Professor Webber is the Marine Ecosystem Specialist. She is involved in the Biological assessment/identification of Sargassunspecies and types, Field Assessments and Training & Dissemination aspects of the project. Consequently, she has developed the UWI’s Marine Labs’ protocols for collection, identification and assessment of relative abundance of Sargassum(currently being used) and has partnered with the Scientific Research Council (Jamaica) on assessing Sargassum’s Biomethane Potential. She is currently developing new experiments on the use of Sargassumon food crops and will liaise with famers as to its suitability. A SargassumWatch group has been established at the UWI’s Marine Labs which will be expanded to other coastal organisations.
Professor Webber has over 30 years of experience in research and teaching in the Marine and Coastal Environment. Prior to her current positions, she was the Head of the UWI Department of Life Sciences, Associate Dean for student matters in the Faculty of Sciences and Technology and the Academic Coordinator for the UWI Port Royal Marine Laboratory. Her passion for teaching and the development of young scientists has seen her supervise over 35 graduate students.
Over the past three decades Professor Webber has conducted research on Ballast Water, Marine Invasive Species, Coastal Plant Propagation and establishment, Zooplankton as indicators and the Diversity and Genetic Distribution of Lobatus gigas (Queen Conch).
Current research projects range from mangrove forest assessment and rehabilitation, seagrass assessments, water quality/micro-plastics in a eutrophic harbor (Kingston Harbour) and ichthyoplankton, fish biomass and use of Ecopath modeling to indicate success in Special Fishery Conservation Areas (SFCAs).
Thierry Tonon is a Lecturer in Algal Biology at the University of York. He has ample experience studying various aspects of bacterial and algal physiology and molecular biology, with a focus on primary metabolism. His current research is centred on characterizing metabolic pathways and enzymes important for algal metabolism and for biogeochemical cycles. This relied on approaches including genome sequencing, transciptome and metabolite profiling, and heterologous expression of proteins for biochemical characterization. He is also working on developing biotechnological applications of algae, and valorisation of seaweed biomass, notably in the context of biorefinery.
Dr Carla Botelho Machado
Dr Machado is involved in the research at the University of York, which is focused on analysing Sargassum feedstock consistency (WP3). They will provide an in-depth characterisation of the biochemical composition of Sargassum biomass and assess changes related to the seasonality and storage. These results will pave the way for subsequent applications of this seaweed feedstock.