Strong JCU presence at algae conference
First published 5 July 2012
James Cook University will be sending an eight-strong team of delegates to the 8th Asia-Pacific Conference on Algal Biotechnology in Adelaide next week.
More than 300 representatives from 27 countries around the world will attend the conference, which is being hosted by Flinders University.
Held from 9-12 July at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the Algae for the Future Conference will present ideas and advancements in the various fields of algal research, including new fuel sources, medicines, aquaculture and nutritional products, environmental management and remediation of polluted sites.
Delegates will take part in a series of scientific forums, workshops, site tours and trade shows, with a highlight of the program including seminars by keynote speakers from the San Diego Centre for Algae Biotechnology, the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and the University of Dundee in the UK.
JCU’s Faculty of Science and Engineering is a gold sponsor of the conference and Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann will lead the North Queensland contingent.
Associate Professor Heimann, who is also on the organising committee for the conference, will give an overview on her ground-breaking algae research during the event.
“JCU’s microalgal research program together with the macroalgal research program and the methane vent emission program have generated $50 million in five years and has grown from two people to more than 60 in the same timeframe,” she said.
“It is the largest industry and federal and state government-funded algal biotechnology research and development project in Australia.”
“At the conference, we will be presenting results of the microalgal biotechnology and environmental application program.”
Other JCU staff and students will also be presenting their contributions to the program.
Roger Huerlimann, a PhD student will present his research outcome on the lipid biosynthesis pathway and how this knowledge can be utilised for specific strain selection for specific end products - omega-3 fatty acids and renewable biofuel.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Marie Magnusson will talk about the biochemical profiling research she supervised in JCU’s microalgal project.
Kate Stookey and Megan Kent will present their research on contamination control for industrial-scale microalgal cultivation.
Masters student Nicolas von Alvensleben will present his research on microalgal nutrient requirements and the use of salinity for contamination control in outdoor cultivation systems.
Martino Malerba, a PhD student, will talk about the model he developed for predicting nitrate uptake and nitrite dynamics. Both are nutrients that supply the algae with nitrogen for growth.
Muhammad Islam, a QUT PhD student who Associate Professor Heimann supervises, will be presenting his research on how the fatty acid profile can be used to predict microalgal biodiesel properties.
For more details about the conference go to www.sapmea.asn.au/apcab2012
For more information, or interviews/photos, contact Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann on tel: 4781 5795 or 0422 208 577
JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175