Erik Chovancek profile picture
Molecular Plant Biology
Postdoctoral Researcher, Molecular Plant Biology, PhD.
Identification of microalgae with plant biostimulant potential and the underlying molecular mechanisms

Areas of expertise

Characterization and evaluation of plant traits by omics approaches
Plant physiology
Crop science


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 (Hons) in Plant Sciences (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 while staying in different research groups - at the University of Helsinki, Shandong Agricultural University (China), and the University of Münster (Germany). He joined the PhotoMicrobes group at the University of Turku as a postdoctoral researcher in 2021. He established a phenotyping pipeline for screening microalgae for plant biostimulant effects and designed a stepwise microalgae processing method for increased stimulatory effects.


In the current research, I am developing a plant biostimulant formulation from suitable microalgae. I have screened several microalgal strains from the NORCCA collection for stimulating effects on plant growth and development and I have designed a stepwise biomass extraction process that rendered extract with 30 % plant root stimulation. A credible biostimulant presents a unique opportunity for reducing fertilizer overuse in agroindustry. Therefore, I want to describe the biostimulant`s mode of action by utilizing a state-of-the-art multi-omics approach. Eventually, the stimulant will be produced from a microalgal culture cultivated in the otherwise environmentally detrimental greenhouse wastewater, and this will lay the ground for a sustainable and circular greenhouse model.


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