Our international group consists of people with differing and varied backgrounds. We strongly favour the transfer of knowledge from seniors to the new generation of algologists and thus our group has people in different phases of their career path. We also emphasize gender equality in the group.
Dr Jaanika Blomster (PhD, Queen's University Belfast, UK)
I am lecturer in Algal Systematics at the University of Helsinki and my research interests are on genomics and systematics of various algal groups, mainly green algae and cryptophytes. I have also carried out sea-ice algal metagenomic projects, and recently, expanded my work to population biology of macroalgae (project FunkVeg). I am also involved in projects on the use of macroalgae for different purposes, such as the production of nanocellulose and for using macroalgae for food and feed.
Professor Martin Romantschuk (PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland)
My research deals with basic as well as applied aspects of environmental biotechnology with special emphasis on environmental protection, sustainable use of resources and remediation. Among my main research topics are in situ soil bioremediation and the use of mixotrophic microalgae in production of high value biochemical.
Elina Peltomaa (PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland)
My research interests are in the microscopic life forms of aquatic food webs. I am specialized in algae, their taxonomy, nutritional mode (especially mixotrophy), and their role in aquatic biogeochemical cycles. I have also studied the nutritional quality of algae (e.g. fatty acids, sterols, amino acids) and willing to utilize this knowledge in algal applications. I often isolate myself the algal strains I am working on and I have a collection of my own of algae of Finnish origin. Recently I have expanded my studies to molecular biology and omics. I'm also the contact person for AlgaeLab, our laboratory located in Lahti, and specifically designed for algal research.
Maryam Abidizadegan is a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki, Doctoral Programme in Microbiology and Biotechnology. Her research aims to identify some bioactive compounds of cryptophyte algae and assess optimal growth conditions for their commercial production.
I am a PhD student and my research is about cryptophytes and how to grow them in sustainable way in industrial side streams. Previously I worked as a research assistant in the Algae Factory project. In my MSc thesis, I studied the cultivation of microalgae in a sidestream water from a baker's yeast production plant. In my everyday work I take care of our tubular photobioreactor, making sure that the algae have plenty of nutrients and light and are growing happily.
I am a doctoral candidate in LUOVA, the Doctoral Programme in Wildlife Biology Research at the University of Helsinki. I joined the FunkVeg project in 2018. My research interests involve primary producers within marine environments. I have a background in marine research, having gained my BSc (Hon) in Marine Biology from Swansea University and an MRes in Ecology from the University of Brighton. My research has focused on the use of molecular methods and marine algae. My supervisor are Drs Jaanika Blomster, Ellen Schagerström and Perttu Seppä.
I work as a research assistant in the Algae Factory project and I have just started my MSc thesis on algological topic. I follow the growth of algae by sampling the photobioreactor every day. My MSc thesis is about the effects of light intensity on pigments of E. gracilis and Selenastrum sp. and the utilization of the pigments in food and cosmetic industry. I my life sustainability issues are of utmost importance and I see algae also as a tool of sustainable development. By using the algae wisely, we can make use of industrial sidestreams, trap nutrients and simultaneously produce valuable compounds. I am excited about the possibilities algae can provide for the humankind.
Marika Tossavainen (PhD, University of Helsinki) 2010 - 2019 > HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences