Paul W. Gabrielson

(b. 19 November 1952)

Paul Gabrielson is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Biology Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His office & lab are in the Genomic Sciences Building. Since 2004 he has served as an Associate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Herbarium (NCU).

Gabrielson has deposited over 2,000 specimens (especially coralline algae) in NCU.  Other herbaria curating Gabrielson’s specimens include Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington (FHL), University of Michigan (MICH), and University of Washington (WTU).

In 2013 NCU joined the Macroalgal Herbarium Collections Consortium.  The National Science Foundation has funded the Consortium to digitize, database and geolocate over 1.1 million specimens held by the 49 member herbaria.  Specimens collected by Paul W. Gabrielson and other phycologists can be viewed and searched at


I earned my Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 and spent the next two decades doing research on algae and teaching at a small liberal arts college.  I am back to where I started as a graduate student — doing algal systematics (but now with a molecular twist) in Chapel Hill.

Teaching the summer Marine Botany course intermittently over the past 15 years at the Friday Harbor Labs (FHL), University of Washington’s marine lab on San Juan Island in northern Puget Sound, has shaped my career and has resulted in publications used by students and professionals to identity marine algae.  Two of the most recent are:

Keys to the Seaweeds and Seagrasses of Oregon and California, North of Point Conception (2004) by Paul W. Gabrielson, Thomas Benjamin Widdowson and Susan C. Lindstrom and Keys to the Seaweeds and Seagrasses of Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon (2012) by Paul W. Gabrielson, Susan C. Lindstrom and Charles J. O’Kelly.

Currently, I am obtaining molecular fingerprints from recent field-collected specimens to compare with those obtained from type specimens, many dating from the 19th Century. This ability to unequivocally match type and historically important collections with recently collected specimens allows us to explore a host of questions that hitherto have been difficult to answer. For example: Are names of seaweeds with type localities outside of the Northeast Pacific correctly applied to local species? What are the biogeographic limits of morphologically similar species? What are the ecological limits? Are invasive species present that are morphologically similar to native species?


Voyages of Discovery is an article about Paul Gabrielson’s work with 18th century specimens of algae.  It was published in the North Carolina Botanical Garden Newsletter in 2010.

Videos about algae presented by AlgaeBase.



Gabrielson, Paul W. (1980) Morphological studies of selected Northern Hemisphere genera in the family Solieriaceae, Gigartinales (Rhodophyta). Ph.D. Thesis, Botany Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gabrielson, P.W., S. C. Lindstrom & C. J. O’Kelly. 2012. Keys to the seaweeds and seagrasses of southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.  Phycological Contribution #8, PhycoID, iv + 192 pp.

Gabrielson, P. W., T. B. Widdowson & S. C. Lindstrom. 2006. Keys to the Seaweeds and Seagrasses of Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. Phycological Contribution #7, PhycoID, Hillsborough, NC, iv + 209 pp.

Gabrielson, P. W., T. B. Widdowson & S. C. Lindstrom. 2004. Keys to the Seaweeds and Seagrasses of Oregon and California, North of Point Conception. Phycological Contribution #6, PhycoID, Hillsborough, NC, 181 pp.

Gabrielson, P. W., M. W. Hawkes, S. C. Lindstrom, R. F. Scagel & T. B. Widdowson. 2000. Keys to the Benthic Marine Algae and Seagrasses of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Phycological Contribution #5, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 189 pp.

Lindstrom, S. C. & P. W. Gabrielson (editors) 1990. Proceedings of the XIIIth International Seaweed Symposium. Hydrobiologia, 629 pp.

Gabrielson, P. W., R. F. Scagel & T. B. Widdowson. 1989. Keys to the Benthic Marine Algae and Seagrasses of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Phycological Contribution #4, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 187 pp.

Scagel, R. F., P. W. Gabrielson, D. J. Garbary, L. Golden, M. W. Hawkes, S. C. Lindstrom, J. C. Oliveira & T. B. Widdowson. 1989. A Synopsis of the Benthic Marine Algae of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Phycological Contribution #3, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 532 pp.

Gabrielson, P. W., R. F. Scagel & T. B. Widdowson. 1987. Keys to the Benthic Marine Algae of British Columbia, Northern Washington and Southeast Alaska. Phycological Contribution #2, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 197 pp.

