This work reports the results of the study for cadmium binding by the dead red macroalga Mastocarpus stellatus. Kinetics sorption experiments demonstrated the high rate of metal biosorption: the system attained over 50% of the total biomass cadmium uptake within 2 min of contact and over 90% in the first 9 min. The kinetic data were successfully described by a pseudo-second order model with rate constants ranging from 1.06 to 10 gmmol(-1)min(-1), as a function of initial metal concentration and temperature. The equilibrium binding was accurately represented in terms of Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich models. The sorption isotherms at constant pH showed uptake values as 0.49 mmol g(-1) (at pH 2.4), 0.56 mmol g(-1) (at pH 4) and 0.59 mmol g(-1) (at pH 6), while the affinity constant values were between 0.6 and 5 mmol(-1) L (Langmuir fit). The acid-base properties of the alga were also studied, obtaining the total number of acid groups, 2.5 mmol g(-1), and their apparent pK value, 1.56, using the Katchalsky model. Desorption studies were conducted employing different HNO(3) concentrations and desorption times.