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Applied Phycology

An Open Access Journal

Applied Phycology journal cover

Aims & Scope

Applied Phycology is an open access journal that publishes high quality papers on all aspects of applied phycology. It is published by Taylor & Francis on behalf of the British Phycological Society, founded in 1952, which aims to promote all aspects of the study of algae. Applied Phycology is a sister journal to the long-running European Journal of Phycology and aims to reach scientists working in the field of applied phycology, as well as other interested parties.

We cover all algal groups including cyanobacteria. Applied Phycology is a home for primary research papers and state-of-the art reviews. We also produce Special Issues devoted to a particular topic of applied phycology, and consider proposals for these.


Applied Phycology aims to publish research in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 14 (Life Below Water), 2 (Zero Hunger), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). The journal contributes to bringing the world closer to meeting these targets, publishing research in areas including marine resources, sustainable agriculture and biotechnology, as well as tackling challenges including environmental pollution and climate change.

As a fully open journal Applied Phycology has the potential to reach a wide range of readers including policymakers, practitioners and those in related professions, and engage with them in an international forum. Listen to the latest AlgaTalk podcast to hear how the journal is helping to develop better communications between academia and industry.

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John Beardall
Monash University, Australia

Managing Editors
Prof. Christine Maggs
Bournemouth University, UK

Prof. Juliet Brodie
Natural History Museum, London UK.

Editor Q&A

We sat down with our Managing Editors, Christine Maggs and Juliet Brodie, to ask them a few questions about Applied Phycology, their experience, what the journal can do for authors researching the subject of phycology, and more. Here is what they had to say.

What is the journal of Applied Phycology about?

Juliet Brodie: Applied Phycology is a new open access journal that provides a platform to publish high quality papers on all aspects of applied phycology. It will cover both primary research papers and the most up to date reviews for all the algae, including cyanobacteria.  There is also scope for special issues. For example, a species issue might focus on applied ecology and environmental change or bioactives.

The new journal has come about to fill the need for high quality applied phycology journal. It will be a sister journal to the European Journal of Phycology which is a long-standing, well-respected academic publication.  We aspire to maintain that quality and standard of publication with Applied Phycology.

Christine Maggs: Phycology is the study of algae – plant-like organisms living in diverse habitats on land and in water that range from minute single cells to giant kelps growing up to a metre a day.  Algae, as well as being beautiful and fascinating, are also very valuable in contributing to human wellbeing.  The field of applied phycology and the new journal Applied Phycology cover all uses and exploitation of algae, from pharmaceutical bioactives to novel biofuels and algal carbon capture and storage (“blue carbon”).

What is the reason for publishing a journal that covers the broad scope of applied phycology?

Juliet Brodie: Algae have always had a role to play in the life of humans. Now, there is an increasing recognition of the value and application of these organisms in a huge variety of ways. We want to reflect that diversity, hence the breadth of scope of Applied Phycology.

Christine Maggs: Increasingly, new applications of algae are being explored and algal products are under development or coming to market.  In launching this journal, we believe that there is synergy in bringing together results from different approaches applied to different groups of algae.

This journal is run by British Phycological Society – what advantage does this bring to readers and members?

Juliet Brodie: The British Phycological Society was established in 1952 and the first journal of the society, The British Phycological Bulletin was established which ran until 1968.  This was the precursor to the British Phycological Journal that began in 1969.  The journal has been running continuously since then (changing its name in 1963 to the European Journal of Phycology). Over that time, quality has always been important, and that will continue for Applied Phycology. Readers can be assured that they will be getting a quality product and members are able to have access to papers free of charge through their membership.

Christine Maggs: The British Phycological Society is a charity that has worked since 1952 to improve knowledge and understanding of all algae, and to share this knowledge with the public and other potential beneficiaries.  The new journal Applied Phycology is firmly grounded on the Society’s broad base in the the study and exploitation of algae.

As a prospective author what are the benefits of this partnership with the society?

Juliet Brodie: The authors benefit in several ways. The society is able to support the new journal by committing to an Editorial Assistant which we feel is vital to ensure the smooth running of submissions and processing of manuscripts, particularly at the start of the process and once a manuscript has received acceptance for publication.  This will be key to maintaining the quality and turnaround time we expect with the new journal.  The authors also benefit because through the society we are able to use the Council networks and knowledge of the membership to help fill the Editorial team, including the Editorial Board and Associate Editors, with people who are respected in phycology.