Refereed Journal Publications

Hughey, Jeffery R., Geoffrey L. Leister, Paul W. Gabrielson, and Max H. Hommersand.  2020.  Sarcopeltis gen. nov. (Gigartinaceae, Rhodophyta), with S. skottsbergii comb. nov. from southern South America and S. antarctica sp. nov. from the Antarctic Peninsula.  Phytotaxa 468(1):  075-088.

Richards, J. L., P. W. Gabrielson, and C. W. Schneider.  2018.  Sporolithon mesophoticum sp. nov. (Sporolithales, Rhodophyta) from Plantagenet Bank off Bermuda at a depth of 178 m.  Phytotaxa 385:  67-76.

Richards, J. L., P. W. Gabrielson, J. R. Hughey and D. W. Freshwater.  2018.  A re-evaluation of subtidal Lithophyllum species (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from North Carolina, USA, and the proposal of L. searlesii sp. nov.  Phycologia 57:  318-330.  TableS1TableS2TableS3

LaJeunesse, T. C., J. E. Parkinson, P. W. Gabrielson, H. J. Jeong, J. D Reimer, C. R. Voolstra and S. R. Santos.  2018.  Systematic revision of Symbiodinaceae highlights the antiquity and diversity of coral endosymbionts.  Current Biology 28:  1-11.

Hughey, J. R., K. A. Miller and P. W. Gabrielson.  2018.  Mitogenome analysis of a green tide forming Ulva from California, USA confirms its identity as Ulva fenestrata (Ulvaceae, Chlorophyta).  Mitochondrial DNA Part B  3:  1302-1303.

Hind, K. R., P. W. Gabrielson, C. Jensen and P. T. Martone.  2018.  Evolutionary reversals in Bossiella (Corallinales, Rhodophyta):  First report of a coralline genus with both geniculate and non-geniculate species.  Journal of Phycology 54:  788-798.  FigS1FigS2FigS3FigS4TableS1TableS2TableS3TableS4

Adey, W. H., J. J. Hernandez-Kantun, P. W. Gabrielson, M. C. Nash and L. C. Hayek.  2018.  Phymatolithon (Melobesioideae, Hapalidiales) in the boreal-subarctic transition zone of the North Atlantic:  A correlation of plastid DNA markers with morpho-anatomy, ecology, and biogeography.  Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences 57:  i-vii + 1-90.

Gabrielson, P. W., J. R. Hughey, and G. Diaz-Pulido.  2018.  Genomics reveals abundant speciation in the coral reef building alga Porlithon onkodes (Corallinales, Rhodophyta).  Journal of Phycology 54:  429-434.jpyFigS1jpyFigS2jpyFigS3jpyTableS1jpyTableS2jpyTableS3jpyTableS4

Richards, J. L., T. Sauvage, W. E. Schmidt, S. Fredericq, J. R. Hughey and P. W. Gabrielson.  2017.  The coralline genera Sporolithon and Heydrichia (Sporolithales, Rhodohyta) clarified by sequencing type material of their generitypes and other species.  Journal of Phycology 53:  1044-1059.  FigS1 ; FigS2FigS3FigS4FigS5FigS6FigS7FigS8FigS9TableS1TableS4

Maneveldt, G. W., P. W. Gabrielson, and J. Kangwe.  Sporolithon indopacificum sp. nov. (Sporolithales, Rhodophyta) from tropical western Indian and western Pacific oceans:  First report, confirmed by DNA sequence data, of a widely distributed species of Sporolithon.  Phytotaxa 326: 115-128.

Freshwater, David Wilson, Jennifer N. Idol, Seth L. Parham, Cindy Fernandez-Garcia, Noemi Leon, Paul W. Gabrielson and Brian L. Wysor.  2017.  Molecular assisted identification revelas hidden red algae diversity from the Burica Peninsula, Pacific Panama.  Diversity 9.

