Kelps are a type of large seaweed that occur in cold waters around the world, and range in size from less than 1 m to over 40 m tall. Kelps create rich underwater forests that are home to hundreds of other types of flora and fauna, and in turn, these forests support food-webs and fisheries, and help maintain our coastal water quality.
In Australia, kelp forests are the foundation of the Great Southern Reef; the rocky reef system and marine biodiversity hotspot that stretches 8,000 km along our southern coastline. Unfortunately, our kelp forests and the Great Southern Reef are under threat from a variety of stressors, including urban development and climate change.
Dr Cayne Layton is a marine ecologist, and he combine scuba diving, underwater experiments, and lab studies to research our amazing kelp forests. Dr Cayne strives to answer fundamental questions about kelp forest dynamics, ecology, and ecophysiology, while ensuring that his research has practical applications for habitat conservation and management. Ultimately, he is passionate about understanding, protecting, and even restoring these underwater forests for the benefit of future generations.