It is an excellent opportunity to bring in young scientists to the Editorial team.  We also aim to have representative from different parts of the world and to do our best to ensure a gender balance. 

Christine Maggs: Authors can be assured that the quality of publication in Applied Phycology is underwritten by an established society, benefitting from 65 years of experience in this field.

What subject areas are you most excited to cover in the journal?

Juliet Brodie: I have an open mind on this and I’m keen to see macro- and micro-algal topics both for marine and freshwater.  As a marine macroalgal person, I’m very keen to see areas such as diversity and population genetics developed more in relation to marine management and policy. It is always exciting to find out more about algae as bioactives and how this area of science is developing in relation to the potential for new drugs and related applications.  Understanding the holobiomes (all the epiphytic and endophytic eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms associated with an alga) of algae is an up and coming topic, so it will be interesting to see how new knowledge begins to be applied more.  For example, will it be possible to use combinations of microorganisms to improve disease resistance of algal crops. There is plenty to get excited about!

Christine Maggs: Personally, I have a strong interest in marine bioactives, as well as a commitment to sustainable exploitation, in line with the Convention on Biological Diversity.  So I’m interested in a wide range of potential submissions to the journal and I want to support publication of these items.

How do you see open access publication shaping phycological research?

Juliet Brodie: I’m optimistic that this will be very good for phycology.  My hope is that open access will have the potential to reach a wider audience beyond the phycological community. There are questions in relation to how this might affect society membership but this could be where societies might actively help to fund the costs of open access for their members. The society would also be a place where support for special issues might be sought. And revenue from the journal can be put into grants and awards for the members that might be specifically focused on applied topics.  We already support young scientists for travel to conferences and workshops and related activities,

Christine Maggs: Open access publication is the future – as funders increasingly demand that the work they fund is fully open to users.  What is exciting here is that an open access journal is being launched by a well-established learned body, which will benefit from the new funding model.

How is Applied Phycology going to address problems in a new and innovative way?

Juliet Brodie: I think it can be as innovative as the people who are both submitting to the journal and those running it. The scope of publishing original research or reviews is often standard for many journals but we will have the capacity to develop subject areas and even create new subject areas through special issues. We are also open to new ideas and special issues from authors.  We have the potential to both lead and respond to subject areas which means we can make things happen and provide up- to-date information on well-established topics.

What is the benefit of publishing in Applied Phycology rather than in another related journal?

Juliet Brodie: I think the benefits are huge. The market is swamped these days with new journals run through very different models to ours. We can guarantee a well-established peer-review system, Associate Editors with specialist phycological knowledge in their subject areas, an Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editors all with many years of experience. Publishing charges will be very competitive once the journal is established and always with the potential for a proportion of free papers published each year. 

What support can you give authors and researchers who are hoping to publish in your journal?

Christine Maggs: We provide extensive feedback on all submissions, helping authors to improve their manuscripts.  We can also offer bespoke translation and other services through our publishers.

Juliet Brodie: We can also guide people and suggest what might be valuable to publish.

How can someone who would like to publish in Applied Phycology go about doing so?

Christine Maggs: Prospective authors should have a look at the journal website, which hosts detailed instructions and advice for intending authors.  They can also look at a range of published papers, as these are open access.  The best way to target a manuscript at a journal is to find a suitable model article and aim to emulate that article.

Juliet Brodie: If you want to publish in Applied Phycology, then all the details are available on the website. If you would like to discuss a possible manuscript or idea before submission, then it is possible to contact anyone from the Editorial team.

Why publish open access?

Open Access (OA) means your research is free to access online as soon as it is published, meaning anyone can read (and cite) your work. Increase readership, impact beyond your field, and retain the copyright to your article.


Submission guidelines

All submitted manuscripts are initially assessed by the Editors, and, if considered appropriate for potential publication in the journal, are peer reviewed by independent, anonymous expert referees. All peer review is single blind and submission is online via ScholarOne Manuscripts.


