Professor Carole Llewellyn’s interests are in microalgae and cyanobacteria; how they function in their natural environment especially in relation to photophysiology. She is also interested in how algae can be used to help tackle society’s big challenges. These big challenges relate to climate change, human health, bioenergy, food-security, aquaculture, waste-water and pollution bioremediation, industrial biotechnology and the circular economy.
Her early research focused on the study of chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments to understand phytoplankton community composition and function in relation to the carbon cycle and climate change. From this she developed an interest in algal biotechnology using her knowledge on microalgal carotenoids and UV sunscreen compounds working with industry to develop personal care products for anti-aging and cosmetics.
This has led to her wider interest in understanding metabolism in microalgae and large scale cultivation of microalgae for industrially useful products including for food and for sustainable chemicals to replace existing petroleum based chemicals.
She has led a number of projects funded by the Research Councils, Innovate-UK and Europe often working with industry to develop sustainable solutions using microalgae. She currently leads on the EU Interreg North West Europe ALG-AD project (ALG-AD) developing the circular economy linking using waste from the anaerobic digestion of food and farm waste to cultivate algae for animal feed and high value products.
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