Student success: Grant funding for Erlania

Congratulations to Erlania for her success in receiving a grant of $6375 from The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment & Ecological Society of Australia to assist in funding her PhD project ‘Contributions of Seaweed to Carbon Sequestration’. Erlania’s project is a collaboration with Blue Carbon Lab and NuSea.Lab

The overarching question of this PhD project is does seaweed contribute significantly to long-term C sequestration? Specific objectives are: (1) to develop a suite of biomarkers for detection of seaweed C in marine sediments, (2) to quantify seaweed C proportion in the sediments, and (3) to use predictive modelling based on proximity of seaweed and blue carbon ecosystems combined with coastal hydrodynamics to scale up estimates of the contributions of seaweed C to long-term carbon sequestration.

This funding will facilitate biomarker development (based on eDNA, fatty acids, and amino acids combined with compound-specific 13C stable isotope analysis) for detecting seaweed C in sediments and then initial laboratory-based experimental testing of the biomarkers effectiveness for quantifying seaweed C in sediments. By the end of this first year of funding we expect to have a reliable toolkit of biomarkers to detect seaweed C and to have completed the first phase of experiments to assess the ability to quantify seaweed C in sediments.

Findings from this PhD will provide estimates of the amount of seaweed C sequestered in marine sediments. This will facilitate carbon-budgeting strategies that incorporate prioritisation of management approaches that conserve and enhance seaweed inputs into blue carbon sinks as part of Australia’s carbon-mitigation strategy.



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