Content

Meet the Team

Adrian Higson image

Staff Spotlight

Adrian Higson
Project Collaborator

Read More...
Catharine Jones image

Staff Spotlight

Catharine Jones
Publicity Officer

Read More...
Chris De Visser image

Staff Spotlight

Chris De Visser
Business Unit Manager / Business Development

Read More...
Chrystelle Verhoest image

Staff Spotlight

Chrystelle Verhoest
Project Collaborator

Read More...
Dr Carole Llewllyn image

Staff Spotlight

Dr Carole Llewllyn
Scientific Staff Member

Read More...
Dr Efthalia Arvaniti image

Staff Spotlight

Dr Efthalia Arvaniti
Project Collaborator

Read More...
Dr Kevin Flynn image

Staff Spotlight

Dr Kevin Flynn
Scientific Staff Member

Read More...
Dr Peter Schiener image

Staff Spotlight

Dr Peter Schiener

Read More...
Franziska Kugler image

Staff Spotlight

Franziska Kugler
Scientific Staff Member

Read More...
Karen Mooney image

Staff Spotlight

Karen Mooney
QUB Project Manager

Read More...
Shaun Richardson image

Staff Spotlight

Shaun Richardson
Project Co-ordinator

Read More...
Sofie Van Den Hende image

Staff Spotlight

Sofie Van Den Hende
Project Collaborator

Read More...

What’s your main role within the EnAlgae project?

Together with my Howest colleagues Han and Veerle, I keep an inventory of pilot reactors in Belgium. I also help design and operate our own micro-algae pilot reactor, and I additionally contribute by sharing data and developing standard operation procedures and best practice.

 

What were you doing before you joined the project?

I have always loved working with plants. In 1999, I graduated as a bio-engineer in agricultural plant production at University Ghent and then went to Thailand for my master’s thesis on cryopreservation of Thai banana cultivars. Afterwards, I mainly worked on agroforestry, permaculture design, teaching and soil erosion control in Belgium, Ecuador and Australia. A lot of variety, but always some plant production involved! At the end of 2008, I started my PhD on micro-plants: micro-algae. I’ve also been teaching integrated water policy, ecology, lab chemistry and applied environmental science at University College West-Flanders to master’s and bachelor students of industrial engineering.  For my PhD research, I’ve been focusing on wastewater and flue gas treatment in microalgal bacterial flocs (MaB-flocs) reactors on lab scale. I’m very grateful that within the EnAlgae project, and with financial support of the Flemish Government, Province West-Flanders, it will be possible to test this MaB-floc technology outdoors at several agro-industrial sites.

 

Why are you interesting in EnAlgae?

The project presents an excellent and unique opportunity to collaborate with a large community of EnAlgae colleagues, plus local and international stakeholders. We also have the chance to carry out innovative work such as testing the MaB-floc reactors on pilot scale at an outdoors site with real flue gas. We are also supported in communicating our work by presenting project results at ‘info sessions’ and organising algae field trips.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I’m helping with the construction and launch of the MaB-floc pre-pilot (400 litres) and pilot reactor (12,000 litres), including data-logging. Next to this, together with Veerle, I’m growing  MaB-floc inoculum for these reactors, working on a MaB-floc harvesting system.

 

Tell us something else about yourself:

I grow food in my garden according to permaculture design rules. I also enjoy preparing food in the kitchen, including algaenever, an algae spirit drink; seawead curry; spirulina tagliatelli and even algae cup cakes! When I have time I like to go running around the lake ‘The Gavers’ or I go bouldering. 

There is a famous quote that ‘the earth without art is just... eh.’ It’s interesting that ART also stands for algae research and technology - for me, the earth without algae research and technology would be ‘eh’!