Nahlah Alsuwaiyan

Seaweed reproduction in a warming ocean (PhD)

Anthropogenic climate change has affected the oceans greatly resulting in serious problems such as increasing seawater temperatures. My PhD project will examine the sensitivity to warming sea temperatures of different life stages of several large brown algae found on the Western Australian coast. Large brown algae form the major base of the food chain for fisheries species and provide a habitat for many marine animals. The ongoing increase of water temperature is causing distributional shifts of these important algal species but little is known about their temperature tolerances, especially the sensitivity of their juvenile stages to warming events. My research will focus on the early life-stage of these canopy forming seaweeds.

Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Marion L. Cambridge, Melinda Coleman


  • 2016: Master of Biological Science in Plant Conservation Biology at the University of Western Australia (Australia)
  • 2011: B.Sc. Biology with Second Class Honor at Qassim University (Saudi Arabia)

Achievements and awards

  • 2022: Award winner: Poster award, John Glover Symposium, Royal Society of Western Australia.
  • 2021: Award winner, The Royal Society of Western Australia Student Poster Competition Award in conjunction with The Inaugural John Glover Symposium: The Southwest Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • 2019: Grant winner, Robson & Robertson Awards.
  • 2016: International Postgraduate Research Scholarship for a PhD at UWA
  • 2013: International Postgraduate Scholarship for a Masters at UWA
  • 2011: The excellence award from Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Research publications

  1. Alsuwaiyan NA, Filbee-Dexter K, Vranken S, Burkholz C, Cambridge M, Coleman MA & Wernberg T (2022) Green gravel as a vector of dispersal for kelp restoration. Frontiers in Marine Science: Marine Ecosystem Ecology. Accepted 22/8/22.
  2. Alsuwaiyan NA, Vranken S, Filbee-Dexter K, Cambridge M, Coleman MA, Wernberg T (2021) Genotypic variation in response to extreme events may facilitate kelp adaptation under future climates. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 672: 111–121.
  3. Alsuwaiyan NA, Mohring MB, Cambridge M, Coleman MA, Kendrick GA, Wernberg T (2019) Protocols for the experimental release of kelp (Laminariales) zoospores. Ecology and Evolution, 14: 8387-8398.

Middeleastern feast – superbly cooked by Nahlah and generously hosted by Sandra and Ben. Nahlah even treated us to leftovers the next day. Thanks for feeding us twice!