Algae are fascinating. They are found in virtually any habitat and are vital primary producers. They are a remarkable system for the study of ecological and evolutionary questions, because they comprise an amazing diversity of morphologies, ecologies, and physiologies distributed across several ancient eukaryotic lineages.
Indeed, algae are not a single evolutionary group. In fact, the organisms we call “algae” belong to many different evolutionary lineages across the eukaryotic tree of life. We generally consider an organism to be an alga if it photosynthesizes and is structurally simpler than a plant. However, exceptions to both rules exist.
I am interested in many algae-related topics, but my research focus lies in studying biodiversity and evolution, particularly of green algae excluding land plants (yes, plants are a small subset of green algal diversity).