Meet the Editorial Board

Jan Krokowski started work with the Environment Agency in England in 1994, with research focussed on nutrient fluxes in a lowland pumped-storage reservoir during a period of ferric sulphate dosing, which expanded to work on phytoplankton and cyanobacteria ecology in reservoirs. Currently he works as a freshwater senior ecologist for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with work specific to eutrophication, its causes, symptoms and remediation, and phytoplankton, phytobenthos and cyanobacteria ecology and taxonomy in rivers and lochs. Jan was the Editor of The Phycologist, newsletter of the British Phycological Society between 2006 - 2018. Jan is passionate about algae and joined the editorial board of Applied Phycology to stay in touch and be up-to-date on current Phycological research, and help promote the use of algae in monitoring and assessment.

Dr Lucie Novoveska is a Senior Researcher in Algal Biotechnology at Scottish Association for Marine Science. Lucie’s research focuses on Blue Biotechnology. She has worked 6 years in the algal/wastewater industries in the USA and the UK. Her interests range from wastewater bioremediation (removal of nutrients, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals compounds), algal ecology (productivity of algal consortia and polycultures) to production of high value compounds from algae (carotenoids, fatty acids, polysaccharides etc.).  One of her articles Optimizing microalgae cultivation and wastewater treatment in large-scale offshore photobioreactors was on the list of “most downloaded” for one year. She has also reviewed two chapters for Algal Biology textbook. She serves as an expert for European Cooperation in Science and Technology (Ocean4Biotech). Lucie joined the editorial board of Applied Phycology not only because she is passionate about microalgae but to help moving algal biotechnology forward. 

Dr Roshni Paul is a renewable energy scientist. Her work predominantly researches on bioenergy derivation and has worked with an array of biomass resources and wastes including agricultural crop residues, brewery spent grain, and algae biomass from microscopic microalgae to long brown seaweed.

Currently working as a research associate at Faculty of CEBE, she is involved in teaching environmental studies, law and policies. Her work also has close interaction with industries specialising in pre-treatment technologies, wastewater management and on farm AD plants. She is a member of societies of Vitae, founder member of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) society in BCU and is a Sherpa mentor in Stemettes. She’s passionate about algae, and is an avid blogger and traveler.

Dr Michael Ross, PDRA in Microalgal Biotechnology

"I have studied both micro- and macro-algae for a variety of applications including bioremediation, aquaculture feed, bioenergy, high-value compounds, and for the development of the circular economy.

I am employed by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) as a PDRA in algal biotechnology. I currently on an EU H2020 funded project called ABACUS which aims towards the development of a new algal biorefinery to produce volatile terpenes and carotenoids to the fragrance, cosmetic and nutraceutical markets.

I undertook my Ph.D. between SAMS and the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE), part of the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh. My thesis was entitled “Wastewater treatment by filamentous macro-algae”. This body of work investigated two species of Cladophora for their potential to remove nutrients and for biosorption of heavy metal from marine wastewaters.

Being an Associate Editor will keep me abreast of the ongoing phycological research globally. Ideally, this overview will translate into assisting with the publication of excellent science and Applied Phycology research."

Alvaro Israel is a senior scientist at Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, Ltd. The National Institute of Oceanography, Haifa, Israel. He graduated as a Marine Biologist in Chile and pursued his MSc and PhD studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He has a strong background in photosynthesis and carbon fixation of marine macroalgae, as well as their ecology and responses to environmental factors, i.e. climate changes. Dr. Israel has in addition a broad experience in seaweed aquaculture in land-based and offshore settings, and seaweed strain selection intended for the production of food and valuable molecules. Seaweed taxonomy using conventional and molecular tools, seaweed invasions and issues related to global change are under current investigation in his lab.

Saul Purton is a Professor of Algal Biotechnology at University College London (UCL), and Director of Algae-UK (formerly PHYCONET): a national network in algal biotechnology and bioenergy funded by UKRI-BBSRC. He obtained his PhD in plant molecular biology from the University of Cambridge in 1988, and was then awarded a long-term EMBO Research Fellowship to study algal molecular-genetics at the University of Geneva, before joining UCL as a lecturer in 1991. in 1991. His research group focusses on various aspects of microalgal biology and evolution, and the exploitation of microalgae and cyanobacteria as phototrophic cell factories for the production of natural or recombinant products. These products include pigments, oils, bioactive metabolites and therapeutic proteins. Major new projects in his group include the reprograming of the algal chloroplast with a completely synthetic and redesigned genome (in collaboration with Alison Smith, University of Cambridge) and the development of new molecular tools and technologies for industrially important microalgal species. He also has an interest in broader aspects of microalgal biotechnology including areas such as bioremediation and biorecovery, and the use of algae as a teaching resource to help inspire school students to pursue STEM subjects.

