Cecilia Rad Menéndez

        A smiling Ceci looking at a flask with diatoms

CCAP Curator

Ceci is the CCAP curator. She has worked in the collection since 2007 isolating, characterising, and maintaining different groups of cyanobacteria, microalgae, macroalgae and protozoa. She is responsible for the molecular characterization of CCAP strains and has developed several cryopreservation protocols for both micro- and macroalgae.

Her main interest is the diversity of protists and unveiling some of the mysteries hidden within this extraordinary group.

Contact details:

I am the curator of certain groups of microalgae, seaweeds and protozoa from the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, and my role involves the isolation of new strains, and the morphological and molecular identification of both, newly isolated strains and CCAP holdings. I develop cryopreservation protocols for certain strains to ensure their stability over time. I am also involved in several research projects looking into algae-pathogen interactions.

My main interest is phytoplankton diversity and populations, especially diatoms; and their wider role in the marine environment. I am also very interested in the diversity of algae pathogens and their interactions.


Current projects

CCAP (NERC National Capability)



Darwin Tree of Life



Marine Science BSc: I lecture about protists on the year 1 module 'Fundamentals of Marine Biology' and run a practical on microalgae and protista identification



2011 MSc by Research 'Genotypic and phenotypic stability within Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyta)'

2003 BSc (Hons) Licenciatura en Biologia. Oviedo University


Employment history

Since 2007 Support Scientist. SAMS

2005-07 Culture Collection Scientist. Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd 

Scientific papers

Darienko T, Rad-Menéndez C, Campbell CM, Pröschold T (2021) Molecular phylogeny of unicellular marine coccoid green algae revealed new insights systematics of the Ulvophyceae (Chlorophyta). Microorganisms 9, 1586. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9081586

Pröschold T, Rieser D, Darienko T, Kammerlander B, Pitsch G, Bruni EP, Qu Z, Forster D, Rad-Menéndez C, Posch T, Stoeck T & Sonntag B (2021) An integrative approach sheds new light onto the systematics and ecology of the widespread ciliate genus Coleps (Ciliophora, Prostomatea). Scientific Reports 11: 5916. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84265-y

Hughes AH, Magot F, Tawfike AF, Rad-Menéndez C, Thomas N, Young LC, Stucchi L, Carettoni D, Stanley MS, Edrada-Ebel RA, Duncan KR (2021) Exploring the Chemical Space of Macro- and Micro-Algae Using Comparative Metabolomics. Microorganisms 9 (2): 311. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020311 

Strittmatter M, Rad-Menéndez C, Gachon CMM (2020) Cryopreservation of the parasitic and saprophytic life stage of the blastocladialean pathogen Paraphysoderma sedebokerense infecting the green algae Haematococcus pluvialis and Scenedesmus dimorphus Phycologia, https://doi.org/10.1080/00318884.2020.1827825 

Saxon RJ, Rad-Menéndez C, Campbell CN (2020): Patent depositing of algal strains. Applied Phycology, https://doi.org/10.1080/26388081.2020.1770124 

Brown TA, Rad-Menéndez C, Ray JL, Skaar KS, Thomas N, Ruiz-Gonzalez C and Leu E (2020)  Influence of nutrient availability on Arctic sea ice diatom HBI lipid synthesis. Organic Geochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2020.103977 

Darienko T, Rad-Menéndez C, Campbell CN, Pröschold T. (2019) Are there any true marine Chlorella species? Molecular phylogenetic assessment and ecology of marine Chlorella-like organisms, including description of Droopiella gen. nov. Systematics and Biodiversity https://doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2019.1690597

Visch W, Rad-Menéndez C, Nylund GM, Pavia H, Ryan MJ, Day J. (2019) Underpinning the Development of Seaweed Biotechnology: Cryopreservation of Brown Algae (Saccharina latissima) Gametophytes. Biopreservation and biobanking: 17(5):378-86. https://doi.org/10.1089/bio.2018.0147 