O’Leary, Jennifer K., James P. Barry, Paul W. Gabrielson, Laura Rogers-Bennett, Donald C. Potts, Stephen R. Palumbi, and Fiorenza Micheli.  2017.  Calcifying algae maintain settlement cues to larval abalone flowing algal exposure to extreme ocean acidification.  Scientific Reports 7:  5774 (DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-05502-x).  Supplemental Material

Hughey, Jeffery R., Max H. Hommersand, Paul W. Gabrielson, Kathy Ann Miller, and Timothy Fuller.  2017.  Analysis of the complete plastomes of three species of Membranoptera (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) from Pacific North America.J. Phycol. 53:  32-43.

Richards, Joseph L., Talita Vieira-Pinto, William E. Schmidt, Thomas Sauvage, Paul W. Gabrielson, Mariana C. Oliveira, and Suzanne Fredericq.  2016.  Molecular and morphological diversity of Lithothamnion sp. (Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta) from deepwater rhodolith beds in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.Phytotaxa 278(2):  81-114.  FigS1FigS2FigS3FigS4FigS5TableS1TableS2TableS3

Hernandez-Kantun, Jazmin J., Paul W. Gabrielson, Jeffery R. Hughey, Laura Pezzolesi, Fabio Rindi, Nestor M. Robinson, Viviana Pena, Rafael Riosmena-Rodriguez, Line Le Gall, and Walter Adey.  2016.  Reassessment of branched Lithophyllum spp. (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) in the Caribbean Sea with global implications.  Phycologia 55(6):  619-639.  FigLegends1-s5FIGs1-s4TableS1TableS2FigS5

Hind, Katharine R., Paul W. Gabrielson, Cassandra P. Jensen, and Patrick T. Martone.  2016.  Crusticorallina gen. nov., a nongeniculate genus in the subfamily Corallinoideae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta).  J. Phycology 52:  929-941.   FigS1FigS2FigS3TableS1TableS2AppendixS1

D’Archino, R., S. M. Lin, P. W. Gabrielson and G. C. Zuccarello.  2015.  Why one species in New Zealand, Pugetia delicatissima (Kallymeniaceae, Rhodophyta), should become two new genera, Judithia gen. nov. and Wendya gen. nov.  European Journal of Phycology.  DOI:  10.1080/09670262.0215.1104557.

Hernandez-Kantun, J. J., F. Rindi, W. H. Adey, S. Heesch, V. Pena, L. LeGall, and Paul W. Gabrielson.  2015.  Sequencing type material resolves the identity and distribution of the generitype Lithophyllum incrustans, and related European species L. hibernicum and L. bathyporum (Corallinales, Rhodophyta).  Journal of Phycology 51:  791-807.  TabS1TabS2TabS3

Hind, K. R., K. A. Miller, M. Young, C. Jensen, P. W. Gabrielson and P. T. Martone.  2015.  Resolving cryptic species of Bossiella (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) using contemporary and historical DNA.  American Journal of Botany 102:  1-19Bossiella supplement 1Bossiella supplement 2Bossiella supplement 3Bossiella supplement 4

Vand der Merwe, E., K. Miklasz, A. Channing, G. W. Maneveldt and P. W. Gabrielson.  2015.  DNA sequencing resolves species of Spongites (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) in the Northeast Pacific and South Africa, including S. agulhensis sp. nov.  Phycologia 54:  471-490.  Spongites supplemental HistorySpongites supplemental TableSpongites supplemental Uninformative Characters.

Adey, W. H., J. J. Hernandez-Kantun, G. Johnson & P. W. Gabrielson.  2015.  DNA sequencing, anatomy and calicification patters support a monophyletic, subarctic, carbonate reef-forming Clathromorphum (Hapalidiaceae, Corallinales, Rhodophyta).  Journal of Phycology 51:  189-203.

Lindstrom, S. C., P. W. Gabrielson, J. R. Hughey, E. C. Macaya, and W. A. Nelson.  2015.  Sequencing of historic and modern specimens reveals cryptic diversity in Nothogenia (Scinaiaceae, Rhodophyta).  Phycologia 54:  97-108. Supplemental figuresSupplemental tables.

Hind, K.R., P.W. Gabrielson, S.C. Lindstrom, & P.T. Martone. 2014. Misleading morphologies and the importance of sequencing type specimens for resolving coralline taxonomy (Corallinales, Rhodophyta): Pachyarthron cretaceum is Corallina officinalisJournal of Phycology 50:  760-764.

