Name: Lorraine Archer
Award undertaken: MSc/PhD
Project Title: Physiology and Molecular Biology of Microalgae for the Biorefining of Valuable Metabolites (METALGAE).
1) Isolation and culturing of freshwater and marine microalgae from western Ireland
2) Screening for fatty acids and antioxidants
3) Partial chemical characterisation of extracted fractions of interest
4) Transcriptome analyses
5) Photobioreactor construction for optimising growth performance and metabolite yields
Microalgae constitute a complex and diverse group of microorganisms, with over 50,000 different species inhabiting a variety of environments on Earth.
This rich and underexplored biological diversity makes microalgae an exciting source for the biorefining of a vast array of high added-value biochemical compounds with practical application for the animal feed, human nutrition supplement, cosmetic, biomedical, biofertilisation or biofuel sectors.