Algological Research Laboratory (ALGOLAB)


Enclosed Ecosystem Platform

Parent institution: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Active since 2018
Active through

Co-located with

  • ICOS
  • LTER

Fields of study

  • Environmental sciences, Pollution
  • Limnology
  • Other

Contact Information

Ojala, Anne

The aim is to get ecologically and also bio-economically relevant information on performance of microalgae in relation to different environmental drivers and on their omics as well as high value metabolites. After getting a large scale growth facility, the lab has been fully operational since summer 2018.

The Location

Country: Finland

Latitude: 60.9949

Longitude: 25.6583

Nearest town: Lahti

Distance from neaerst town: km

Relevant Research Questions

Investigation of global change effects on aquatic ecosystems, particularly on primary production, i.e. uptake of CO2 of microalgae of northern origin, as well as the role and strength of aquatic carbon sinks. Changes in inorganic carbon content in water is also investigated. 


Pure and applied algology integrated in purpose built facilities, connected with a well-equipped analytical laboratory, where e.g. FA analyses are easy to carry out. Wide range of culturing volumes, i.e. from tens of mL to 500 liters.


Facilities relocated and thus, use of space is now more efficient. More lab technicians would be welcomed.

Experimental Capabilities

Experimental Facilities

This service provides facilities for pure and applied studies on microalgae in different scales. Several growth chambers and a pilot plant unit available

Experiments duration: Months, Weeks;

Experimental Aerea

Total area: 20 m²

Expressing the facility on the basis of area is not fully applicable

Available area: 500 m²

Growth chambers which can house several dozens of small growth vessels . Pilot plant unit is 500 L in volume. Mesocosm experiments could be run in the nearby lake (walking distance to the harbor).

Experimental Unit Size

unit size: 1 m²

Besides the growth chambers we have a pilot plant unit for upscaling (500 L)


Replicates number: 6

Temporary storage

  • Dark room
  • Drying oven
  • Freeze drier
  • Freezer
  • Liquid N
  • Refrigerator

Available Instruments

  • ICP-MS
  • GC MS
  • LC TOF
  • MS TOF
  • Flow cytometer equipped with a sorting unit
  • HPLC
  • GC with FID/ECD
  • quantitative PCR
  • pilot scale flow through sentrifuge
  • light microscopes (inc. inverted ones and epifluoresence with image analyser)

Electricity available on site.

Distance from Laboratory facilities


Years measured:


Mean Temperature: °C

February Mean Temperature: °C

July Mean Temperature: °C


Mean Annual Speed: m/s

Max. Annual Speed: m/s

Dominant Direction:


Total annual precipitation: mm

Mean snow cover duration: 0 days

State Variables

Continuously Measured

  • (aquatic) Conductivity
  • (aquatic) Oxygen content
  • (aquatic) pH
  • (aquatic) Turbidity
  • (aquatic) Water temperature
  • Air temperature
  • Incident PAR

Spot Measured

  • (aquatic) Chlorophyl
  • (aquatic) Current speed
  • (aquatic) Nutrient levels
  • Fluorescence
  • Population densities
  • Species richness

Environmental Pressures

Variable Ecosystem Status
CO2 Lake Planned
Warming Lake Planned
Watereutroph Lake Planned
Airpoll Lake Planned
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Lake Active
Management - conventional vs. organic or other eco-friendly practice Lake Active
Management - tilling or other physical manipulation Lake Planned
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Lake Active
Management - traditional (or native) vs. new (or non-native) species Lake Active
Biodiversity Lake Planned

On site Staff and Accomodation

Peak season staff

No on-site staff.

Off season staff

No on-site staff.

Visiting personnel

Up to 5 visitors

No beds on site

No showers on site

No laundry on site