CHAT WITH A LOCAL – Professor Catriona Hurd

In February 2023 Hobart will host the 24th International Seaweed Symposium, ‘Seaweeds in a changing world’, a fitting location given Tasmania is a global hotspot for seaweed diversity with more than 750 named species and many endemic species. Professor Catriona Hurd is based at IMAS Hobart and studies seaweed physiological ecology, being the physiological responses of seaweeds to their abiotic and biotic environment. A Tasmanian local since 2013, Catriona shares some of her insights on our island state below.

I've chosen to live and work in Tasmania because...

I moved here for work, to study how climate change is affecting seaweed populations. It was the best move I ever made!! Tasmania is the most beautiful place, and I feel very privileged to live here. I also adore Hobart, it’s such a vibrant city with very liveable suburbs – is there a suburb in Hobart that does not have a stunning view of the mountain, river or sea? If so, I have yet to find it! I love that the city has a real downtown area with shops, cafes, restaurants and I don’t have to drive to a mall like most state capitals

It's easy to take a different look at the world of Tasmania because...

It’s such a laid back and chill place compared to other places I’ve lived.

The Most Rewarding Part of my role is...

I am passionate about teaching undergraduate students about algae, supervising research students and most recently working with local companies to help develop a sustainable seaweed industry in Tasmania. The most rewarding part of organising the International Seaweed Symposium is seeing so many people from Tasmania embrace the event. Many people have contacted me and as a result we have a fabulous seaweed art exhibition showcasing seven Tasmanian artists opening at IMAS in December curated by Caroline Choi. Also, being able to ‘show-off’ Hobart to more than 500 conference delegates, many of which are from overseas and interstate, is a great thrill.

An unmissable experience I recommend when visiting our island state is...

Maria Island (…Mount Field, Bruny Island)

One thing that might surprise people to learn about Tasmania is...

Its actually not that cold…

You haven't experiences Tasmania until you have...

been to the North West Coast – spectacular

My Favourite Tasmanian

Coffee Spot: 

Sadly I no long drink coffee but love Daci and Daci for a cuppa tea and macaron.


Cheeky Tipple: 

Obviously gin and tonic made with Tasmanian gin!


Tasty Treats: 

Bruny Island cheese


Secret Location: 

Verona Sands


Place to enjoy the great outdoors:

Lake Pedder