Microalgae are a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms with topical relevance to Industrial Biotechnology, Biorefining and Bioenergy. They possess the potential for development as expression hosts and as a source of novel enzymes and metabolic pathways with biomanufacturing potential. Emerging areas of research in the field include developing a systems level understanding of microalgae metabolism and synthetic biology approaches towards the development of sustainable processes.

The 6th UK Algae conference “Algae Biotechnology - emerging opportunities and challenges”, organised by the Algae Biotechnology Sheffield network and the Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre at the University of Sheffield, will be a one day event that will focus on two themes: (a) Systems and Synthetic Biology approaches and their application in developing our understanding of algal metabolism, and (b) Advances in algal bioprocessing. 


abc logo


Keynote Speakers at this year's event


Dr. Chris Bowler, Institut de Biologie de l'École Normale Supérieure

Chris Bowler is Director of Research at CNRS and is Director of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section of the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He completed his PhD at the University of Ghent in Belgium followed by postdoctoral studies at The Rockefeller University in New York. In 1994 he established his own research group working on signaling in higher plants and marine diatoms at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples Italy and in 2002 he took up his current position in Paris. He is EMBO member since 1995, recipient of the CNRS Silver Medal in 2010, an ERC Advanced Award in 2012, and the Louis D Foundation prize from the Institut de France in 2015. His major research interest is in understanding the response of plants and marine diatoms to environmental signals. In marine diatoms he established molecular tools to assess gene function and he has played a major role in coordinating the whole genome sequencing of several species. Using functional genomics he has revealed the cellular response of diatoms to nutrients such as iron and nitrogen, to different wavelengths of light, and to allelopathic infochemicals. He is one of the scientific coordinators of the Tara Oceans project.


Dr. Vítor Verdelho, A4F - Algae for Future

A4F. Dr. Vítor Verdelho is President of EABA, European Algae Biomass Association, Board member and Chief Development Officer in A4F - Algae For Future, S.A. and President of Necton, S.A. He is graduated in Physics and has more than 20 years of experience in Microalgae Biotechnology. Has an extensive experience in developing and managing over 25 R & D projects in multiple national and international contexts. At A4F, Vitor Verdelho is presently coordinating the European Project BIOFAT and managing the participation of A4F in 6 other large European Projects, including DEMA, PUFA-CHAIN, D-FACTORY, PHOTO.COMM, ALFF and PHOTOFUEL.


Dr. Maria Barbosa, AlgaePark

Dr. Maria Barbosa is Associate Professor in Microalgae Biotechnology and is Director of AlgaePARC ( at Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering obtained at Wageningen University. She has worked at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Switzerland and at EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation), Germany.

She presently coordinates several large research programs with more than 50 industrial partners and 20 academic partners, covering the entire microalgae production chain
Her scientific interests are on microalgae strain improvement, cultivation and scale up


Prof. Beat Christen, ETH Zurich

Our research focuses on gaining systems-level insights into the cellular core networks of prokaryotic organism. We are developing broadly applicable systems and synthetic biology approaches that build on transposon sequencing based perturbation strategies to elucidate the entire set of essential genetic features encoded within bacteria genomes. In particular, we are working with two closely related alpha-proteobacterial species, the bacterial cell-cycle model organism Caulobacter crescentus and the nitrogen-fixing plant endo-symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti.

Our Sponsors

The 6th UK Algae Conference is kindly being sponsored by Phyconet, Varicon Aqua Solutions, Xanthella, CO2ChemStarLabNew England Biolabs and Algenuity




More text goes here.