Dr. Dagmar Stengel
National University of Ireland Galway
Dr Stengel is a Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator at the National University of Ireland Galway, with over 25 year experience in algal research. She is Head of Discipline of Botany and Plant Science at NUI Galway, leads the research theme ‘Algal BioSciences’, and serves as Secretary of the European Federation of Phycological Societies. Her research interests include the sustainable utilisation of natural seaweed resources and the optimised cultivation of macro- and microalgal biomass for the production of high value compounds with applications in specific sectors including marine-derived foods/ingredients. She has long-standing experience in the assessment of environmental impacts and stressors on algal biology, productivity and composition (ecophysiology). She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, over 200 conference contributions and has received multiple invitations as keynote speaker at international conferences. She recently edited a book on ‘Natural Products from Marine Algae’ published by Springer and is currently engaged in several algal research projects funded by national and European sources, ranging from seaweed resource assessment methodologies to novel extraction technologies for algal compounds with marine biotechnological applications.
Algae as a sustainable source of high value products
Recent years have seen a considerable international interest in the potential utilisation of algae, both microalgae and seaweeds, in a range of industries such as the food and feed, agri/horticultural and cosmetics and health sectors, amongst others. This increase has been accompanied by a global surge in algal research activity. Despite this recent increase in awareness and scientific progress, several obstacles remain that currently limit the use of algae in the multiple and diverse applications that have shown significant potential. This presentation will provide an overview of the current and potential future applications of algae in food/feed and health, and other developing biotechnology sectors. It will address some of the current research activities filling existing knowledge gaps including sustainable resource assessment methodologies, the quantification natural variability in algal biomass, and the potential (and limitations) of algal cultivation, and discuss remaining challenges.