Acknowledgment, contact details, and links to their talks

Sat 11th Sept: Science of Seaweed

Professor Juliet Brodie: Merit researcher in Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum 

Her research is in the biology of marine algae, specialising in red algal taxonomy, life histories, evolution, ecology and conservation. Her current research includes genomic approaches to macroalgae and microbiomes, seaweeds in a time of rapid environmental change and taxonomy, phylogenetics and conservation of algae.

VIDEOS: Seaweed Wonder Bay – Part 1

Part 2

PODCASTS: Seaweeds uncovered

Microbiology Society podcast

RADIO: The mother of the sea – Radio 4 broadcast (First broadcast September 2014)

The mother of the sea

The Science Show


Ailsa McLellan: Marine scientist and co-ordinator for Our Seas Coalition

Is a marine scientist, seaweed harvester, and co-ordinator for Our Seas Coalition, Ailsa McLellan presented a compelling, scientifically-based argument for the immediate cessation of all kelp dredging activities and the vital importance of effective fisheries management and legislation which protects and encourages biodiversity and sustainable practice around our in-shore waters. 

Ailsa lives on the shores of Lochbroom and has a wealth of seaweed knowledge and experience of working alongside a wide variety of stakeholders who are keen to protect the biodiversity of our marine environment.

Drawing on her scientific understanding of marine algae and environment and her experience of campaigning, Ailsa aims to challenge all of us to look at how we can help protect our seas more effectively. 


Our Seas Coalition – A coalition campaigning for change in the way Scottish inshore waters are managed.

@ourseasscotland Twitter @ourseas_scot

Sign the #InshoreLimit petition:

The Limit trailer –

The Limit full film –

Lyme Bay ‘The Road to Recovery’

Making Scotland’s Landscapes The Sea –


John McIntyre: Ecologist / scientist

Untangling the complicated relationships which comprise our bio systems in order to understand how best to move towards a safe and sustainable future for humans on planet earth has been occupying John McIntyre throughout his career as scientist and ecologist. John is passionate about the need for us all to understand the significance of seaweed and it’s essential role within the earth’s system. Underpinning much of John’s thinking is the importance of relevant, rigorous data and scientific research as well as an emphasis on social justice.

You can download the written version of his talk Here



Jayson Byles: Forager and chef

Foraging has gradually been growing into general consciousness again over recent years. However, it is an ancient art that never really went away and was our first way to source nutrition before the dawn of agriculture. It is also something that, as any fledged enthusiast will espouse, ignites something primal and electric within the body and soul – it just feels right to be intimately connected to the land and waters and have autonomy in how we nourish ourselves.

Since arriving in Scotland more than a decade ago from his homeland New Zealand, Jayson has been seeking and finding ways of connecting with the land and waters of Scotland.

He has a particular interest in the coast and seaweed and is never happier than when ankle-deep in a rock-pool observing the natural world; sharing some hard-won knowledge or enjoying a freshly cooked meal under a shifting sky to the sound of crashing waves.

After 12 years working as a professional chef and 15 years working in commercial agriculture Jayson combines his love of food and the outdoors to bring a unique blend of nurture and adventure to all of his bespoke and unrepeatable experiences. 

Sneak preview into the intertidal –  From Sea to Pot


Sigi Whittle: Designer

Sigi Whittle is a designer based in Edinburgh. He is currently undertaking his masters in architecture at ESALA and while practicing as part of design collective – Civic Soup. His practice commonly engages with themes of ownership and climate crisis with a particular emphasis on the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. 

Sigi presented a collaborative work undertaken by Katie-May Munro and himself in which they reimagine built design responses to the Moving Machair in the Western Isles.

Moving Machairs – Standing Stones and Shifting Shells (STUDIO B) – YouTube


Kirsty Crawford: Marine Conservation Society

Kirsty Crawford is the Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). She works across the whole of Scotland, delivering a host of marine education, citizen science and beach-clean programmes, plus coordinating the wide Scottish Sea Champion Volunteer network.

​MCS is a partner on the Big Seaweed Search survey along with The Natural History Museum. 

Kirsty has taken a few different paths: from an undergraduate in Journalism and Creative Writing,  years spent in London as a professional performer, roles BBC Natural History Unit, Buglife and The Conservation Volunteers and graduating with an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation.

She is passionate about being ‘more than one thing’ in life and advocating for the impact of environmental education and citizen science, through many different sectors. 

Find Kirsty on Instagram: @wildscotplace


Professor Jason Hall-Spencer: Marine biologist 

Jason Hall-Spencer is one of the world’s leading experts investigating the major stressors affecting the health of our seas and the marine organisms impacted by climate change. Wester Ross Marine Protected Area is the largest maerl MPA in Scotland and he is one of the leading experts on this amazing pink seaweed, Jason Hall-Spencer gave a talk explaining why it’s so special. The habitat it forms has been growing for 10,000 years old. (Since the last ice age ended.)

He also introduced a film made about the local Wester Ross maerl beds, based upon surveys by a coalition of citizen science survey groups, now The Blue Hope Alliance.


Fiona MacKenzie: Aberdeen Science Centre 

Fiona used digital microscopes to allow festival attendees to see seaweeds from the Isle Martin shoreline in detail in the Festival’s GUTWEED LAB. Focusing on the fruiting bodies, splice bladder wracks, and seaweed fronds. 

‘As Community Outreach Coordinator with Aberdeen Science Centre my job is to encourage more exposure to all things STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) in a fun and engaging way. Being part of the Seaweed Festival has given me the chance to learn more about the amazing array of incredible algae that cover our shores. Now when I graze my way along the shore nibbling on fronds, I know my bladder wrack from my twisted wrack and that Egg wrack, Knotted wrack, Whistle weed, and Sea Whistle are the many names of Ascophyllum nodosum, join me on the shore to find out why this long lived seaweed has all these names and more.’



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