Committee 2018-19

Kirsten Heimann

Assoc. Prof. Kirsten Heimann is a recognized leader in designing, enabling, implementing and advancing industry-driven research on closed system approaches using high-yield microbes in environmental, aqua- and agricultural and commercial applications for developing renewable products and sustainable industries. Her research has won many awards, the NQ Corporate Business Women Award 2011 and the JCU Advisor of the Year Award 2016, being the latest. She is the President of ASPAB, Associate Editor of Botanica Marina, and has served on the Science and Education Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) and the Tarong Science Steering Committee for Microalgae GHG emission abatement at coal-fired power stations. Email:


Martina Doblin

Martina is an Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney. Her current research focuses on advancing understanding of the response of algae to human-induced environmental change and the cascading impacts to ecosystem services. Martina is the former leader of NSW-IMOS, and has been the chief scientist on multiple oceanographic voyages in waters around Australia. Since joining ASPAB in the 1990s, she been actively involved in the society, serving as ASPAB Secretary and hosting and helping to organise past ASPAB conferences. She currently sits on the ARC College of Experts and is leading a citizen science project on visualising how microbial plankton experience the ocean along their drift trajectories. Email:


Erin Cumming

Erin Cumming currently works at the Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University. Erin does research in Marine Biology and Ecology. Email:

Treasurer (Australian Chapter)

Judy Sutherland

Judy is a Scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Wellington, where she works on the molecular systematics and phylogenetics of marine macroalgae. Email:

Treasurer (New Zealand Chapter)

Joe Zuccarello

Joe is a lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington where he has been for several years. He is interested in algal evolution and biogeography. He also studies macroalgal taxonomy. Email:


Sergio Diaz

Sergio is a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington. The main focus of his research is to analyze the evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of the green algae (Cladophorales) endemic to the ancient Lake Baikal, Russia. E-mail:

Student Representative

Manoj Kumar

Dr. Manoj Kumar is currently working in the Climate Change Cluster (C3) at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia as an ARC-DECRA Fellow. His work focuses on understanding  marine macrophytes (Seaweeds and seagrasses) responses to wide environmental fluctuations and anthropogenic perturbances under the scenario of global climate change through OMICS approaches (particularly proteomics and metabolomics). His doctoral thesis work broadly dealt with the critical aspects of eco-physiology, acclimation strategies and tolerance mechanisms at both  biochemical and molecular level of benthic marine seaweed. Email:

General Member/Newletter Editor

Arjun Verma

Arjun is a Research Associate with the Seafood Safety group at the Climate Change Cluster in the University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on understanding the phylogeography, eco-physiology, biodiversity and functional genetics of toxin-producing harmful algal species in the East Australian Current region.


Webmaster/Co-Newletter Editor

Alecia Bellgrove

Alecia is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology and Ecology at Deakin University, Warrnambool. Alecia’s research interests lie broadly within marine ecology with a particular emphasis on the role of habitat-forming seaweeds in ecological systems, their life history dynamics and the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances.  Recently she has begun to explore the role macroalgae may play in carbon sequestration and to explore the unique and diverse temperate Australian marine flora for new, delicious and nutritious sea vegetables. Email:

General Member

Mattias Schmid

Matthias Schmid currently works at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania. Matthias does research in Botany, Marine Biology and Phycology. Their current project is 'Impact of climate change on production and trophic transfer of essential fatty acids in the coastal food web.


General Member