DIF Podcast Kelp the World: The Future Is Seaweed

  • Speakers:
  • Karen Scofield Seal , Dr. Charlie Bavington, Dr. Adrian MacLeod , Wave Crookes

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Macroalgae, kelp, seaweed - how can something that is the bane of beach go-ers around the world contribute to the circular economy? How can seaweed help countries, companies, and coastal regions achieve six of the sustainable development goals?

This session including input from bio-chemists, marine scientists and start-up seaweed entrepreneurs and fishermen turned seaweed farmers will turn viewers/listeners into seaweed enthusiasts. It will illustrate the numerous economic, environmental and societal benefits of farming seaweed for use as delicious and nutritious food for people and animals as well as biomass for sustainable packaging to replace resource intensive plastics. Seaweed is such a super crop it also cleans the air and our oceans.


Karen Scofield Seal

Karen Scofield Seal


Ever since learning about the sustainability super powers of seaweed via the New Plastics Economy, Karen has focused on spreading the good word about seaweed. An enthusiastic advocate for seaweed farming, Karen partnered with Dr. Charlie Bavington to develop sustainable biomaterials from seaweed to replace plastic packaging and Oceanium was launched earlier this year. With over 20 years of business experience in strategic planning, partnership development, brand building, marketing and communications, Karen is focusing full time on accelerating the development of seaweed based products.

Dr. Charlie Bavington

Dr. Charlie Bavington


Dr Charlie Bavington, Ph.D., is a biochemist with over 20 years experience in marine biotechnology. Biotech research and product development will be carried out by Charlie, who brings over 20 years experience in marine biotechnology research & development, mostly in commercial settings. He has successfully applied for and delivered multiple grant-funded projects (Innovate UK Collaborative and Feasibility Studies, SMART Scotland) and EU (FP 7, Eurostars, & SME Instrument) as a commercial partner. He has experience in academic research and publication, and in contract research, services and quality management. Dr. Bavington works out of a chemistry laboratory at the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology in Oban, Scotland.

Dr. Adrian MacLeod

Dr. Adrian MacLeod

Marine Scientist

Dr Adrian Macleod is a marine scientist developing methods and technologies for large scale seaweed cultivation at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban, Scotland. His research focuses on the development of techniques used to cultivate macroalgae and aims to optimise seeding and growing conditions needed for biomass production whilst understanding the environmental interactions of this emerging aquaculture industry. In addition to his research, Adrian currently manages two cultivation sites which provided the facilities for a range of commercial and research led growing trials.

Current research projects include MacroFuels: this project aims to produce advanced biofuels from seaweed or macroalgae. Funded by EU H2020. BIOFEED: novel salmon feed by integrated bioprocessing of non-food biomass. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 2015-18
IMPACT: Intelligent management system for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. Funded by EU H2020. 2018-21

Wave Crookes

Wave Crookes

Seaweed Farmer

Wave Crookes is an accomplished mariner who cut his teeth as a trawlerman in the North Sea before joining the Royal Navy. He qualified as a Royal Navy Officer of the Watch and gained extensive, high calibre bridge watch keeping experience in a variety of HM ships operating in throughout the world. He is now a founder and Director of SeaGrown, a Company which harvests and cultivates seaweed in the North Sea for food, cosmetic and industrial applications.

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