faculty listing

Contact Information

University of British Columbia
Department of Botany
#3529 - 6270 University Blvd.
Vancouver BC    V6T 1Z4
Phone: (604) 822-2340

Sandra Lindstrom Affiliate Faculty

Aquaculture • Marine Plants


  • Research Associate, University of British Columbia Department of Botany


  • Marine Benthic Seaweed Flora
  • Artificial Culture of Marine Plants

Research Overview

One of the world's most complex coasts extends from Puget Sound, Washington, through British Columbia, and around the coast of Alaska. Repeated glaciation has acted like a species pump, creating a more diverse marine benthic seaweed flora than one would expect in a region so recently covered by ice. Although this area has been studied by phycologists at U.B.C. since the 1950s, only recently have we had the molecular tools to address unequivocally questions of species limits and relationships. These tools have allowed us to recognize species that had previously been confused with other species, and to hypothesize routes of migration of species after the ice melted following the last Ice Age.

A large number of northeast Pacific seaweeds require systematic reinvestigation. In some cases, species boundaries are unclear and need to be resolved. Sometimes, we use the same name as a species with a North Atlantic type: Are our populations really the same species, or have they diverged to become separate species? At other times, we use a different name for a species morphologically similar to a North Atlantic or a northwest Pacific species: should our species be included in synonymy? Taxa especially in need of revision include Chaetomorpha, Lola, Rhizoclonium and various monostromatic green genera, the brown genera Coilodesme, Dictyosiphon and Punctaria, and the red genera Membranoptera, Odonthalia, Phycodrys, Scagelia among others.



Lindstrom, SC & KM Cole. 1992. The Porphyra lanceolata-P. pseudolanceolata (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) complex unmasked: recognition of new species based on isoenzymes, morphology, chromosomes and distributions. Phycologia 31: 431-448.

Lindstrom, SC, JL Olsen & WT Stam. 1996. Recent radiation of the Palmariaceae (Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 32: 457-468.

Lindstrom, SC, JL Olsen, & WT Stam. 1997. Postglacial recolonization and the biogeography of Palmaria mollis (Rhodophyta) along the northeast Pacific coast. Can. J. Bot. 75: 1887-1896.

Lindstrom, SC, JP Houghton & DC Lees. 1999. Intertidal macroalgal community structure in southwestern Prince William Sound, Alaska. Bot. Mar. 42: 265-280.