Garvetto A, Badis Y, Perrineau MM, Rad-Menéndez C, Bresnan E, Gachon CM (2019) Chytrid infecting the bloom-forming marine diatom Skeletonema sp.: Morphology, phylogeny and distribution of a novel species within the Rhizophydiales. Fungal biology 123(6):471-80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2019.04.004

Gerphagnon M, Agha R, Martin‐Creuzburg D, Bec A, Perriere F, Rad‐Menéndez C, Gachon CM, Wolinska J (2019) Comparison of sterol and fatty acid profiles of chytrids and their hosts reveals trophic upgrading of nutritionally inadequate phytoplankton by fungal parasites. Environmental microbiology; 21(3): 949-58.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.14489 

Rad-Menéndez, C., Gerphagnon, M., Garvetto, A., Arce, P., Badis, Y., Sime-Ngando, T. and Gachon, C.M., 2018. Rediscovering Zygorhizidium affluens Canter: Molecular Taxonomy, Infectious Cycle, and Cryopreservation of a Chytrid Infecting the Bloom-Forming Diatom Asterionella formosa. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 84(23), pp.e01826-18

Day JG, Tytor S, Egardt J, Applegren M, Rad-Menéndez C, Chepurnova O, Vyverman W and Godhe A (2017) Challenges for the maintenance and cryopreservation of multiple isolates of model algal taxa: An example using Skeletonema marinoi. Biopreservation and Biobanking 15(3): 191-202

Covadonga Orejas, Andrea Gori; Cecilia Rad-Menéndez; Kim S Last; Andrew J Davies; Christine M Beveridge; Daniel Sadd; Kostas Kiriakoulakis; Ursula Witte; John Murray Roberts (2016) The effect of flow speed and food size on the capture efficiency and feeding behaviour of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusaJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 481: 34–40. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2016.04.002

Steven Slocombe, QianYi Zhang , Michael Ross , Avril Anderson , Naomi Thomas , Angela Lapresa , Cecilia Rad-Menendez , Christine Campbell , Kenneth Black , Michele Stanley , John Day (2015) Unlocking nature's treasure-chest: screening for oleaginous algae. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 9844. DOI:10.1038/srep09844

Cecilia Rad-Menéndez, Michele Stanley, David H. Green, Eileen J. Cox and John G. Day (2015) "Exploring cryptic diversity in publically available strains of the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyceae)" Journal of the Marine Biological Association (JMBA) 95: 1081-1090

Hipkin R, Day JG, Rad-Menéndez C & Mock T (2014) The first evidence of genotypic stability in a cryopreserved transgenic diatom. J Appl. Phycol. 26, 65-71. DOI 10.1007/s10811-013-0047-y

Claire M.M. Gachon, Svenja Heesch, Frithjof C. Küpper, Undine E.M. Achilles-Day, Debra Brennan, Christine N. Campbell, Alison Clarke, Richard G. Dorrell, Joanne Field, Steven Gontarek, Cecilia Rad-Menendez, Rachel J. Saxon, Andrea Veszelovszki, Michael D. Guiry, Karim Gharbi, Mark Blaxter & John G. Day , Systematics and Biodiversity (2013). The CCAP KnowledgeBase: linking protistan and cyanobacterial biological resources with taxonomic and molecular data. Systematics and Biodiversity, DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2013.859641

Gäbler-Schwarz S, Rad- Menéndez C, Achilles-Day UEM, Campbell CN, & Day JG (2013) Cryopreservation of Phaeocystis antarctica. CryoLetters 34 (6): 561-570.

Darienko, T., Gustavs, L., Mudimu, O. , Rad-Menéndez, C., Schumann, R., Karsten, U., Friedl, T. and Pröschold, T. (2010) Chloroidium, a common terrestrial coccoid green alga previously assigned to Chlorella (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta). Eur. J. Phycol., 45(1): 79-95