Dating back at least 555 million years, macroalgae are one of the oldest forms of multi-cellular life found in Earth’s fossil record.  The first recorded human use of seaweed  for food and medicine dates back to 3,000 BC in China, though there's evidence we’ve used this rich natural resource for far longer. Despite this long history, seaweed wasn’t studied in a scientifically systematic way until the late 18th century, when the first macroalgae species was described and given a Latin name by Pehr Osbeck in 1757.  Although we tend to refer to macroalgae in general as seaweed and our edible species as sea vegetables, only the green and red macroalgae are related to plants; the brown algae (kelps) are classified in the Kingdom Chromista.  Humans are more closely related to fungi than brown algae are to red or green algae!  Over 12,000 seaweed species have been described to date.  Phycology (the study of algae) became a recognized field in the late 19th century, and in 1952 seaweed science came of age with the First International Seaweed Symposium (ISS) held in Edinburgh Scotland. The ISS has held 23 meetings since then, and scores of seaweed books, several major Phycology journals, and thousands of scientific articles have been published. 

Even with this wealth of information there is still much we don’t know about seaweed, and new findings continue to be published every year on these ancient life forms. Unfortunately, the vast majority of good science publications require purchase, a paid journal subscription, or access through an academic institution, limited to faculty, scientists, or students.  Below, we provide links to some open access (free) seaweed science articles & resources that we’ve found helpful, arranged by topic.  Most of them touch upon or relate to the eight species we sell, while others offer a global perspective and cover broader topics such as food or the seaweed industry around the world. Articles were chosen for their informational value, but they don’t all necessarily reflect our point of view or the unique set of sustainable harvesting and processing practices that we’ve developed over 30 years.

You’ll need Adobe Acrobat (still free for now) or another PDF program to read most of these articles. Some links open to the article itself and others lead to a journal site where you can click on the PDF icon to either read or download the article. Please let us know if you have difficulty with any of the links. 

Biology and Ecology

Seaweed Ecosystem Services

Seaweed Harvesting

Seaweed Processing and Flavor Science

Edible Seaweed and Nutrition

Edible Seaweed and Vitamin B12

Therapeutic Uses of seaweed

Anticancer properties of seaweed

Antimicrobial properties of seaweed


Seaweed and Heavy Metals


    Climate Change

    Seaweed Information on the World Wide Web

    Scientific Journals

    Scientific Organizations

    • The International Seaweed Association. The ISA is an international organization dedicated to encouraging research and development of seaweed and seaweed products, and sponsor of the International Seaweed Symposium held every 3 years at various locations around the world.
    • Phycological Society of America. The Phycological Society of America (PSA) was founded in 1946 to promote research and teaching in all fields of Phycology. The society publishes the Journal of Phycology and the Phycological Newsletter.
    • International Phycological Society. Founded in 1960, the mission of the IPS is to develop phycology; distribute phycological information; and foster international cooperation among phycologists and phycological societies. The IPS publishes the journal Phycologia