Your best rockpooling photos | Big Seaweed Search

Seaweed scientist Professor Juliet Brodie tells us about the fantastic photos submitted through the Big Seaweed Search so far.

I’m fascinated by seaweeds and my research includes finding out about their diversity, and the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on their distribution. As part of this, I worked with my colleagues across the Museum to set up the Big Seaweed Search and I’m so pleased to see that lots of you have taken part and have sent your photos in for my research. I’ve just been exploring the first few months of data entered and I’m very excited by what I have seen so far.

Photo showing the seaweeds in the centre, with arrows added to show their location (coral weeds to the right of centre, and calcified crusts to the left of centre)

Some people think seaweeds are dull and brown but I was very taken with this beautiful image of the pink coral weeds (white arrow) and calcified crusts (black arrow) growing together. Photo © Jessica Jennings

In particular, the photographs people have uploaded are excellent as they enable me to tell very quickly whether a seaweed has been identified correctly or not – this is essential for me to be able to use the observations in my research.

Not only are the images incredibly useful but some are truly inspiring and lovely to look at. So I thought that I would show you some of my favourites and tell you a little bit about the species, giving you some tips to help you to get to know them a little better.

Here are some of my favourite photos you’ve sent in (open the images to see the captions):

It’s really pleasing to see that we have Big Seaweed Search results from the Shetlands in the north and the Channel Islands in the south but there are some parts of the coast where we have little or no data yet.

For example, I would love to see more spots on the map from the south coast of England, Wales, the Outer Hebrides and Northern Ireland as well as more from the rocky east coasts all around the country.

It’s great to receive your results. Keep sending them in – the more data the better. You can get your copy of the Big Seaweed Search guide and recording form online or email seaweeds@nhm.ac.uk to request a hardcopy.

Juliet Brodie

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