Mapping the UK seaweed flora

We are currently mapping the algal herbarium at the Natural History Museum, which holds collections of over 60,000 UK specimens of red, green and brown algae dating back to the 17th century.

This phenomenal resource has enormous potential for algal conservation. For example, about 99% of UK collections - around 60,000 specimens - have been collected between 1800 and now. These 200 years of spatial and temporal data have already been used in the development of methods for Important Plant Areas (IPAs) for algae in the UK.


The data are being developed for use in such projects as:

  • the development of a potential Red Data list for algae
  • recording geographic patterns and changes in species distribution
  • tracing non-native species
  • determining seaweed hotspots
  • recording and public engagement
Staff linked to this project:
  • J Brodie
  • I Tittley
  • J Wilbraham
  • L Irvine