University of Turku

Prof. Eva-Mari Aro

She is a professor of Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Turku. Prof. Aro has served as an Academy Professor for 15 years, and in 2017 was awarded an honour of Academician by the President of Finland. Her research focuses on biophysics, biochemistry, molecular and systems biology of the natural water-splitting photosynthesis, and on biotechnology in applying photosynthetic principles towards production of sustainable fuels and chemicals in cyanobacteria cell factories. Prof. Aro is chairing the Finnish CoE (Center of Excellence), the Nordic CoE, is a partner of an Australian (ARC) CoE and has acted as a coordinator or member of several EU and Nordic research networks related to photosynthesis research and related applications. In 2004-2010 she served the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR) as a president and past president. Prof. Aro is a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and has served the Academy as a vice president and president. She was elected a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2018. She serves as a vice president of the European Academies of Sciences Advisory Council (EASAC), which focuses on science based advice for decision making in EU Commission and Parliament. Other research- and science policy-related national and international duties of trust include a service in boards of the Millennium Prize and the Körber European science prize, and the SABs of Max Planck Institute (Golm) and The Dutch Government Program “BioSolarCells”.

Assoc. Prof. Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne

She studied Biology at the Baku State University. She has spent two years (2000-2002) in the Institute of Plant Biology, Szeged, Hungary as UNESCO and ITC fellow. She obtained her PhD in Biophysics of Photosynthesis in 2002. In 2002 she joined the Molecular Plant Biology group at the University of Turku. She is presently an Associate Professor in Microalgae Photosynthesis in Basic and Applied Research (tenure track) and was awarded a Docentship in Bioenergetics in 2009. She is acting as Principal Investigator of the Photosynthetic microbes group. She is co-chair of NordAqua Nordic Centre of Excellence and expert in algae/cyanobacteria research, including wastewater treatment and biofuel production.

Assist. Prof. Pauli Kallio

He completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Turku (UTU), with the key emphasis on in vitro enzymology and pathway engineering in prokaryotes. In 2012 Kallio moved to Molecular Plant Biology, and has focused since on cyanobacterial engineering and characterization. Kallio has acquired a tenure track Assistant Professorship in Synthetic Biology of Photosynthetic Organisms and a Docentship in Synthetic Biology, and is responsible for supervising the group Synthetic Biology of Cyanobacteria. He is the UTU representative in the Board of Industrial Biotechnology Cluster Finland (IBC), and a member of the Faculty Board (Faculty of Science and Engineering).

Dr. Sergey Kosourov

Senior Scientist, received his PhD in Plant Physiology from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2000. He was hired two times by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory DoE, USA as a Post-doctoral researcher in 2000-2003 and as an Associate researcher in 2006-2009. He also worked as a senior (2003-2006) and then as a leading researcher (2009-2013) in the Institute of Basic Biological Problems RAS, Russia. In 2011, he was qualified by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education as an expert in biological hydrogen production. Since 2013, he has been working in the Molecular Plant Biology group at the University of Turku. His current research is focused on biofuel production by microalgae and development of thin-layer immobilization approaches. He is also an expert in photobioreactor design and operation.