Sissini, M. N., M.C. de Oliveira, P. W. Gabrielson, N. M. Robinson, Y. B. Okolodkov, R. Riosmena-Rodrigues & P. A. Horta.  2014.  Mesophyllum erubescens (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) – so many species in one epithet.  Phytotaxa 190:  299-319.

Hind, K.R., P.W. Gabrielson & G.W. Saunders. 2014. Molecular-assisted alpha taxonomy reveals pseudocryptic diversity among species of Bossiella (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) in the eastern Pacific Ocean.  Phycologia 53: 443-456.

Hughey, J. R., P. W. Gabrielson, L. Rohmer, J. Tortolani, M. Silva, K. A. Miller, J. D. Young, C. Martell & E. Ruediger.  2014.  Minimally destructive sampling of type specimens of Pyropia (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) recovers complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes.  Scientific Reports 4:  5113  DOI:  10.1038.

Mateo-Cid, L.E., A.C. Mendoza-González & P.W. Gabrielson 2014. Neogoniolithon (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) on the Atlantic coast of Mexico, including N. siankanensis sp. nov.  Phytotaxa 190:  64-93.  

 Richards, J.L., P.W. Gabrielson & S. Fredericq. 2014. New insights into the genus Lithophyllum (Lithophylloideae, Corallinaceae, Corallinales) from deepwater rhodolith beds offshore in NW Gulf of Mexico. Phytotaxa 190:  162-175.

Galloway, A.W.E., K.H. Britton-Simmons, D.O. Duggins, P.W. Gabrielson & M.T. Brett. 2012. Marine macrophyte fatty acid signatures differ phylogenetically: Implications for tracking primary production through food webs.  Journal of Phycology 48: 956-965.

Hughey, J.R. & P.W. Gabrielson. 2012. Comment on “Acquiring DNA from dried archival red algae (Florideophyceae) for the purpose of applying available names to contemporary genetic species: a critical assessment”. Botany 90: 1191-1194.

Martone, P.T., S.C. Lindstrom, K.A. Miller & P.W. Gabrielson.  2012.  Chiharaea and Yamadaia (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) represent reduced and recently derived articulated coralline morphologies.  Journal of Phycology 48: 859-868.

Gabrielson, P.W., K.A. Miller & P.T. Martone. 2011.  Morphometric and molecular analyses confirm two distinct species of Calliarthron (Corallinales, Rhodophyta), a genus endemic to the Northeast Pacific.  Phycologia 50: 298-316.

Hommersand, M.H., G.L. Leister, M.E. Ramírez, P.W. Gabrielson & W.A. Nelson. 2010.  A morphological and phylogenetic study of Glaphyrosiphon gen. nov. (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) based on Grateloupia intestinalis with descriptions of two new species: Glaphyrosiphon lindaueri sp. nov. from New Zealand and Glaphyrosiphon chilensis sp. nov. from Chile.  Phycologia 49: 554-573.

Krayesky, D.M., J.N. Norris, P.W. Gabrielson, D. Gabriel & S.  Fredericq. 2009. A new order of red algae based on the Peyssonneliaceae, with an evaluation of the ordinal classification of the Florideophyceae (Rhodophyta).  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 122: 364-391.

Miller, K.A., J.R. Hughey & P.W. Gabrielson. 2009. First report of the Japanese species Grateloupia lanceolata (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) from California, USA. Phycological Research 57: 238-241.

Gabrielson, P.W. 2008. On the absence of previously reported Japanese and Peruvian species of Prionitis (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) in the Northeast Pacific. Phycological Research 56: 105-114.

Gabrielson, P.W. 2008. Molecular sequencing of Northeast Pacific type material reveals two earlier names for Prionitis lyallii, Prionitis jubata and Prionitis sternbergii, with brief comments on Grateloupia versicolor (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 45(1):  89-97.

N’Yeurt, A.D.R., C.E. Payri, P.W. Gabrielson & S. Fredericq. 2006. Pinnatiphycus menouana gen. et sp. nov. (Rhodophyta: Dicranemataceae) from New Caledonia and Fiji (South Pacific): vegetative and reproductive morphology and molecular phylogeny. Phycologia 45: 422-431.

