Subantarctic and Antarctic regions remain little explored in their seaweed diversity. Major gaps remain in the knowledge of the seaweed biodiversity of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia compared to southernmost South America, Antarctica. So far, coverage of these regions has been inadequate in order to compile a complete inventory. Inevitably, a number of questions still remain unresolved and more have arisen since the last complete inventory by Skottsberg in 1941. Numerous new records were anticipated because of the first-ever use of scuba diving in studying seaweeds of these regions within the framework of this study which faces logistical and safety challenges in such remote areas. All previous investigators relied on collections from the shore or occasionally by dredging and bottom grab, inevitably missing much of the deep-water flora. Also, phycology has adopted new techniques over the years – especially molecular methods, but also the availability of advanced algal culturing techniques.
Among the main objectives of Alexandra’s Ph.D. research is a first-ever inventory of the macroalgal species of the Falkland Islands which are an underexplored hotspot of seaweed biodiversity. During the two research expeditions to the Falkland Islands (in January – March 2013 and November – December 2013), she obtained a large amount of seaweed specimens and samples (~ 500). For each sample, herbarium specimens were created accompanied by silicagel samples for further molecular analysis.