Algae in the UK
Below is a selection of institutes working on different aspects of algal biology. The information is from Algal Research in the UK, a report by Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley from InCrops for the BBSRC. The full list can be found in the report.
||bioactive natural products from marine organisms; deep time algal ecology; algal culture; isotope enrichment; fatty acid analysis; fate of algal material in marine ecosystems; oomycete-algae interactions|
|Aston||chemical engineering applied to bioenergy and biofuels; bioenergy, intermediate pyrolysis, gasification, biochar, algae|
|Bangor||biology, physics and economics large scale algal biomass/biofuels production|
||electrochemistry, solar energy conversion, materials chemistry, photo-microbial fuel cells|
||algal bioadhesion and biofouling; plant development and evolution; environmental toxicology; improved light delivery and photobioreactors|
||microalgal culture, physiological assessment, flow cytometry, metabolic stains|
||algal photosynthesis; impact of pesticides on biofilms; distribution patterns of macro and microalgae; UK expert diatom taxonomy; use of algae to assess ecological status; freshwater polar algal ecology; Polar microbiology, biogeochemistry, aquatic microbial ecology|
||molecular biology, biochemistry and evolution of biosynthetic pathways and photosynthesis in plants and algae, bioenergy; functional genomics tools (RNAi); algal-bacterial symbiosis; freshwater ecology, bioremediation; process engineering, carbon capture; biological physics, fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics; artificial photosynthesis, solar fuels; algal biophotovoltaics; molecular genetics of algae; eukaryotic flagellar dynamics and synchronization; colloidal physics; biological chemistry, microdroplets, microfluidics; engineering/chemical engineering and reactors; evolutionary paleobiology|
||productivity, photophysiology, coastal erosion and biostability; lipid biochemistry and molecular biology|
||environmental control, extraction of lipids and chemical components, enhanced growth|
||microbiology, biocatalysis; large scale production of biofuels, bioprocessing technology & innovation; outdoor offshore microalgae mass cultivation for biofuel production systems: productivity modelling and engineering; algae growth, harvesting and processing systems; environmental microbiology, biological processes|
||biophysics, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, evolution, environmental change; hydrogen and hydrogenases; molecular biology|
||cell biology of metals; lipid metabolism, DNA array, photosynthesis, enzymology, cyanobacteria gene regulation and transformation|
||functional genomics and reverse genetics, evolution, photosynthesis, lipids, cell division, growth, metatranscriptomics; microalgae: physiology, biochemistry, ecology; biological oceanography, some work on seaweeds; specialist interests in role of algae in global biogeochemical cycles; production of trace gases of atmospheric and climatic significance by marine micro- and macroalgae|
||experimental evolution in microalgae, microbial ecology in high CO2 environments; chemistry of the polysaccharides of charophytes in relation to early land plant phylogeny|
||photosynthetic energy conversion, microalgal culturing, environmental stress, nutrient requirements and limitation, algal proteomics, resource allocation strategies, phytoplankton ecology; ecophysiology of marine algae, production of trace gases; physiology and photosynthesis, chlorophyll a fluorescence, marine nutrient cycling and environmental change; photosynthesis, carbon allocation and production of extracellular products|
||lipid metabolism, primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism, antioxidant systems and reactive oxygen species|
||synthesis of bioactive marine natural products; behaviour of swimming algae; bioconvection; flow fields around individual swimming cells; effect of environmental stress on behaviour; biofuel production; intracellular dynamics; mathematical modelling; physics based experiments; reconstructing climate using coralline algae; marine biogeochemical cycling|
||bioremediation, integration of algal growth with AD|
Imperial College London
||water and wastewater treatment technologies; molecular biology and biochemistry of cyanobacteria, algae and chloroplasts with emphasis on photosynthesis and biofuels; environmental and economic assessment of algal biofuel systems; Life Cycle Analysis|
Kings College London
||natural products, molecular biology, bioinformatics|
||algae-based wastewater treatment in middle- and low-income countries; benthic geochemistry and ecology; biofuels and biorefinery, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), microwave processing, pyrolysis, upgrading of fuels, characterisation of fuels, nutrient recycling, combustion, emission behaviour; plant cell walls, polysaccharides|
||fluid dynamics; motility of micro-organisms|
Liverpool John Moores
||algal and nutrient relationships, algal ecology|
||diatom ecology and palaeoecology, biogeochemistry of silica, limnology|
