Show #312 – Operation Crayweed – A Regenerative Marine Ecology Project En Route to Success with Adriana Verges


Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!

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And on this week’s show!

This week I am thrilled to present you with an example of hope and progress in the regeneration space. With the right tools, funding and action we can rebuild the health of our planet and Professor Adriana Verges and her team are showing us the way with Operation Crayweed on the coast of Sydney, Australia – I’m so inspired to bring you this story because it shows a path of success and once we believe we can be successful in regeneration efforts, we see the evidence and positive effects, we then have more conviction and motivation and the ripple effects are in motion. Professor Vergés’s research focuses on the ecology and conservation of coastal marine habitats. In particular, her team investigates the ecological impacts of climate change in our oceans and develops hands-on restoration solutions to protect and conserve marine ecosystems including seagrass meadows, kelp forests and coral reefs.

Questions I asked Adriana:

  • How did you come to be a marine ecologist?
  • If you were to give an elevator pitch to a room full of people who had no idea when it came to the relationship between the health of our seas and the health of our planet in a couple of minutes – what would you say to coral them into caring and advocating for change?
  • Any myths you wish to bust that you see out there about the truth of the state of our seas?
  • What about the underwater seaweed forests on the coastline of Sydney have been devastating?
  • What has contributed to this devastation and what is the likelihood of repair/mechanics of repair, ie what’s it going to take?
  • In the scheme of climate change, what kind of impact can a global focus on seaweed re-forestation have?
  • And the follow-on benefits/positive effects of this reforestation focus, on the sea life?
  • What are some of the projects around the world you’ve been inspired by/learned from/worked on where real change has occurred?
  • What can we all do to support marine ecologists’ work in our everyday lives/by supporting Operation Crayweed?

About Adriana Verges

Adriana Vergés is a Professor in Marine Ecology at UNSW Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Her research integrates rigorous science, novel restoration approaches, community engagement and science communication to drive and realise large-scale conservation and restoration of marine habitats. She is a co-founder of Operation Crayweed and Operation Posidonia, two projects that have been effectively restoring missing seaweed forests and seagrass meadows over the last ten years. Operation Crayweed was awarded a Green Globe Award for ‘Environmental Research’ in 2017. She was awarded the UNSW Emerging Thought Leader Prize in 2019. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Barcelona in 2007 and has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

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Other Helpful Links:

Instagram @thetrueoperationcrayweed | Facebook @OperationCrayweed | Twitter @driatix

You may also want to check out their hoodie that grows underwater forests (neat!):


Enjoy the show,

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