1. When was the first time you got involved with seaweeds and why?
On a professional level, I got in contact with seaweeds already during my undergraduate studies during a lecture on primary producers of our oceans. Especially the underwater forests cought my attention. I was fascinated by the seaweed diversity and their provision of ultimately important ecosystem services. Since then algae and especially seaweeds have become my study and research focus and I am still fascinated by them everyday.
2. What is your view on the European seaweed industry in 2030?
EU´s Blue Economy, and therewith the seaweed industry, is rapidly growing and expanding - which I personally see as a great step towards a more sustainable future. We have however learned from humanites past, especially during the Green Revolution of the past century, that we have strongly over-exploited our valuable ecosystems. I am convinced that with a solid research basis, that supports maintaining healthy ecosystems, we can sustainably use our oceans by applying a circular seaweed aquaculture.
3. What will you be talking about at Seagriculture EU 2023?
I am happy to take a deep dive with the audience into the cultivation of sea lettuces in the Northern Hemisphere. Due to the multi-applicable usage as renewable resource, there is a rapidly growing interest in efficient production technologies to foster a large-scale industrial production of Ulva biomass. My talk will focus on the state-of-the-art research frontier of Ulva aquaculture technologies in the Northern Hemisphere with an emphasise on large-scale oceanic cultivation and the subsequent downstream application of the biomass.