Tomohisa Hasunuma received his PhD from Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Biotechnology, Osaka University. Then he worked as a researcher at Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) in Japan from 2004 to 2008. He became an assistant professor (2008), lecturer (2009), associate professor (2012) and full professor (2015) at Kobe University. He was the researcher of Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Japan Science and Technology Agency from 2011 to 2014. Since 2018 he is the director of Engineering Biology Research Center, and concurrently serves as the professor of Graduate School of Science, Technology and Innovation at Kobe University, Japan. His research interests are metabolomics, metabolic engineering and engineering biology of cyanobacteria and microalgae based on metabolism analysis.

Dr Chris Yesson is a research fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. His research interested are centred on benthic ecology with a particular focus on coral and seaweeds from the north atlantic.  He is investigating the impact of trawling on the seabed in West Greenland, by surveying, documenting and analysing the benthic diversity of the region. He is researching the distribution, abundance and genetic connectivity of habitat forming seaweeds around the UK.  He is interested in practical uses of research, particularly in supporting sustainable fishing practices and conservation science, which is well aligned with the aims of the applied phycology journal.

Dr. Guang Gao is a marine phycologist in the College of Ocean and Earth Sciences at Xiamen University, in addition to being a member of the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL). He initiated his research on algae at Ocean University of China where he participated in a project regarding kelp breeding as an undergraduate student. When working at Xiamen University, his article entitled “Rising CO2 and increased light exposure synergistically reduce marine primary productivity” was published in Nature Climate Change (2012) and on the list of top 1% highly cited papers in the field of Environment/Ecology. Guang Gao was then fully funded by Newcastle University for his doctoral programme on seaweed cultivation and use in the UK. In June 2018, Dr. Gao was invited to give a keynote presentation during International Seaweed Conference held at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Currently he works on the environmental bioremediation using algae, particularly seaweed bioremediation for rising CO2 and eutrophication. He is also interested in bioproducts from algae, including functional food, bioactive compounds and biofuels.

Dr Pawel Mordaka is a Research Associate in Algal Synthetic Biology at University of Cambridge. He obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from University of Nottingham (2013). Then he worked as a postdoctoral scientist in strain engineering for microbial production of bulk and high-value products at University of Nottingham (2013), Invista Intermediates (2014) and Imperial College London (2015-2018). His research interests are focused on designing and construction of synthetic biological systems in model and non-model organisms for metabolic engineering and other biotechnological applications. He is currently working on development of genetic tools for engineering and reprogramming the chloroplast genome in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. He is interested in using microalgae as a platform for production of high-value compounds.

Dr. Liam Morrison is based at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Liam’s research interests include the presence, speciation and bioavailability of toxic and essential trace elements and organic contaminants in marine and freshwater ecosystems, obtaining data to support policy on environmental protection. Liam’s research funding and award have included studies focused on characterisation and removal of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in water and biological systems; development and application of analytical and chemical methods for studying the presence of microplastics in biotic and abiotic systems; nutrient dynamics and eco-physiology of opportunistic macroalgal blooms (including invasive species) in estuaries and coastal bays in order to understand the mechanisms behind macroalgal blooms in order to develop management tools to control their size; application of remote sensing techniques in the spatial and temporal determination of macroalgal blooms; marine radioactivity and sustainable development of marine resources in the context of global change.

Dr Emily Kostas is a bioscientist based at the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London. She obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2017 (Department of Bioscience) and worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher from 2016 to 2018 in the Department of Chemical Engineering, also at the University of Nottingham. She joined UCL in early 2019 after successfully being awarded a BBSRC Discovery Fellowship to continue her research on the development of seaweed bio-refinery processes for the production of high value bioproducts. Emily has previously worked on a number of different industry-funded projects that involved thermally processing biomass feedstocks using microwave energy for biofuel and agri-feed production. Her research interests revolve around the design, performance and analysis of different biomass processing technologies and valorisation procedures for recovering and producing valuable products from different feedstocks and waste streams. Above all, Emily’s passion is to help establish seaweed as an important sustainable resource and to develop environmentally friendly ways to bio-refine seaweeds, through a greater understanding of cell wall structure and function. She is a member of the Royal Society of Biology and the British Phycological Society, and is extremely happy to be joining Applied Phycology as an Associate Editor to assist in the publication of novel and exciting phycological science.