The Blue Growth Research Lab studies how we interact with the ocean and how this affects our health and wellbeing. Our research crosses the boudaries of disciplines through collaboration across facutly and university borders. Our key research themes are briefly described below.
Our oceans and seas are a source of biodiscovery. Currently, more than 18000 natural products have been discovered and extracted from marine environments. These natural products are molecules produced by the wide variety of organisms in the marine environment including microbes, algae and jellyfish. The applications are universal, from human health to agriculture and biofuel. Our lab focusses on potential human health application of marine genetic resources, including sea spray aerosols.
Marine pollution & human health
Oceans and seas face tremendous pollution challenges. At the Blue Growth Lab, we study how marine pollution may impact environmental and human health. We use invertebrate model organisms and in vitro models for vertebrates in combination with state-of-the-art molecular and cellular assays. Our current reseach projects focus on the environmental impact and human health effects of micro- and nanoplastics as well as chemical munition dump sites.
Nanopore sequencing in marine research
Sequencing technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Our lab uses nanopore sequencing technology for fast and real-time analysis of DNA and RNA molecules in the field. We focus on applying this technology in marine environmental and ecological research.
Epigenetics & human and environmental health
Our epigenome refers to all chemical modifications added to our DNA. Unlike our DNA, the epigenome changes throughout our lifetime due to lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of these epigenome changes can be passed on to future generations, long after the initial exposure. At the blue growth lab, we study which environmental factors contribute to changes in our epigenome and how this may affect human and environmental health.