CQ University Growing Asparagopsis

 Seagriculture EU 2024

Emma Thyeobald, a PhD student at Central Queensland University in Australia, is studying red seaweed farming at the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Center. She says that seaweed farming in Australia is “quite a new area, and now everyone seems to have an interest in growing asparagopsis due to its amazing qualities of reducing methane emissions from the cows by up to 90%.”

“We have two species of asparagopsis here in Queensland,” says Emma. “One prefers warm water and that’s the one that I’m focusing on, and my project is around trying to get it to reproduce. So, we’re working out the right conditions that it likes for reproduction — looking at temperature, lights, and nutrients.” 

She is finding that asparagopsis is “a bit challenging compared to other seaweed species.” It has three different life stages, though just one life stage is currently being studied in the lab. “But the stage that we’re really interested in is much larger, about 15 cm long. My aim is to get these guys to reproduce with spores and then grow them out in the ocean and that will become the bigger life stage the seaweed takes.”

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