We actively work on the biology of seaweeds, especially their biodiversity, systematics, life history, and reproduction. We also dabble on algal community ecology, gravitating towards understanding the ecology of canopy-forming seaweeds such as Sargassum as well as other ecologically and economically important seaweeds such as red seaweeds Asparagopsis and Halymenia, and green seaweeds Ulva. Other research done by our team include floristics, marine phytogeography, and molecular phylogenetics.
Moreover, we conduct applied phycological research, with special reference to seaweed farming (i.e., mass cultivation of carrageenan-producing seaweeds Kappaphycus, Eucheuma, and Halymenia). Currently, we are scaling up on our efforts in harnessing underutilized seaweed resources by developing novel and/or locally-adapted cultivation technologies for large-scale biomass production of economically important seaweeds such as Ulva and Asparagopsis. This is to support the call of the seaweed industry to diversify our seaweed products.
Our team of young, budding scientists is led by one of the newest additions to the roster of faculty of MSI, Dr. Wilfred John E. Santiañez.
Seaweed biodiversity and systematics, Algal community ecology, Marine phytogeography, Seaweed farming
This work highlights (1) the rich seaweed biodiversity of the Philippines; (2) the need for re-evaluation of several previously reported seaweed taxa within the country; and, (3) the importance of natural history collections (i.e., herbaria) in safeguarding biodiversity information.
Proposal to relegate Porphyra marcosii as a later heterotypic synonym of Phycocalidia vietnamensis based on morphology, growth and development in culture, and ecology.
A closer look into the taxonomy, distribution, and life history in culture of the poorly-known genus Iyengaria, with special reference to the generitype species I. stellata.
Evaluation of the life history in culture, molecular phylogenetic position, and nuclear ploidy of the life cycle stages of Leathesia marina from the Patagonian coasts of Argentina.
Calidia, a newly proposed genus segregated from Pyropia, is renamed to Phycocalidia.
Transfer of iota-carrageenan-producing seaweeds from Eucheuma to Mimica gen. nov. The name alludes to the tendency of the type species Mimica arnoldii (=Eucheuma arnoldii) to imitate corals such as Acropora.
Tronoella ryukyuana gen. et. sp. nov. and Hydroclathrus minutus sp. nov. are described based on samples from southern Japan.