J. Robert Waaland is Professor Emeritus in the Biology Department.  He earned his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and joined the faculty of the Botany Department of the University of Washington the same year. When the Botany and Zoology Departments merged to become the Biology Department, he became a member of the Biology Department.  He also studied marine algae at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole. He has also participated in the instructional program at the Friday Harbor Laboratories.


His research interests and that of his students have focussed on various aspects of the biology of the algae with an emphasis on seaweeds. Many of the seaweeds that have been investigated are utilized by humans as well as being intrinsically interesting organisms. These include certain red seaweeds (especially Mazzaella [formerly Iridaea] and Chondracanthus (formerly Gigartina) that produce carrageenans (note that much carrageenan now comes from aquacultured Eucheuma and Kappaphycus, mostly from the Philippines), polymers that find many uses for their gelling and viscosity regulating properties. More recently the biology and systematics of several species of Porphyra was investigated. The edible product "nori" is made from certain species of Porphyra, and there are nearly two dozen species of this seaweed in the Pacific Northwest. Investigations of the physiology, reproductive biology and ecology of these seaweeds were conducted to provide the foundation for their aquaculture. In addition, Dr. Waaland has interests in the cell biology of algae and these have ranged from ultrastructural to developmental studies.

Recent and current studies  have included the biology of eelgrass (a kind of seagrass) meadows (Nelson & Waaland 1997), the systematics and phylogeny of certain seaweeds (e.g., the Bangiaceae [Stiller & Waaland 1996, 1993] and Ceramicaceae (Carlile, Cho & Waaland 2010) in the red algae,  and the Ulvaceae in the green algae (Hayden & Waaland 2004, Hayden et al. 20##).

Some Recent Publications:

Carlile, A.L., T.O.Cho & J.R. Waaland. 2010. The conspecificity of Ceramium pacificum and Ceramium washingtoniense (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 49(3): in press

Carney, L.T., J. R. Waaland, T. Klinger & K. Ewing. 2005. Restoration of the bull kelp Nereocystis luetkeana in nearshore rocky habitats, Marine Ecology Ecology Progress Series 302:49-61

Hayden, H.S. & J.R. Waaland. 2004. A molecular systematic study of Ulva (Ulvaceae, Ulvales) from the northeast Pacific. Phycologia 43:364-382

Hayden, H.S., J.Blomster, C.A. Maggs, P.C. Silva, M.J.  Stanhope & J.R. Waaland. 2003. Linnaeus was right along: Ulva and Enteromorpha are not distinct genera. European J. Phycol. 38:277-294

Waaland, J.R. 2004 Integrating intensive aquaculture of the red seaweed Chondracanthus exasperatus. Bull. Fish. Res. Agen. (Jpn) suppl. 1, pp. 91-100

Waaland, J.R., J.W. Stiller & D.P. Cheney. 2004. Macroalgal candidates for genomics. J. Phycol. 40:26-33

Nelson, T.A. & J.R. Waaland. 1997. Seasonality of eelgrass, epiphyte and grazer biomass and productivity in subtidal eelgrass meadows subjected to moderate tidal amplitude. Aquatic Botany 56:51-74

Lambert, G., C.C. Lambert & J.R. Waaland. 1996. Algal symbionts in the tunics of six New Zealand ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea). Invertebrate Biology 115:67-78 Hayden, H.S., J.Blomster, C.A. Maggs, P.C. Silva, M.J.  Stanhope & J.R. Waaland. 2003. Linnaeus was right along: Ulva and Enteromorpha are not distinct genera. European J. Phycol. 38:277-294

Stiller, J.W. & J.R. Waaland. 1996. Porphyra rediviva sp. nov. (Rhodophyta): a new species from northeast Pacific salt marshes. Journal of Phycology 32: 323-332

Stiller, J.W. & J.R. Waaland. 1993. Molecular analysis reveals cryptic diversity in Porphyra (Rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology 29:506-517

Sylvester, A.W. & J.R. Waaland. 1992. Cytoplasmic reorganization accompanies deposition of a bipolar cell wall in the large-celled red alga Anotrichium tenue. Planta 186:273-281

Waaland, J.R., L.G. Dickson & B.A. Watson. 1990. Protoplast isolation and development in the marine red alga Porphyra nereocystis. Planta 181:522-528

Waaland, J.R., L.G. Dickson & E.C.S. Duffield. 1990. Conchospore production and seasonal occurrence of some Porphyra species (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) in Washington State. Hydrobiologia 204/205:453-459

Some Less Recent Publications:

Waaland, J.R. & D. Branton. 1969. Gas vacuole development in a blue-green alga. Science 163:1339-1341.

Waaland, S.D., J.R. Waaland & R.E. Cleland. 1972. A new pattern of plant cell elongation: bipolar band growth. J. Cell Biol. 54:184-190.

Waaland, J.R. 1973. Experimental studies on the marine algae Iridaea and Gigartina. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 11:71-80.

Hudson, P.R. & J.R. Waaland. 1974. Ultrastructure of mitosis and cell division in the multinucleate green alga Acrosiphonia. J. Cell Biol. 62:274-294.

Waaland, J.R., S.D. Waaland, & G. Bates. 1974. Chloroplast structure and pigment composition in the red alga Griffithsia pacifica: regulation by light intensity. J. Phycol. 10:193-199.

Waaland, J.R. 1976. Growth of the red alga Iridaea cordata (Turner) Bory in semi-closed culture. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 23:45-53

Waaland, J.R. 1977. Common Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast. Pacific Search Press, Seattle. 120p

Waaland, S.D., W. Nehlsen, & J.R. Waaland. 1977. Phototropism in a red alga, Griffithsia pacifica. Plant & Cell Physiol. 18:603-612.

Merrill, J.E. & J.R. Waaland. 1979. Photosynthesis and respiration in a fast growing strain of Gigartina exasperata Harvey and Bailey. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 39:281-290.

Waaland, J. R. 1981. Commercial utilization. In: The Biology of Seaweeds, C.S. Lobban and M.J. Wynne, eds., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, p. 736-741.

Dickson, L.G. & J.R. Waaland. 1985. Porphyra nereocystis: a dual-daylength seaweed. Planta (Berl.) 165:548-553.

Waaland, J.R., L.G. Dickson & J. Carrier. 1987. Conchocelis growth and photoperiodic control of conchospore release in Porphyra torta (Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 23:399-406.

Herbert, S.K. & J.R. Waaland. 1988. Photoinhibition of photosynthesis in a sun and a shade species of the red alga Porphyra. Mar. Biol. 97:1-7

Lembi, C.A. & J.R. Waaland, editors. 1988. Algae and Human Affairs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New York, 590p.

Public/Professional Service:

Phycological Society of America, Vice-President 1989-90, President 1990-91 Endowment Funds Manager (1995-2004), Member of Board of Trustees and Executive Committee (1990-1993, 1995-2004)

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Last updated 3/3/2010