Magdalena Blanz


Magdalena Blanz

Project title: Seaweed as Food, Fodder and Fertiliser in the North Atlantic Islands: Past, present and future opportunities

Supervisors: Dr Ingrid Mainland (UHI Archaeology Institute), Dr Mark Taggart (UHI ERI), Dr Philippa Ascough (SUERC) and Prof Jörg Feldmann (TESLA, University of Aberdeen).

Magdalena is investigating the importance of the consumption of seaweeds in past and present island communities. As part of this, she is researching how the chemical and isotopic composition of skeletal material changes with the consumption of seaweed, to allow the identification of past seaweed consumption. Magdalena has also been researching the impact of fertilisation of terrestrial grain crops with seaweed in a field trial (pictured) in partnership with our Agronomy Institute and the James Hutton Institute in Dundee.

Magdalena’s presentation on the effects of seaweed fertilisation on grain crops at the AEA 2018 conference in Denmark was awarded Best Student Presentation, and at the UK Archaeological Science Conference 2017, her poster on the identification of seaweed-eating by analysis of sheep’s teeth was awarded the first prize for a student poster. At UHI research conferences, Magdalena received prizes for the best poster by a postgraduate student (2016), and best student presentation (2017) for her work on identifying seaweed-consumption from skeletal remains.


Magdalena’s PhD is funded by the European Social Fund and Scottish Funding Council as part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

ESF and SFC funding logos