Scott, J.L., S.T. Broadwater, B.D. Saunders, J.P. Thomas & P.W. Gabrielson. 1992. Ultrastructure of vegetative organization and cell division in the unicellular red alga Dixoniella grisea gen. nov. (Rhodophyta) and a consideration of the genus Rhodella. J. Phycol. 28: 649-660.

Gabrielson, P.W. 1989. On the identity of Iridaea punicea (Gigartinaceae, Rhodophyta). Taxon 38: 389-393.

Gabrielson, P.W. & R.F. Scagel. 1989. The marine algae of British Columbia, northern Washington and southeast Alaska: division Rhodophyta (red algae), class Rhodophyceae order Gigartinales, families Caulacanthaceae and Plocamiaceae. Can. J. Bot. 67: 1221-1234.

Lindstrom, S.C. & P.W. Gabrielson. 1989. Taxonomic and distributional notes on northeast Pacific Antithamnieae (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta). Jap. J. Phycol. 37: 221-235.

Renfrew, D.E., P.W. Gabrielson & R.F. Scagel. 1989. The marine algae of British Columbia, northern Washington and southeast Alaska: division Rhodophyta (red algae), order Gelidiales. Can. J. Bot. 67: 3295-3314.

Gabrielson, P.W. & D.P. Cheney. 1987. Morphology and taxonomy of Meristiella gen. nov. (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 23: 481-493.

Gabrielson, P.W. & D.J. Garbary. 1987. A cladistic analysis of Rhodophyta: Florideophycidean orders. Br. Phycol. J. 22: 125-138.

Garbary, D.J. & P.W. Gabrielson. 1987. Acrochaetiales (Rhodophyta): taxonomy and evolution. Crypt. Algol. 8: 241-252.

Gabrielson, P.W. & D.J. Garbary. 1986. Systematics of red algae (Rhodophyta). CRC Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 3: 325-366.

Gabrielson, P.W. 1985. Agardhiella versus Neoagardhiella (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta): another look at the lectotypification of Gigartina tenera. Taxon 34: 275-279.

Gabrielson, P. W., D. J. Garbary & R.F. Scagel. 1985. The nature of the ancestral red alga: inferences from a cladistic analysis. BioSystems 18: 335-346.

Gabrielson, P. W. & G.T. Kraft. 1984. The marine algae of Lord Howe Island (N.S.W.): The family Solieriaceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta). Brunonia 7: 217-251.

Gabrielson, P. W. 1983. The vegetative and reproductive morphology of Eucheuma isiforme (Solieriaceae, Gigartinales, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 19: 45-52.

Kraft, G.T. & P. W. Gabrielson. 1983. Tikvahiella candida gen. et sp. nov. (Solieriaceae, Gigartinales), a new red algal adelphoparasite from southern Australia. Phycologia 22: 47-57.

Gabrielson, P. W. 1982. Morphological studies of members of the tribe Agardhielleae (Solieriaceae, Rhodophyta). I. Sarcodiotheca furcata (Setchell et Gardner) Kylin and Sarcodiotheca dichotoma (Howe) Dawson. Phycologia 21: 75-85.

Gabrielson, P. W. 1982. Morphological studies of members of the tribe Agardhielleae. II. Sarcodiotheca guadichaudii (Montagne) Gabrielson comb. nov. Phycologia 21: 86-96.

Gabrielson, P. W. & M. H. Hommersand. 1982. The Atlantic species of Solieria (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta): their morphology, distribution and affinities. J. Phycol. 18: 31-45

Gabrielson, P. W. & M. H. Hommersand. 1982. The morphology of Agardhiella subulata representing the Agardhielleae, a new tribe in the Solieriaceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta). J. Phycol. 18: 46-58.

Chapters in Books
Gabrielson, P.W., D.J. Garbary, M.R. Sommerfeld, R.A. Townsend & P.L. Tyler. 1990. Rhodophyta. In: Handbook of Protistica (L. Margulis, J.O. Corliss, M. Melkonian & D.J. Chapman, eds). Jones & Bartlett Pub., Boston: 102-118.

Garbary, D.J. & P.W. Gabrielson. 1990. Taxonomy and Evolution. In: Biology of the Red Algae (K.M. Cole & R.G. Sheath, eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 477-498.