Melissa Varty

Temperature tolerance and lethal limits of WA seaweeds (Honours)

My research focuses on the temperature tolerance and lethal limits of several sub canopy forming seaweed species found along the Western Australian coastline. Focusing on seaweeds commonly found along the Western Australian coastline has particular relevance as coastal waters off Australia are warming at a rate faster than the global average. In addition, climate change is causing an increase in the strength and frequency of extreme climate events such as marine heatwaves. I will conduct a global literature review to create a database of temperature tolerances and lethal limits of red, brown and green seaweeds, as a context for understanding WA species. I plan to also conduct aquaria experiments to examine the effects of increasing water temperatures on seaweed metabolism, health and mortality.

Supervisors: Sandra Straub, Thomas Wernberg