Areas of expertise
Eva-Mari Aro is a professor of Plant Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku. She received the honorary title of Academician of Science in 2017 from the president of Finland and has served for fifteen years as an Academy Professor. Aro is a highly cited researcher and has published over 300 peer reviewed scientific papers, mostly on the structure and function of the photosynthetic apparatus and how to enhance photosynthesis for production of clean energy in order to replace the fossil fuels. Aro currently chairs both the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence (CoE) and the Nordic CoE NordAqua, and is a partner of an Australian (ARC) CoE on Plant Energy Biology. She has been a president of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. In 2018 Aro was invited as foreign fellow to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and is an honorary doctor of the Chinese Academy of Science, Umeå University and the University of Helsinki. Currently she is also a vice president of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).
Our applied research focuses on the production of carbon-neutral biosolarfuels and chemicals using cyanobacteria as a production chassis. In the synthetic biology program, we aim at production of fuels and chemicals with high photon conversion efficiency, significantly higher compared to natural pathways. The main goal is economically viable conversion of solar energy to a fuel using inexhaustible raw materials: sunlight, water and CO2. Applied research is intimately integrated with our basic research and comprises the designing, engineering and optimisation of light harvesting, electron transfer and metabolic pathways.