Ryan O’Shea

Thesis title:

The Seaweed Bioeconomy: An integrated systems investigation into the cultivation of Macroalgae for sustainable development in North-West Europe.


As demand for food, fuel, feed and fibre grow, the marine environment is likely to see a significant increase in economic activity. Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms, is already present in the North-West European Marine Economy- with the cultivation of fish being the main sector. To continue developing the industry, seaweed is starting to emerge as an important feedstock, not only for food provisioning but transformed into several different commodities such as biofuels, bioplastics and, so on. However, to comprehensively understand the risks to sustainability in this Bioeconomy, integrated systems assessment is required. Therefore, this research applies systems theory to investigate the impacts of Macroalgae Mariculture development in North-West Europe. Integrating biophysical and social sciences for a novel approach to the Seaweed Bioeconomy- providing a comprehensive overview of the sustainability challenges of this emerging sector. The outputs of this study are transcribed into environmental management tools, Blue Bioeconomy policy and recommendations for marine spatial planning.

Social Media:

Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-o-shea-93b123122/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/oshea_rm

First supervisor:

Alexandra Collins


9 – Political Ecology, Energy & Environmental Health