genetic diversity exploitation for innovative macro-algal biorefinery. Funded by EU Horizon 2020. Jan 17-Dec 20


Past highlight projects

S3EED: Seaweed as a solution for sustainable economic and environmental development. In this project we trialled large-scale tank cultivation of edible seaweed species in Scotland. Funded by the Agri-Tech Catalyst. Jan 14 - Oct 15

Seagas: Production of bio-methane from seaweed by anaerobic digestion. In SeaGas we developed insiling methods for the long-term storage of seaweed biomass before anaerobic digestion. Funded by BBSRC. Aug 15 - Jul 18

AT~SEA: Advanced textiles for open-sea biomass cultivation. In this project we tested new methods for seaweed cultivation. Funded by EU FP7. May 12 - Sep 15


Peer-reviewed publication (from 2015)

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS De Smet D, Buyle G, Hughes AD (2019). Holding (not so) fast: Surface chemistry controls kelp bioadhesion, Eur J Phycol.

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS, Mitchell E, Cunningham E, Hughes AD (2018). A life-stage conflict of interest in kelp: Higher meiospore settlement where sporophyte attachment is weak, Algal Res 35: 309-318.

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS, Hughes AD (2018). Textile substrate seeding of Saccharina latissima sporophytes using a binder: An effective method for the aquaculture of kelp, Algal Res 33: 352-357

Le NH, Hughes AD, Kerrison PD (2018).  Early development and substrate twine selection for the cultivation of Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt under laboratory conditions, J App Phycol 30: 2475-2483.

Van der Molen J, Ruardij P, Mooney K, Kerrison PD, O’Connor E, Gorman E, Timmermans K, Wright E, Kelly M, Hughes AD, Capuzzo E (2018). Modelling potential production and environmental effects of macroalgal farms in UK and Dutch coastal waters. Biogeosci 15: 1123-1147.

Wood D, Capuzzo E, Kirby D, Mooney-McAuley K and Kerrison, PD (2017). UK macroalgae aquaculture: What are the key environmental and licensing considerations? Mar Pol 83: 29-39.

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS, Black KD, Hughes AD (2017). Assessing the suitability of twelve polymer substrates for the cultivation of macroalgae Laminaria digitata and Saccharina latissima (Laminariales), Algal Res, 22:127-134.

Kerrison PD, Le HN, Twigg GC, Smallman DR, MacPhee R, Houston FAB, Hughes AD (2016).  Decontamination treatments to eliminate problem biota from tank cultures of Osmundea pinnatifida (Rhodophyta), Palmaria palmata (Rhodophyta) and Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta). J App Phycol 28: 3423-3434.

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS, Kelly M, MacLeod A, Black KD and Hughes AD (2016). Optimising the settlement and hatchery culture of Saccharina latissima (Phaeophyta) by manipulation of growth medium and substrate surface condition. J App Phycol 28(2): 1181-1191.

Kerrison PD, Le NH and Hughes AD (2016). Hatchery decontamination of Sargassum muticum juveniles and adults using a combination of sodium hypochlorite and potassium iodide. J App Phycol 28(2): 1169-1180.

Kerrison PD, Le NH (2016). Environmental factors on egg liberation and germling production of Sargassumm muticum. J App Phycol 28(1): 481-489.

Kerrison PD (2016). Algae as crops: Seaweed. In: Mur T.(ed) Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences, 2nd Edition.

Kerrison PD, Stanley MS, Edwards, MD, Black KD and Hughes AD (2015). The cultivation of European kelp for bioenergy: Site and species selection. Biomass Bioenerg 80: 229-242.

BSc (Hons) Marine Science: Lectures on photosynthesis, seaweed cultivation, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and uses.

BSc (Hons) Marine Science: Supervision of final year dissertation students

MSc Industrial Biotechnology: Lectures on photosynthesis and seaweed cultivation

MSc Aquaculture, Environment and Society: Lectures on seaweed cultivation, IMTA and uses


Current research student

Maryam MacCorquodale: Culturing kelp like microalgae - gametophyte cultivation for metabolite extraction. PhD. University of the Highlands and Islands. 2018-21


Alumni research students

Fatmima Gionella: Redweed - closing the lifecycle of commercially important edible Rhodophyte seaweeds. MSc. UHI. 2018

Kathrin Vossen: Regional assessment of predictive habitat models for Laminaria hyperborea and Saccharina latissima around the Orkney Islands. MSc. St Andrews. 2018

Rebecca Vidin: The bacterial population within the epibiota of saccharina latissima; farmed, wild and ensiled. MSc. St Andrews. 2017

Mairi Innes: Growth characteristics of Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima over a complete cultivation cycle. BSc. UHI. 2017

Emily McCormick: Determining the seasonal fertility of Saccharina latissima in Dunstaffnage Bay using meiospore cell counts. BSc. UHI. 2017

Scott Smith: Bioaccumulation of lead nitrate (Pb(NO­3)2 by the brown macroalgae Saccharina latissima. BSc. UHI 2014

Hayley Bannister: ‘Behind anemone lines’: Assessing the impact of thermal and nutritional stress on the Snakelocks Anemone (Anemonia viridis). MSc. St Andrews. 2014

Ruth Paterson: Optimising Laminaria digitata spore settlement and early survival for increased macroalgal aquaculture production: finding the best temperature. BSc. UHI. 2014

Employment history

Since 2012 Post-doctoral researcher in macroalgal cultivation. SAMS



2012 PhD 'Effects of ocean acidification on macroalgal ecophysiology. Focussing on the production of DMS/DMSP and photophysiology'. University of Essex

2007 BSc Marine and Freshwater Biology (1st class). University of Essex