Seaweed Identification

A special interest in seaweed taxonomy and photography has enabled Francis to work in many seaweed related projects both on the shore and underwater.

Promotion of the conservation and appreciation of our rich seaweed flora is a passion.  He has run annual seaweed identification courses for the British Phycological Society since 2003.

The first general guide to the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland published for over 80 years came out last year.  The Seasearch Guide to Seaweeds of Britain and Ireland (2010) by Francis Bunker, Juliet Brodie, Christine Maggs and Anne Bunker is fully illustrated with colour photographs

Francis has also contributed as an author to the 2007 publication of the Green Seaweeds of Britain and Ireland (Brodie et al eds. 2007) and in 2009 was co-author in a description of a new species, Cladophora rhodolithicola, (see Leliaert, F., Boedeker, C., Pea, V. Bunker, F., Verbruggen, H., and De Clerck, O. 2009.  Cladophora rhodolithicolasp. nov. (Cladophorales, Chlorophyta), a diminutive species from European maerl beds . European Journal of Phycology).

Francis particularly enjoys working on the ecology of maerl beds. He has carried out long term monitoring of maerl in Milford Haven and has also been working in collaboration with La Coruna University on the genetic diversity of maerl beds in the Northeast Atlantic.