RaNTrans Workshop – Sharing Preliminary Results November 2022

Please register your interest to be kept updated on the event. We plan on sharing project findings and having exciting discussions on the next steps for nutrient remediation in the Solent and further afield. Click here to register, https://rantransproject.com/rantrans-workshop/ 

Seaweed DNA in Holes Bay Poole Harbour – Bournemouth University


At Bournemouth University we are processing our seaweed and benthic samples collected from field workstations in 2022. We are utilising a super smart technology called next generation sequencing (NGS) to examine the seasonally collected bulk seaweed samples. In Holes Bay, UK this work will continue throughout 2022. In some cases, our bulk samples didn’t pass quality control so our contracted technology provider, Pristine Coasts (Galway, Ireland) performed a CAPS assay using enzymes that cut the seaweed DNA.

Below are gels of our sample DNA with the corresponding chart showing how the enzymes cut the DNA in reference specimens with a known species. What these gels show is that most of our samples are Ulva lacinulata, a foliose “blade-like” green seaweed formally known as both Ulva laetevirens and Ulva rigida. Of our samples that passed quality control and went through NGS we found similar species identification. More exciting updates to follow as we examine seaweed algal samples from all our research locations.

Ulva tank culture at Aleor


At Aleor, we have just started our second experiment This time, we are going to cultivat Ulva. The experiment will take place under the same conditions as the first time with the Palmaria and are we are going to study bioremediation of this species in water. To find out more about this experiment please see the article on Palmaria: https://rantransproject.com/fr/palmaria-culture-in-free-floating-system/

Did you know that in nature, two algae species that look alike at first glance, may not be so identical! We can have differences – phylogenetic, or morphological differences that you cannot distinguish with the naked eye and that can only be seen under a microscope. This is what we are in the process of identifying, by looking at cross sections of species in order to observe the structure of the cells. Stay tuned to follow the progress of these experiments and see photos of Ulva under the microscope.

Drone and Satellite campaigns in Holes Bay, Poole Harbour – ARGANS


Drone campaigns were carried out from August 2017 to February 2018 in parts of Holes Bay (Poole Harbour) to allow us to validate our algorithms for the detection of algal mats with the high-resolution images from sentinel-2 (10m resolution satellite).

The image presented here shows the footage from the drone in mid-August superimposed on a sentinel-2 image from early September Site specific drone campaigns are planned for June and September and will be used to further validate the algorithms we will develop for the very-high-resolution images (PlaneteScope at 3m) that we will acquire during the planned drone passage. It is hoped this work will enable us to better use satellite data to map and measure algal blooms across the project areas and contribute to development our interactive mapping toolkit.

Versatile and Multifunctional seaweed calling all stakeholders – Cefas

We hope you have seen the great report written by our Cefas partner (Elisa Capuzzo) about the seaweed industry in the UK (https://rantransproject.com/hearing-from-cefas-about-the-multifunctional-seaweeds/), and their multifunction usages.

Seaweeds can provide multiple ecosystem services such as coastal protection and food provisioning and can be found in many products. In fact, seaweed biomass is highly versatile and is used in a variety of ways including textiles, plastic-substitutes, highly nutritious human food and animal feed as well as supporting dynamic and innovative industries in the UK and abroad.

The food and drink industry are currently the main target of seaweed-focused businesses in the UK. Seaweeds can not only be bought as dry whole leaf or flakes, but can also be enjoyed in crackers, snacks, sauces, and flavoured popcorns, nuts, oil, cheese, chocolate, beer, and gin! It is not just about the umami flavour; seaweeds are a low-fat, rich source of nutrients, have satiating properties and can be used as a salt substitute. However, for the industry to grow and optimise its potentials, there are several challenges that need to be addressed, through research, investments, regulatory reforms, international collaborations, and knowledge transfer.

For all stakeholders, this is a great time to get in contact with RaNTrans partners if you would like information from our research that can help you to navigate the environmental, social, and economic landscape. We are looking forward to hosting public workshops in November 2022.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Oysters are growing, reports University of Portsmouth

Wow, what a few months, the RaNTrans team at University of Portsmouth have been as busy as ever. We have been doing more monthly sampling of the algal mats, checking on our water quality monitoring sondes and sampling the oysters.

We have now collected all our seasonal seaweed algal mat samples and are continuing to undertake monthly assessments of the algal mats by measuring the percentage coverage and biomass. We have also been working on getting the nitrate sonde to record so we can get a really detailed picture of what is happening in the harbour in terms of nutrient levels.

The other thing that has taken a lot of time has been collecting oysters from all the field station (treatments) we set out last year. It’s been amazing to watch the oysters grow, and we are excited to see the results in terms of stages of reproduction and nitrogen content. The oysters are first collected, measured, and weighed. They are then dissected, and the gonad material sent to our colleagues at the University of Caen, with tissue samples taken for nitrogen analysis. From this we hope to be able to track nutrient uptake by the oysters and how this varies month by month as the biology of the animals change.


RaNTrans Workshop – Sharing Preliminary Results November 2022

⏰Save the Date! ⏰RaNTrans is hosting a workshop at @portsmouthuni on November 3rd and 4th 2022. Register your interest here – https://rantransproject.com/rantrans-workshop/

Also check out our latest tweets https://twitter.com/ProjectRaNTrans/status/1512395527828213769