The Sea-Mat project aims to understand the mechanisms behind macroalgal blooms in order to develop management tools to control their size.

We take a multi-disciplinary approach to this task, combining traditional and aerial survey techniques, molecular and biochemical analyses and laboratory growth experiments to answer our questions.

What is a seaweed bloom?


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The Sea-Mat project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Meet the Team

We believe that learning about our environment through scientific research shouldn't just stay within universities. We are developing outreach resources and social media content to communicate our results to schools and the general public.

Have you seen a big seaweed bloom?

Contact us - we'd love to hear from you!

​​​​Our Project

Who gets the muddiest on fieldwork? Who knows their Ulva lactuca from their Ulva rigida? Meet the Sea-MAT team - a busy band of researchers and volunteers!

Welcome to the Sea-MAT Project

Come and learn about our two year research programme on why we get large seaweed blooms developing in Irish estuaries. Our work is funded by the EPA Research Programme 2014 - 2020.

Ireland has a long and varied coastline that hosts approximately 500 species of seaweeds. Most of these live on intertidal and subtidal rocky habitats, often supporting amazingly complex marine ecosystems. 

Occasionally, some seaweeds experience the perfect conditions for fast growth, particularly in estuaries. Higher temperatures, light levels and concentrations of seawater nutrients in summer often lead to sudden high density blooms of green, red or brown seaweeds. As the blooms decompose, they can become a nuisance to the public and harmful to the environment.