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.

Jaanika Blomster, PI, Group leader

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.

Jaanika Blomster's research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Martin Romantschuk,PI

Professor Emaritus Martin Romantschuk

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.

Martin Romantschuk's research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder

Maryam Abidizadegan, PhD student

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.

Léon Mercier, PhD student

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.

Léon Mercier's research profile in the University of Helsinki People Finder


Roxana Preston, PhD student

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.


Post Doc



Marika Tossavainen (PhD, University of Helsinki) 2010 - 2019 > HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences