Algal biodiversity – culturing, preservation and characterization of micro- and macroalgae for basic and applied research

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General information

Freshwater and marine micro- and macroalgae are of key importance as primary producers in aquatic environments, accounting for 25% of global primary production. In addition, there is increasing interest in algae as efficient producers of biomass bioproducts in biotechnology. Both the understanding of the ecological role of algae and their exploitation in biotechnology requires a deep understanding of algal physiology, life cycle regulation and life history strategies. The algal culturing course will help to train researchers from academia and industry in the theoretical and practical aspects of algal biodiversity and culturing.

The course aims to train researchers from academia and industry, in theoretical knowledge and practical skills for the establishment, characterization and maintenance of algal cultures in order to gain an advanced understanding of algal diversity, life cycle and physiology. The main focus of the course will be diatoms and seaweeds, but several other groups will be covered as well. The following main topics will be addressed by a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions:

  • sampling and isolation techniques (manually, using a micromanipulator, flow cytometry and cell sorter), establishment and purification of clonal cultures, axenisation techniques
  • preparation and sterilization of various culture media
  • strain characterization (morphology, microscopy and imaging techniques, DNA sequencing), pigments (spectrophotometry, HPLC)
  • strain preservation techniques (cryopreservation, serial transfer in liquid culture)
  • cell and life cycle characterisation and control (monitoring batch culture growth, crossing experiments, life cycle manipulation)
  • ecophysiology (growth rate determination, Pulse Amplitude Modulated fluorometry).
Learning outcome:

Advanced understanding and skills in algal cultivation, preservation and characterization.

Contact Person: Karolien Deprez (


Venue: Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium


Open from
12 Mar 2015 to 30 Jun 2015


PhD-students, UGent: 500 euros
Academics UGent (e.g. postdoctoral researchers): 1.000 euros
Academics non-UGent (PhD-students, postdoctoral researchers): 1.200 euros
Non-academics: 1.800 euros

Fee covers: enrollment, learning materials, field work and company visits, use of lab equipment, insurance.


This specialty course requires a basic understanding of phycology and protistology.

Application Procedure:

Application may be done online and must include a CV, a description of the research project(s) you are currently involved in, mentioning relevant experiences and competences (no more than one page). Finally a motivational letter (no more than one page) is expected, explaining what makes the course interesting to you and what you expect to gain from attending this course.

Registration is possible until June 30th 2015

Application contact:


Academic level: PhD, Lifelong Learning

ISCED Classification

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