Science on Sundays: What links Antarctic Snow Algae, Scottish Salmon & CUBG

Dr Matt Davey, Department of Plant Sciences.
Dr Matt Davey is an algal physiologist at the Department of Plant Sciences and Lead Scientist in the Algal Innovation Centre, Cambridge.

Most of his research focuses on the lesser-known snow algae which bloom on and just under the surface of the snow. In summer, this algae has to photosynthesise in intense 24 hours light and close to and below freezing point, something that many plants cannot do. They then turn red (similar to leaves going red in the autumn) in preparation to lie dormant over the long winter Antarctic months. This bright red pigment is of scientific interest and has a high value for industry.

Part of Matt’s research interest is investigating how the algae turn red so quickly (sometimes within 24 hours) and how it can grow so fast at cold temperatures. This is important for the algal biotechnology industry as often the growth rate of native algae decreases during the cold winter months in the UK.

To find out how the snow algae is linked to Scottish Salmon and the Botanic Garden, join Matt for the first in our series of Science on Sundays talks.

Free 30 minute talk starting 11am and repeated at 2pm.

Our seasonal series of Science on Sundays talks run each month between March - August. They bring the latest discoveries in plant science to our visitors in a 30 minute nutshell.

The series is curated by the Garden's Director, Professor Beverley Glover.
11am & 2pm
Free talk
Normal Garden Admission applies
Booking Details
Science on Sundays are free, drop-in 30 minute talks suitable for 12+

Talks take place in the Garden Classroom.
No pre-booking required.
Event Category
All Events