Sophie Steinhagen receives royal grant for research about sustainable seaweed cultivation
Sophie Steinhagen has received a grant from the King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Fund for Science, Technology and Environment to develop her research about sustainable seaweed cultivation in Sweden.
“For me, this award not only means that my research on seaweeds is recognized and appreciated but that there is an important trend reversal towards industrially usable but yet sustainable resources, which is gaining more and more approval in our society,” says Sophie Steinhagen, researcher at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Support a sustainable Blue Economy
Sophie Steinhagen’s research focuses on the sustainable exploitation of seaweeds as future resource by mapping their diversity in the Northern Hemisphere and by investigating their high-value compounds and cultivation ability.
“I want to on the one hand side protect our ocean´s biodiversity and on the other side support a sustainable future Blue Economy. Whereas the last century was about industrialization and exploitation of resources to support the best possible progress, humanity starts to learn that our ecosystems and especially our oceans provide invaluable services that need to be protected,” says Sophie Steinhagen.
Large-scale cultivation of sea lettuces
In her current project, Sophie Steinhagen has put emphasize on investigating the large-scale cultivation of sea lettuces (Ulva sp.) in so called ‘seafarms’ in the open ocean at the Swedish west coast. The grant allows her to expand her studies to species that are predominantly growing in the Baltic Sea area.
“I will investigate their biodiversity and their species-specific cultivability, which will help us to understand the biodiversity status and their potential future usage as renewable resource,” says Sophie Steinhagen.
Text: Annika Wall
Sophie Steinhagen receives a grant for the research project Sustainable seaweed cultivation in Sweden - diversity status and optimal cultivation conditions.
King Carl XVI Gustaf 50th Anniversary Fund for Science, Technology and Environment was founded in 1996 to celebrate the Swedish King's 50th birthday.
The purpose was to promote research, technological development and enterprise that would contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and the maintenance of biodiversity.