Prof. John G Day: Building the Algal Biotechnology Sector


AGB Seminar Room 3.01, Alexander Graham Bell Building


Friday, February 13, 2015 - 12:30

Title: Building the algal biotechnology sector
Speaker: Prof. John G Day, Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa, Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban
Time: 12.45 Talk starts

PIZZA from 12.30

Microalgae are not a simple group of microbes, in reality they have been unilaterally “lumped together” on the basis of their capacity to photosynthesise… They are from a phylogenetic, ecological or functional perspective a hugely diverse range of organisms and in comparison to conventional microorganisms employed in biotechnology, (classically well studied taxa including bacteria such as Escherichia coli and yeast including Saccharomyces cerevisiae), they are relatively poorly studied... It is this diversity and their capacity to photosynthesis that provides opportunities for biotechnological exploitation, but our lack of knowledge that presents additional challenges. However, we have had a phase of unparalleled R&D focussing on algae and are on the brink of a new biotechnological revolution with applications of algal-derived biological-resources as varied as new pharma, cosmoceuticals, nutraceuticals, functional foods and future biofuels. I will briefly outline  how the work at SAMS associated with Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP) is underpinning and driving the development of this rapidly expanding sector in the UK and internationally.

John G Day Biography:
My first degree was in microbiology at Dundee University, where I became interested in algal biotechnology. I subsequently worked on the excretion of metabolites by immobilized photo-autotrophs in Prof Geoff Codd’s lab (also at Dundee Univ.) for my PhD (1987). I subsequently worked in a Biotech start up and then at CEH Windermere. I am currently Head of the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP); an internationally important Biological Resource Centre located at SAMS (Oban) and I have a personal chair (2014) at UHI. I have wide ranging interests in algae and protozoa and current interests include: Biological Resource Centres (BRC), cryopreservation, cryoinjury, algal stress physiology, algal biotechnology, algal biofuels, bioremediation employing algae, the application of molecular method in culture collections, bioinformatics and networking.

Event Contact Name: 

Dr. Andrea Semiao

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