Trending Research published by Dr Carole Llewellyn

Taylor & Francis selected as a highlight a review published by Dr Carole Llewellyn (AlgaeWales team member) in the European Journal of Phycology on Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers.

The article is now trending and reviews the diverse beneficial impacts of cyanobacterial metabolites and emphasize on the many oppurtinuties to use these high value products in cosmetics which is a booming industry for the use of Algae.

You can read the full article here

Abstract :

The recognition that ultraviolet radiation has harmful effects on the skin has led to the commercial development of inorganic and synthetic organic UV filters that can reduce the negative effects of exposure to sunlight. In addition, moisturizing chemicals are extensively used in personal care products to improve the ability of skin to retain water. Whilst current UV filter and moisturizing chemicals have clear beneficial qualities, they may also have adverse effects such as contact sensitivity, oestrogenicity and even tumorigenic effects on human skin. Furthermore, the accumulation of these chemicals in the aquatic environment could be potentially harmful. Consequently, there is interest in exploiting safer alternatives derived from biological sources, especially from photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria which have developed mechanisms for coping with high UV irradiation and desiccation. In order to overcome the detrimental effects of UV radiation, these microorganisms produce UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin, which are good candidates as alternatives to current synthetic UV filters. In addition, extracellular substances produced by some extremophilic species living in hyper-arid habitats have a high water retention capacity and could be used in cosmetic products as moisturizers. In this review, we present an overview of the literature describing the potential of cyanobacterial metabolites as an alternative source for sunscreens and moisturizers.

Upcoming course on collecting and identifying seaweeds

The British Phycological Society in association with the Marine Biological Association of the UK will be running a COURSE on COLLECTING AND IDENTIFYING SEAWEEDS. 

The course will take place in the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth from the 25th to 27th April 2017. The course will cover several key topics including:

  • Water Framework Directive Species Identification
  • Preserving seaweeds for a variety of different purposes
  • Making a herbarium with necessary notes
  • Preparing specimens for DNA extraction and analysis techniques
  • Culture of seaweeds for research purposes

For more information and Application forms, please click here

Fees are payable in advance (before January 31st 2017) to MarineSeen.

PhycoPigments: Novel manufacturing methods for high value pigments products from microalgae

PhycoPigment is a collaboration of academics and industry in UK :Dr Alla SilkinaDr Claudio Fuentes Grunewald, Dr Carole Llewellyn (Swansea University) and Membranology Ltd with Mexico partners (INECOL, Tecnológico de Monterrey and ALTESO) that aims to develop novel production-process technologies for a range of high value protein based water soluble pigments from microalgae from laboratory up to demonstration. The resultant materials produced would be of sufficient quantities to allow for testing and assessment as a high-quality additive for food and other pharmaceutical applications. This will involve investigating microalgae production methods in a range of photobioreactors with innovative enhanced induction processes. Novel environmentally friendly extraction and purification procedures will be developed based on the use of scalable membrane technology to increase the value of the products. The sterile final products will be as natural additives in a range of foods, beverages, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. The resultant demonstration scale process will be evaluated for its economic, social and environmental benefits as applied in Mexico and the UK and will be a firm foundation for impact in the longer term. The 2 years (2016-2018) project is sponsored by Innovate UK and CONACYT under the Newton Mexico fund.

Algaewales at the BPS Winter Meeting

AlgaeWales team members represented Swansea University at the British Phycology Society Winter meeting organised at Bangor University on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January.

The conference was the oppurtunity for Algaewales to present the diversity of its research thanks to 3 oral presentations and 1 poster presentation : wp_20170112_13_50_23_pro

Alla Silkina : “An algal-bacteria consortium for successful waste remediation and probiotic effect for aquaculture feeding”

Fleuriane Fernandes : “Use of FTIR spectrophotometry to monitor post-harvest treatments in seaweeds for enhancement of macromolecular composition”

Kevin Flynn : “A new paradigm for marine planktonic primary production”

Jessica Knoop : “Seasonal observation of life history stages and population dynamics of the red alga Porphyra dioica in South Wales”

Grants available for algae research students

Applications for the Paul C. Silva Student Grants are due December 31, 2016!

These grants support graduate students attending meetings or
performing research on algae. Details can be found on the IPS webpage.
More info can be found International Phycological Society

Short course on Plant Taxonomy including macroalgae

The Natural History Museum will be running a 5 day course on macroalgae taxonomy, from the 6 – 10th of March, 2017.

<!– The course is available to environmental science researchers and PhD students. There are 24 spaces available, and priority will be given to those with NERC funding.

For further information click here

Featured image by G. Horeau

Algae-bacteria cultivation trial in PBR

A new experimental trial will start today growing Nannochloropsis oculata with a probiotic bacteria in 600L Photobioreactor. The aim of this study to scale the algal bacteria culture. To see how the presence of bacteria stabilise the algal culture and increase probiotic properties. This experiment is developed by Shariza Azizan, Commonwealth PhD fellow from University Putra Malaysia (Malaysia) with Help of Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald  and Alla Silkina.


AlgaeWales on BBC Radio Wales

AlgaeWales Team members Fleuriane Fernandes and Alla Silkina have been interviewed for the show Country Focus aired on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the benefits of growing seaweeds in Wales, using as an example the seaweed farm set up in Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven Port Authority.

The interview was carried out on the seaweed farm set up in Pembrokeshire and is available on BBC iPlayer

International Workshop on Trait-based Approaches to Ocean Life

The 3rd International Workshop on trait-based approaches to Ocean life will be hosted by the Hjort Centre for Marine Ecosystem Dynamics in Bergen, Norway on the 20-23rd of August 2017.

Objectives of the workshop:

  • Assess and continue the development of trait-based approaches in different fields of ecology and marine science,
  • Facilitate cross-fertilization of ideas and progress between marine, terrestrial and limnology-based researchers and students,
  • Use a novel, collaborative format to identify core emerging questions and issues relevant to the use of trait-based approaches,
  • Point out how these methods can be utilized to better understand marine ecosystem functioning and as a framework for marine ecosystem modelling

You can find all the information regarding the workshop and registration here

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