Seafood Safety: Marine Algal Biotoxins
We study the molecular genetics, ecology, phylogenetics and systematics of marine microbes, in particular, species that are a problem to aquaculture and fisheries industries worldwide. We have developed and commercialised novel molecular genetic tools that are now being used for seafood safety management.
Our goal is to understand the way in which the diversity, toxicology and genetics of microbes impact their functionality in the marine environment. We have discovered many new, cryptic species of marine microbes, and determined the toxicology of many others, with real world implications for seafood safety.
The outcomes of our research directly support the modelling, prediction and avoidance of adverse impacts of harmful blooms of marine microbes.
Associate Professor Shauna Murray - Team leader
Dr Penny Ajani - Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Malwenn Lassudrie Duchesne - Visiting Fellow
Dr Arjun Verma - Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Hazel Farrell
Dr Gurjeet Kohli
Dr Anuizka Kazandjian
Dr Frances Van Dolah
Past Research/visiting students
Jin Ho Kim - Department of Life Science, College of Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, South Korea.
Rutuja Diwan - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Kristina Haslauer - Coburg University, Germany
Rendy Ruvindy - UTS PhD student
Arjun Verma (PhD) - ‘Through the looking glass’: Diversity and its functional significance in marine benthic microbial eukaryotes https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/handle/10453/123251
Key strengths and capabilities
- Detection of marine toxic eukaryotes using novel molecular methods
- Evolution and phylogenetics of marine microbial eukaryotes
- Ecology of toxin uptake in marine animals
- Genetic basis of toxin biosynthesis in marine eukaryotes
Partners and Collaborators
Dr Mona Hoppenrath - Senckenberg Institute, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Associate Professor Uwe John - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
Professor Frank Seebacher – University of Sydney, Australia
Dr Russell Orr, Dr Anke Stuken - University of Oslo, Norway,
Anthony Zammit and Dr Hazel Farrell - NSW Food Authority
Ana Rubio and Peter Coad - Hornsby Council
Jaimie Potts, Peter Scanes and Martin Krogh - Office of Environment and Heritage
Lesley Clementson and Anthony Richardson - CSIRO
Linda Armbrecht, Leanne Armand and Drew Allen - Macquarie University
Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff and Dr. Juan Jose Dorantes Aranda - Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Tasmania
Dr Chris Bolch - University of Tasmania, Australia
Dr Hong Chang Lim - Tunku Abdul Rahman University, Malaysia;
Jin Ho Kim and Prof. Myung-Soo Han, Hanyang University, South Korea
Prof David Patterson - MBL, Woods Hole
Dr Lesley Rhodes, Dr. Kirsty Smith, Dr Tim Harwood - Cawthron Institute, New Zealand.
Mr Mark van Asten - Diagnostic Technology, Australia
Dr Wayne O’Connor - NSW Department of Primary Industries, Port Stephens Australia
Dr Gurjeet S. Kohli- Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Dr Raffaele Siano- IFREMER
Associate Professor Aaron Darling - UTS i3
Student research opportunities
- GE Algal Bio-factory projects - Undergraduate research, Honours and PhD projects available
- The diversity of marine microbial eukaryotes in Sydney Harbour: a pyrosequencing approach (Honours)
- Novel technologies for determining the dynamics of keystone metabolites in marine ecosystems (Honours)
PhD Projects - C3 2017 PhD Project Seafood Safety.pdf
Temperatures rising (UTS Science in Focus)
Fish poisoning on the rise (Sydney Morning Herald)
Marine microbe sequencing project (Australian Life Scientist)
Shedding light on genetic secrets of deadly algae (UTS Newsroom)
What is ciguaterra fish poisoning? (The Conversation)
Diffusion Science Radio - interview on ciguaterra fish poisoning (mp3 file download available)
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to take images of microalgal cells at the micrometre level of resolution. Our dedicated EM facility at UTS houses several state of the art instruments.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is used to take images of sections through cells at the micrometre level of resolution. Our dedicated EM facility at UTS houses several state of the art instruments.