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Seaweed Health Foundation / About Us / Advisory Group Advisory Group

Members of the Advisory group advise the Foundation management on specific matters arising in production, markets, regulation and research.

Their contribution is normally made without charge and is very greatly appreciated. From time to time they are asked to conduct projects for the Foundation or Friends on a consultancy basis.

Dr Andrew Fairclough CBiol, MRSB


Prior to commencing my current role at the University of Salford I worked for Rawwater Engineering Company Limited as a senior project officer.  This company is an oil industry service company providing research and consultancy in the field of oil reservoir souring, reservoir microbiology, water chemistry and souring control.  As a senior project officer I was managing the company’s ion chromatography system (used for the assessment of water chemistry and souring remediation strategies for several major oil company clients); this involved me writing and implementing the necessary laboratory procedures (according to ISO 17025 standards with regard to auditability and traceability as well as the implementation of necessary changes when corrective actions have dictated such changes).  I have a working knowledge and experience of systems and practices commensurate with ISO 9001 accreditation.  During my time at the Company my role enabled me to acquire a good working knowledge of the biology/biochemistry (and microbiology) of the role micro-organisms play in oil reservoir souring; particularly with regard to maintaining the populations of both nitrate-reducing bacteria and sulphate-reducing bacteria/sulphate-reducing Archaea in pressurised bioreactors which are used to simulate realistic physiochemical conditions to investigate chemical dosing for the control of oilfield reservoir souring.     

Between 2006 and 2013 I worked as a Research Fellow for the Centre for Food Innovation (part of Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University) undertaking projects for SMEs and large (blue chip) food manufacturers.  The projects undertaken were very varied and covered areas such as the authentication of ingredients, food quality, food safety, shelf-life assessments and studies, microbiological investigations, modified atmosphere packaging, replacement of salt in bakery, meat and dairy products, nutritional and satiety studies, flavour tainting between products (analytically and organoleptically), novel ingredients (in particular Ascophyllum nodosum (and Pelvetia and Fucus species)).

Since part of my roles and responsibilities as a Research Fellow was to generate income for the Research Centre and encourage businesses to utilise our microbiological knowledge and expertise here at the University; I was heavily involved as the technical manager (and latterly as quality manager) in our bid to achieve ISO17025 Accreditation.  As a result of this I have a thorough working knowledge of what is required to work to UKAS accreditation criteria.  I wrote and implemented all our laboratory procedures (according to ISO methods) with regard to auditability and traceability, undertaken investigations and implemented necessary changes when corrective actions have been required, co-ordinated and participated in external proficiency schemes, and implemented electronic loggi

Mrs Penny Viner


After a career in industry as General  Manger of a company making licensed natural medicines, food supplements and cosmetics, Penny Viner spent 7 years as Director of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA),  whose members manufacture food and medicinal products,  and is now its Vice President.    Penny also chairs the UK Herbal Forum, and is Director and Secretary of the British Association of Homoeopathic Manufacturers.    Previously she was a Director and Secretary of the UK branch of the European Food Law Association.   She was a member of the  British Pharmacopoeia Commission Expert Advisory Group on Herbal and Complementary Medicines and  a member of the Ministerial Herbal Medicines and Practitioners Working Group , set up to advise the Government on regulatory options.   Until end 2013 she was a Project manager for the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA), writing its monthly newsletter and coordinating its Scientific Group.    Currently, she writes a quarterly International Regulatory Supplement for the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers, and  is Vice-Chairman of its Botanicals Working Group.  Penny is also an independent consultant on food and medicines regulation.


Dr Frederick Gavin Hardy MLitt MSc PhD

Consultant Botanist and Tutor in Botany, Office of Lifelong Learning, University of Edinburgh. Author, with Laurence Totelin, of Ancient Botany, Routledge, London 2015.


I have been carrying out research, lecturing, and supervising students, on various topics relating to seaweeds since 1974 - early development of fucoids, seaweeds as fouling organisms, use of seaweeds for monitoring pollution, local and national seaweed floras, seaweeds and biofuel.

I currently work as a consultant on seaweeds and, additionally, teach Lifelong Learning/Open Learning courses on Botany (including Ancient Greek and Roman Botany - a good early source of information on seaweeds!) at the University of Edinburgh and in Newcastle upon Tyne.