|Manchester||atmospheric science, marine boundary layer chemistry, photochemistry, aerosol processes, aerosol-cloud interactions; metal accumulation and remediation, calcium signalling; molecular genetics; fermentation process development, biorefinery engineering; ultrasound standing wave cell filtration, concentration and destruction|
Marine Biological Association
||algal cell biology, phytoplankton molecular biology, algal development and signalling; isolation and culturing of marine microalgae; molecular biology, virology|
Natural History Museum
||ecology and diversity of cyanobacteria, phylogenetics; algal physiology, algal culturing, gene expression; algal systematics, phylogenetics, genomics and conservation; evolution, genomics, phylogenetics, gene transfer, endosymbiosis|
||chemical engineering, intensification of downstream processes; algae chemical signalling; chemical manipulation; growth and lipid production; bioactive metabolites; biogas; anaerobic digestion; harvesting and dewatering; offshore production; seaweed fibre rheology and human gut function; algal functional groups, intertidal macroalgal ecology, plant-animal interactions, algal defence mechanisms, release of CDOM by macroalgae|
||bacterial cell-cell signalling, quorum sensing, cross-talk; chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments, palaeolimnology, aquatic ecology; lichen ecology, nitrogen fixation in cyanobacterial lichens|
||isotopic fractionation in the calcareous nanoplankton; isotope geochemistry of algal biominerals and organic components; algal remains as tracers of past climate change; ecological and biogeochemical response to environmental change; chloroplast development; evolution of land plants; carbon acquisition by marine algae, geochemistry of calcite and silica produced by algae, Rubisco kinetics and CCM function, paleoclimate|
||macroalgal ecology, carbon sequestration, ocean acidification e.g. biophysics of photosynthesis; solar conversion efficiency|
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
||molecular biology, protein chemistry, drug discovery; marine environmental research, phytoplankton, algal, pigments, biotechnology; algal biochemistry and biotechnology; algal biochemistry and biotechnology; optics, photosynthesis, primary production, phytoplankton biology, remote sensing; algal molecular biology; algal virology; biofuel production; algae, algal viruses, bioprocessing, biocatalysis|
||biogeochemistry, algae-nutrient interactions; molecular ecology; population biology/genetics; marine ‘aliens’|
Queen Mary London
||cell biology, biophysics, regulation of photosynthesis, biogenesis and turnover|
||algal systematics, life histories, some applications; physiological ecology of marine algae; applications and aquaculture of seaweeds; economic exploitation of macroalgae; water movement and macroalgal growth|
||gut fermentation, health benefits of phytochemicals|
||lipid metabolism & metabolic engineering|
|Scottish Association for Marine Science||biological resources, algal biofuels, algal biotechnology, protistan cryopreservation, protozoan & algal culturing; algal diseases and pathogens, algal functional and environmental genomics; oomycete-algae interactions; biological resources, algal biofuels, algal biotechnology|
||photosynthesis and primary metabolism in diatoms; metabolic engineering; synthetic biology; systems biology; proteomics; bioreactor design, transport processes; enzymology, membrane assembly, spectroscopy; algal growth, physiology, biotechnology|
|Southampton (including National Oceanography Centre)||molecular biology of chloroplast development; photobiology; tetrapyrroles; algal biofuel, photosynthesis in marine systems, structure/evolution of photosynthetic enzymes; algal bloom control, marine taxonomy|
||fisheries; bioactive products; microalgal defence; bioinformatics, genomics, phylogeny; diatoms, coastal ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem function; coastal ecology and sediment dynamics|
|Stirling||evolutionary ecology, conservation biology; underwater optics, remote sensing, cyanobacteria|
||algal growth and nutrition (experimental and modelling); plankton predator-prey and hence biosecurity issues etc. (experimental and modelling); microalgal biomass production (esp PBRs); algal bioremediation; algal use in aquaculture; photo-bioreactor design; downstream processing of algal biomass; algal biotechnology and physiology; biochemical engineering, membrane filtration; bio-processing – microalgal harvesting, disruption & fractionation; microalgal physiology|
|Ulster||diatoms, lake processes & production|
University College London
||diatoms; ecology and palaeoecology; shallow lake and pond palaeolimnology, limnology; palaeoecology, diatoms, wetlands, lakes; algal biotechnology, genetic engineering, orgenelle biology, photosynthesis|
|Warwick||molecular ecology of marine picocyanobacteria and photosynthetic picoeukaryotes; niche adaptation mechanisms in marine picocyanobacteria; picocyanobacterial genomics and molecular biology; metal homeostasis in cyanobacteria and other organisms, in particular zinc; bio-analytical chemistry including elemental analysis and mass spectrometry; environmental microbiology, methylotrophy, trace gas metabolism|
West of England
||microbiology, microbial fuel cells, microbial volatiles, robotics; molecular biology, biochemistry|
