Applied Phycology

Course content

This course introduces the ecological and economic significance of algae. The underlying principles of algal growth and their response to light, temperature and nutrients are examined, and students carry out growth experiments with algae in test tubes and examine the theory all the way through to large scale outdoor raceways. The potential of algae to provide raw material for the biotech industry are reviewed, including up-scaling, growth in bioreactors, screening for compounds of industrial interest. The students carry out projects in small groups within e.g. the topics seaweed cultivation and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems, the principles in large-scale cultivation of seaweed species, seaweeds as bioremediation organisms (nutrient up-take, growth rates etc.), harmful effects of algae and means of mitigation, algae for biofuel, microalgae for food, use of algae in nanotechnology, high value products from algae.


MSc Programme in Biology
MSc programme in Biology-Biotechnology

Learning outcome


  • Describe the ecological and economic significance of algae
  • Present the diversity of algae with focus on applied potential



  • Select organisms within the different groups of algae according to their group specific potential for industrial use.
  • Set up and carry out growth experiments with microalgae.
  • Select and grow algae for use in aquaculture and other applications



  • Determine and apply the optimal conditions for culturing algae regarding nutrients, light, temperature, salinity, pH etc.
  • Evaluate adequate technological approaches (from test tubes to outdoor raceways) for mass-cultivation of algae for industrial usage.
  • Discuss strengths and potential weaknesses in proposed biotechnological utilizations of algae.

Practical or theoretical projects in small groups
Practical exercises in isolation and growth of microalgae
Lectures and class exercises
Written reports with written feed-back
Optional exursion

Original peer-review articles, changing from year to year. Further information will be available on Absalon.

Background in biology, biotechnology, environmental sciences or aquatic sciences

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
The evaluation is based on three reports of approximately 5 pages each. Overall assessment.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to pass the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 14
  • Practical exercises
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 52
  • Excursions
  • 5
  • Preparation
  • 115
  • English
  • 206