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Algal Biology Lab (ALGOLAB)

The Laboratory of Algal Biology deals with the study of growth, biochemical composition and eco-physiology of microalgae isolated from the environment and cultivated on a small scale in culture rooms, medium-scale photobioreactors and open ponds.

The laboratory owns a large collection of species of microalgae, from different taxonomic groups (Bacillariophyceae, Dinophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Haptophyceae, Raphidophyceae, Eustigmatophyceae), and cyanobacteria, and carries out studies concerning both environmental issues that biotechnology applications of these organisms.

Lines of research

  • Studies on harmful marine microalgae, namely producing Bloom, biotoxins or mucilage, with direct or indirect severe effects on the environment and on biota. Target of investigation is the characterization of the growth parameters and environmental factors (biotic and abiotic) that affect the production of harmful molecules, the trigger mechanisms for the initiation of algal bloom and synergistic or competitive interactions with other organisms.
  • Characterisation of the growth of microalgae in wastewater and evaluation of the capabilities of removing nitrogen compounds and phosphates.
  • Characterization of algal strains by: quantitative analysis of cellular components (proteins, polysaccharides, lipids, toxins, antioxidants), physiological responses to light (photosynthetic efficiency curves and P / E) and nutrients (kinetics of uptake).
  • Study of the effect of pollutants (eg. heavy metals, antibiotics, herbicides) on growth and physiological responses of microalgae. Studies on algae and cyanobacteria exposed to different environmental conditions (light, nutrients, salinity, temperature, CO2) designed to evaluate the growth and the production of metabolites with industrial applications.
  • Environmental assessment of natural basins (freshwater, saltwater and transition) by: floristic characterization of natural samples, evaluation of the presence of indicator species and / or identification of anomalous successions. 


Rossella Pistocchi
Laura Pezzolesi
Franca Guerrini


Rossella Pistocchi

Associate Professor

Via S. Alberto 163, 48121 Ravenna

+39 0544 937376

+39 0544 937411

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