Erik Chovancek profile picture
Erik
Chovancek
Molecular Plant Biology
Postdoctoral Researcher, Molecular Plant Biology, PhD.
Phenotypic characterization of biostimulant effects of extracts derived from Nordic microalgal strains cultivated in hydroponic effluents.

Areas of expertise

Phenotypic characterization and evaluation of plant traits
Responses of plant physiology and photosynthetic denominators to abiotic stressors

Biography

Dr. Erik Chovancek completed his academic studies at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. He acquired a bachelor`s degree in Applied Biology (2013) and a master`s degree in Plant Physiology (2017). The topic of his doctoral research was `Evaluation of physiological traits and environmental plasticity of genetic resources of wheat using phenomic approaches` (2017-2020). During his studies, he broadened his expertise and knowledge in Plant Molecular Biology while staying in different research groups; at the University of Helsinki, Shandong Agricultural University (China), and the University of Münster (Germany).

Research

In the current research, we are screening, selecting, and characterizing a set of microalgal strains from the Nordaqua collection for potential stimulating effects on plant growth and development. Biostimulants present a unique opportunity for a sustainable alternative in agroindustry. Comprising a wide range of compounds, biostimulants can promote plant growth, optimize nutrient uptake, and support plant tolerance to abiotic stress factors. Algae are an extensively studied source of biofertilzers, biostimulants, and biopesticides alike. We aim to develop a novel biostimulant formulation as a product of microalgal strains cultivated in the otherwise environmentally detrimental greenhouse effluents, and thus lay ground for a sustainable and scalable appliance of a circular economy loop model.