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Research project

SARTRAC: Sargassum risks and opportunities across the Atlantic: building capacity (SARTRAC)

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

Professor Robert Marsh

Professor of Oceanography and Climate

Connect with Robert

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

Connect with Jadu

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Kwasi Appeaning Addo,
Philip-Neri Jayson-Quashigah,
Hazel A. Oxenford,
Ava Maxam,
Romario Anderson,
Nikolaos Skliris,
, 2021 , Frontiers in Marine Science , 8
Type: article
Yanna Alexia Fidai,
Emma Tompkins,
& Thierry Tonon
, 2020 , Environmental Research Communications , 2 (12)
Type: article
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