The State Herbarium Phycology Unit's research expertise focuses on the taxonomy, molecular systematics, biogeography and ecology of Australian macroalgae.
Head of the Phycology Unit, Dr Frederico Gurgel, was jointly appointed by the State Herbarium, the University of Adelaide and SARDI Aquatic Sciences (PIRSA) whose laboratories work in concert to deliver state-of-the-art macroalgal research and information.
The Phycology Unit provides the following services:
- surveys, mapping and biodiversity assessment of intertidal and sub-tidal floras, from genes to communities
- marine plant taxonomic identification
- forensic botany (identification of morphologically compromised marine plant samples)
- molecular ecology (eg track the origin of invasive marine algal species).
The Phycology Unit's ongoing projects include investigations in the following specific fields:
- DNA barcode of South Australian flora
- molecular ecology of habitat-forming macroalgal species
- reassessment of Australian macroalgal biogeography
- phylogenetics and taxonomical review of selected macroalgal taxa
- Mmlti-trophic aquaculture systems in South Australia.
Some of the Phycology Unit's grant-funded projects include:
- ABRS/DEWNR/CReefs (2009-2012): The Red Algae of the Great Barrier Reef, first nine families
- Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board (2009-2012): Phylogenetics and Phylogeography of Marine Benthic Algae of the Great Australian Bight: Biodiversity and the Relict Species Concept
- DEWNR/CReefs/UoA (2009-2012): Phylogenetics and Phylogeography of Co-distributed Marine Macroalgae Across Australia
- ARC Linkage (2010-2013): Ecology, Phylogeography and Phylogenetics, an integrative approach to the study of Caulerpa taxifolia in Australia
- DIIRS (2009-(2011): Ecology, Phylogeography and Phylogenetics of calcified macroalgae.