“Seaweeds? You study seaweeds? What on earth for?” That’s the typical response I get whenever I tell someone what I do for a living.
By and large, people don’t have a very good impression of seaweeds. They think they’re just some stinking, slimy nuisance that washes up on clean sandy beaches. Most people don’t realize how important seaweeds are, both ecologically and commercially. In reality, seaweeds are crucial primary producers in oceanic food webs. They’re also valuable sources of food, micronutrients, and products for the pharmaceutical industry.
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