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 sixteen years as an Academy Professor. Aro is a highly cited researcher and has published over 350 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 has been chairing during the years 2008-2019 two subsequent Academy of Finland Center of Excellences (CoE) and is a partner of an Australian CoE (ARC) on Plant Energy Biology. Aro is currently involved in a Nordic CoE “NordAqua” project (2017-2022) with nine other partners from Nordic counties, which she chaired for the first triennial and is now continuing as a vice-chair for the second triennial. 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
Aro has had many research- and science policy-related national
and international duties of trust and has served in the board/search
committee for the Millenium Prize and the Körber European science prize. Aro has been a board member in European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) from 2014 and then vice-chair for the years 2017-2019. She has also been a president of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research (ISPR) and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.
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.