What Victorian-era seaweed pressings reveal about our changing seas

Laura Trethewey in The Guardian:

On his first day as the new science director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California in 2016, a giant blue storage locker caught Kyle Van Houtan’s eye. The locker was obscured by a dead ficus plant and looked as if no one had opened it for years. But the label on it intrigued him: Herbarium.

He opened it and inside found hundreds of stacked manila envelopes. Each one contained a single piece of seaweed, pressed and preserved on white paper.

The collection demonstrated a curator’s attention to detail, with neat labels in tidy handwriting that documented every seaweed’s origin and collector. And it gave Van Houtan and his colleague Emily Miller an idea.

More here.