Key Notes

1st Seaweed for Health


June 24-27, Galway, Ireland 2018

John J Bolton


Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Scholar

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Cape Town


John has been a seaweed biologist for more than four decades, mostly at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he is currently Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Scholar. His research group works on a wide range of seaweed topics, from diversity, biogeography and systematics, through kelp forest studies, to the integrated aquaculture of seaweeds with marine invertebrates. He has co-authored more than 130 journal articles, as well as two books and a recent website, ( describing seaweed diversity in the three regions of South Africa. He has had 19 PhD students completed or submitted, five of whom worked on the molecular systematics of economically important groups (Gelidium, Gracilaria, Laurencia, Porphyra, and kelps, and their relatives). He believes that seaweeds have a major role to play in feeding people, both directly and through animal feed, in the near future.


Ole G. Mouritsen


Professor of gastrophysics, PhD DSc

Director, Smag for Livet

Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador

President of the Danish Gastronomical Academy

University of Copenhagen

Department of Food Science

Mouritsen is a professor of gastrophysics and culinary food innovation at the University of Copenhagen and affiliated with Nordic Food Lab. His research concentrates on basic science and its practical applications to biotechnology, biomedicine, gastrophysics, and gastronomy. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences, and president of the Danish Gastronomical Academy. He is a director of the national Danish center for taste Taste for Life. He has received a number of prestigious science and science communication prizes, most recently the Danish food&media award (2013) and the DuPont Nutrition & Health Science Medal for Excellence in Food Science (2016). In 2016 he was appointed Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador by The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. In his spare time, he cooks and furthers his knowledge of all aspects of food, often in collaboration with chefs. His books include Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul (2009); Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable (2013); Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste (2014); Life—As a Matter of Fat (2016); and Mouthfeel: How Texture Makes Taste (2017).

Sally McKenna


Food and Travel Writer

West Cork, Ireland


Sally McKenna is the author of Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweed. The book was described by the BBC Radio Four Food Programme as a “new bible on seaweed cookery”. Sally has written and published many guides to Ireland with her writing partner, John McKenna, the latest being Ireland the Best (HarperCollins 2018). A keen sea kayaker, Sally seeks to demystify the use of seaweed in cooking and to promote it as one of Ireland’s greatest natural resources.


Ira A. Levine, Ph.D. Professor


Natural and Applied Science Department

University of Southern Maine, Lewiston Auburn College

Lewiston, Maine 04240 USA,


Dr Prannie Rhatigan


Medical doctor with a lifetime experience of harvesting, cooking and gardening organically with sea vegetables

Dr. Ira A. Levine, Ph.D. is a tenured Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Southern Maine, Director of the USM, LAC Aquatic Research Lab (algal genetic engineering, physiological ecology, and new product development). Additionally, Dr. Levine is the President and Board Chair of the Algae Foundation, Executive Director of Professors Beyond Borders, and the CEO of Algal Aquaculture Professionals, LLC. Dr. Levine was awarded the 2017-2018 University of Southern Maine Trustee Professorship, 2016-2017 U.S. State Department Distinguished Chair Fulbright award and the 2009-2010 U.S. State Department, Fulbright New Century Scholar and in 2007-2008 was a visiting professor of biology at Duke University. Dr. Levine combines 33 years of applied and basic research in the molecular, physiological ecology and cultivation of algae, aquatic farming management, and aquaculture engineering. Dr. Levine’s farming experience includes open-ocean and pond cultivation in Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, and USA (Hawaii, Florida, and Maine). Current efforts include algal cultivar enhancement for aquaculture and agriculture feed supplementation, human nutraceuticals, fine chemicals and plant-based biofuels. Additionally, the Levine lab has developed novel, anaerobic co-digestion of algae, wastewater solids and a high-strength organic feedstock producing significantly greater amounts of methane and subsequent electrical generation.
















Dr Prannie Rhatigan is a medical doctor with a lifetime’s experience of harvesting, cooking and gardening organically with sea vegetables. Born and raised in the North West of Ireland where she still lives, her lifelong interest in the connections between food and health prompted her to publish the Irish Seaweed Kitchen in 2009.


Currently working as a doctor in Public Health Medicine she spent many years as a Motivational Tutor with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) working in the area of patient behaviour change. She trained GPs in the skill of Brief Intervention and Motivational Interviewing. She has also worked on the National Cardiovascular Strategy Programme and represented the ICGP on the National Steering Group for the implementation of “Smoke Free at Work” in Ireland, closely watched by the rest of the developed world.


In addition to her Medical Degree she also holds a degree in psychology. Her most recent personal work includes exploring the links between genetics, the

environment and the benefits of live and fermented foods on enhancing health and well being .


Prannie’s position as Ireland’s leading culinary seaweed expert (Food and Wine 2012) continues to consolidate with a swathe of recent workshops, lectures, talks and sea vegetable cookery demos stretching across the globe from the USA and Canada to Sydney, Australia, and from the Nordic countries to Spain. She is always delighted to participate in Irish Festivals and is particularly proud and supportive of the strong links currently being forged between seaweeds and the burgeoning Irish culinary world. Prannie’s enthusiasm for her subject has earned her a well deserved credit for accessibility and innovation, both of which reflect in her many TV and radio appearances worldwide including BBC Northern Ireland, Nationwide, Live at 3 Arte-50 Shades of Green (Europe), Coastal Cooking with Rachel Allen, Canadian Network, Canadian Frank Greco Travel Show TGTV, Joseph Rosendo Travelscope, Clodagh Mc Kenna Cookery Show USA, Heads and Tails Russian TV, Echappees Belles Beautiful Escapes French


In addition to spreading the word about seaweed, Prannie is passionate about sustainability and the future of food worldwide, and has actively featured seaweed at the 3rd Roots International Conference, Ohio in Autumn 2015 and at the Sustainable Edibles hub of Food Matters Live in London on a number of occasions, in addition to being a guest speaker at Food on the Edge. On a local front she founded Sligo Seaweed Days in 2013 and looks forward to this ever changing Seaweed Experience each summer as part of the Sligo Food Trail.