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Research project

Teleconnected SARgassum risks across the Atlantic: building capacity for TRansformational Adaptation in the Caribbean and West Africa

Project overview

We are identifying new developmental opportunities that can create resilience for the poorest people affected by mass algal blooms of sargassum seaweed in the tropical Atlantic basin.

Specifically, we explore the opportunities from re-use of sargassum in Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia and Ghana. To do this, we: identify the large scale oceanic and climatic drivers of sargassum; develop field based and remote sensing monitoring approaches; develop a risk management strategy; create an early warning system for Jamaica; identify regional governance issues and opportunities; document past successes in re-using sargassum; analyse how sargassum can be best collected and stored to generate the greatest number of uses for the poorest; analyse the use of sargassum as a compost and fertiliser; identify adaptation opportunities and challenges; consider whether seaweed invasions could derail achievement of the sustainable development goals. Ultimately we hope to generate knowledge that enables effective management and re-use of the invasive sargassum seaweed.

SARTRAC is an interdisciplinary project led by University of Southampton with 5 partners: University of Ghana, Mona GeoInformatics (Jamaica); Centre for Marine Studies at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica); CERMES at the University of the West Indies (Barbados); and Centre for Novel Agricultural Products at the University of York.


Lead researcher

Professor Emma Tompkins

Prof of Geog, Environment & Development
Connect with Emma
Other researchers

Dr Vicky Dominguez Almela

Teaching Fellow in Ecology

Research interests

  • Her work has included the use of individual-based models (IBMs), geographical information systems (GIS) and stable isotopes to increase understandings of invasion patterns and processes and evaluate invasive species eradication programmes.
  • Postgrad Rep and Social Media Lead of the British Ecological Society Invasion Science Group.
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Dr Sien Van Der Plank PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Multi-scale analysis using mixed methods of coastal flood risk management across policy domains, organisational stakeholders and households.
  • Risk attitudes and behaviours to the natural environment in relation to perceived, expected and experienced social and physical changes.
  • Mixed methods analysis of the form and evolution of stakeholder perceptions toward mining, expected impacts of mining, and experiences of consultation process.
Connect with Sien

Professor Jadu Dash

Professor of Remote Sensing

Research interests

  • Satellite derived land surface phenology and its validation with ground data
  • Developing a chlorophyll content based production efficiency model to quantify terrestrial carbon uptake
  • Impact of extreme climatic events on vegetation phenology
Connect with Jadu

Professor Robert Marsh

Professor of Oceanography and Climate
Connect with Robert

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Vicky Dominguez Almela, Emma L. Tompkins, Jadu Dash & Thierry Tonon, 2023, Environmental Research Letters, 19(1)
Type: review
D. Yaw Atiglo, Philip-Neri Jayson-Quashigah , Winnie Sowah, Emma L. Tompkins & Kwasi Appeaning Addo, 2023, Global Environmental Change, 84
Type: article
Victoria Dominguez Almela, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Jack Corbett, Janice Cumberbatch, Jadu Dash, Robert Marsh, Hazel Oxenford, Thierry Tonon, Sien Van Der Plank, Mona Webber & Emma L. Tompkins, 2023, Environmental Research Communications, 5
Type: letterEditorial
Robert Marsh, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Philip-Neri Jayson-Quashigah, Hazel A. Oxenford, Ava Maxam, Romario Anderson, Nikolaos Skliris, Jadunandan Dash & Emma Tompkins, 2021, Frontiers in Marine Science, 8
Type: article