|Westminster||microalgal life cycles; dinoflagellates; taxonomy (traditional and molecular); isolation and culturing|
|York||atmospheric chemistry, halogen chemistry, ocean-atmosphere interactions, macroalgal volatile emissions; mass spectrometry, separations, natural products, arsenic metabolism, algal polysaccharides; microwave pyrolysis, nanoparticles, mesoporous materials, polysaccharides, heterogeneous catalysis|
|Advanced Algal Technologies||Development of systems for efficient algal growth and integration of algal production systems with power plants and waste recycling systems|
|Agrofuel||Commercialises successful research and technology in the field of waste management and biodiesel production|
|Algaecytes||Uses unique algae technology in an integrated biorefining process to produce clean biofuels, clean water, high value food additives and to grow plants sustainably|
|Algenuity||Algenuity is a biotechnology research division of Spicer Consulting Limited, which brings together molecular biology with engineering, electronics, software and product development capabilities|
|Aquafuel||Production of glycerine from salt-water algae|
|Aragreen||Uses microalgae in waste water treatment and produce algae containing anti-oxidants, pigments and proteins for human and animal consumption|
|Enlightened Designs||Development of flat panel photobioreactors for efficient biomass production|
|GlycoMar||Discovery of valuable natural products from marine organisms, such as microalgae|
|InCrops||Enterprise hub offering business support and consultancy|
|New Horizons Global Ltd.||Uses fermentation technology on microalgae to produce an Omega-3 lipid|
Uses microbubble technology for harvesting algae
|PML Applications||Isolation of novel marine algae for applications in drug discovery, biocatalysis, healthcare and bio-energy|
|Scottish Bioenergy||Designs, installs and operates algal photobioreactor systems for carbon capture, wastewater treatment and biochemical production|
|SRSL||Specialist marine consultancy and survey services|
|Supreme Biotechnologies||Produces astaxanthin products from Haematococcus pluvialis cultivated in Nelson, New Zealand|
|Varicon Aqua Solutions Ltd.||Supplies tubular photobioreactors for research and industrial production of algal biomass, and supply algae nutrients for production of marine and freshwater algae species|
Manufactures a modular photobioreactor for production of algal oil
A variety of resources are available that may be of particular interest to phycologists and schools, and others of more general interest.
- Algal images can be obtained from AlgaeVision, a UK algal image database created by the British Phycological Society and the Natural History Museum, London. The database can aid in identification of algae and also contains useful information such as dimension and collection details.
- Algae World focuses on algae as part of the research and teaching programmes at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and also provides information on methods such as light microscopy.
- The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has created a coded list of freshwater algae of the British Isles, to help researchers wanting to collect and store information on freshwater and terrestrial algae in the British Isles, by providing a standard set of names and identifying codes.
- Algal strains can be obtained from the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) and the Plymouth Culture Collection of Marine Algae.
- Science and Plants for Schools provides teaching resources, such as this secondary school practical demonstrating photosynthesis with algal balls.
- Meet the algae: diversity, biology and energy is a Key Stage 4 resource from the Royal Society, and includes information on how to perform algae chromatography.
- The British Ecological Society provides educational resources that include "Blooming algae", a lab-based activity investigating the effect of phosphorous and nitrogen on the growth of algae.
- The Biology and Biotechnology Sciences Research Council organises activities to engage young people with the science and issues surrounding algal biofuels. Activities include algal culture and chromatography and assessing the rate of photosynthesis.
- Algae: a Practical Resource for Secondary Schools is a Society for General Microbiology publication, and supports the teaching of practical microbiology at Key Stage 3/4.
- The makebiofuel website provides useful information about how algae is grown, the fermentation process to produce bioethanol, and how to make biodiesel at home.
- See the Institute of Science in Society report: Green Algae for Carbon Capture & Biodiesel for information on using algae to make biodiesel.
- Visit Planet Earth Online, a web magazine from the National Environment Research Council aimed at non-specialists with an interest in environmental science, for articles such as "Algae cultivation could boost UK industry".
- Read about the Renewable Energy Strategy, an integral part of the Government’s overall UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, with information about the potential of algae energy.
- News from the Guardian's green technology correspondent about the Carbon Trust's project to develop transport fuels made from algae by 2020.