Dr. Elizabeth Cottier-Cook on Seaweed Biosecurity


D​​​​​​​r. Elizabeth Cottier-Cook has been designated by the United Nations to safeguard the rapidly expanding global seaweed industry by developing biosecurity tools and practices. In that capacity she has just led the creation of Ensuring the Sustainable Future of the Rapidly Expanding Global Seaweed Aquaculture Industry — A Vision.

Dr. Cottier-Cook is a Professor in Marine Biology at the University of the Highlands and Islands, based at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (also known as SAMS); she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Head of the SAMS/United Nations University Associate Institute; she is the Principal Investigator and Research Area Leader for GlobalSeaweedSTAR, which is an international Global Challenge Research Fund programme and she is the Programme Leader for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Aquaculture, Environment and Society.

 Dr. Cottier-Cook has published over 68 peer-reviewed papers, including a book and 7 book chapters on a variety of topics ranging from global seaweed aquaculture industry, to the environmental impacts of aquaculture, to marine invasive species and biosecurity.

She recently also led the development of biosecurity guidance for marine invasive non-native species, which is now being used by environment agencies across the UK; and she has worked in collaboration with colleagues in China, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, the US and numerous countries in the Mediterranean.

In this interview with Algae Planet’s Felicity Broennan, Dr. Cottier-Cook gives us a global sense of how critically important coordinated seaweed farming is for our future and what the greatest concerns are that need the most urgent attention in terms of the world’s growing dependency on macroalgae.

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