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Gill Malin is President of the British Phycological Society

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Gill Malin, President of the Council of the British Phycological Society (BPS).

Gill Malin is President of the British Phycological Society

Gill Malin, M-KEN Director of Marine Biology, has recently been appointed President of the Council of the British Phycological Society (BPS).

BPS was established in 1952 as a charity devoted to all aspects of the study of algae. It was one of the first phycological societies to be set up worldwide and, despite its name, it has an international membership. It is the largest in the Federation of European Phycological Societies and a member society of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEPS) and the Royal Society of Biology.

BPS has annual membership rates as low as £10 and a corporate membership rate of £100 – please do join if you already use algae for your work! The society has an annual meeting, publishes the European Journal of Phycology and members can apply to various funding schemes as well as those of FEPS.

Gill did her PhD on an unusual nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium at the University of Liverpool and then won a 2-year NERC Fellowship to work on cyanobacterial chemotaxis at the University of Bristol. Her first job at UEA was an 8-month contract between leaving Bristol and a postdoc at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA, but she returned to UEA and after a series of postdocs, was awarded two 5-year term NERC Advanced Fellowships in succession that led to her current position as a reader in Biological Oceanography and ELSA theme leader for Elemental Cycles

The algae, an amazingly diverse group that includes microalgae and seaweeds, have remained a focus throughout Gill’s career. She is interested in how the growth and physiology of phytoplankton populations are influenced by the environment and how they, in turn, affect the environment e.g. through the production of dimethyl sulphide, halogenated trace gases and hydrocarbons such as ethene and isoprene.

Through these interests Gill’s research has also reached into other related topics such as air-sea gas exchange, global biogeochemical cycles, phytoplankton growth rates, the size spectrum of phytoplankton populations, grazing, viral lysis and natural cell death processes and marine dissolved organic matter. Gill also applies her expertise to ‘algal exploitation’: the sustainable production of algal biomass for commercial purposes.

This research area has gained attention largely due to the potential algae offer for the production of biofuels, but algae can also be used for food, food additives and supplements, salt replacement, waste water treatment, pigments, a source of silica, feedstocks for chemical and pharmaceutical industries and even bio-batteries, paper, textiles and furniture manufacture. With this in mind Gill is working on a Newton project that is looking at the potential for offshore seaweed farming in the UK and Malaysia. If you need advice on microalgae or seaweeds, or want to harness the potential of algae for your organisation or business please do get in touch

Posted by on Mon, 30 Oct 2017

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