Keynotes






Theo A. Niewold is a specialist in mucosal and nutritional immunology, innate immunity and inflammation, phytobiotics, alternatives to antibiotics, and biomarkers in monogastrics. After various universities (Utrecht, Tennessee, Wageningen), from 2005-2020 he was Professor Nutrition and Health at the University of Leuven (B), and scientific head of the experimental farm from 2010-2014. He then worked as an independent consultant in nutritional sciences, and recently joined The Seaweed Company as lead officer human and animal health.


Dr. Yimin Qin studied for his PhD in the University of Leeds between 1986-1990. After spending three years in Heriot-Watt University working on his postdoctoral project, he became the product development manager in Advanced Medical Solutions Plc in Cheshire, UK, where he led a team of scientists and developed a number of high performance biomedical materials from alginate, chitosan and other natural polymers. In 2015, Dr. Qin was appointed as the director of State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Seaweed Substances at Qingdao Brightmoon Seaweed Group, where his main research interests focused on the extraction, modification and applications of alginate and other novel bioactive seaweed substances.

Dr Maria Hayes is a senior scientific officer at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland. She works on developing new products with health benefits through identification and characterisation of bioactive ingredients. To do this, she uses a combination of different bioassays that she established at Teagasc including those relevant to maintenance of heart health; prevention of type 2 diabetes and mental health issues, prevention of atherosclerosis, inflammation and pain and antimicrobial and prebiotic assessment assays. She has also developed a method to screen for methane mitigating abilities of algae in vitro.

Scientific research in the areas of Natural products chemistry and industrial microbiology/biotechnology and food product development. Interested in the Bio-economy and utilisation of our natural resources to their full potential. She has over 115 papers published in international journals, citations: 4876, editor and contributor to several books on the topic of marine natural product chemistry.

Maria has an Honours degree in Science (Industrial Microbiology and Chemistry) from University College Dublin (UCD) and a PhD in Microbiology and chemistry from University College Cork (UCC). She joined Teagasc as a researcher on the Marine Functional Foods Research Initiative – NutraMara project in 2008 and has been interested in utilisation of marine resources ever since. She is an academic collaborator of the SFI funded Bio-economy research centre (BiORBIC). Maria has previous project management experience (NutraMara) and has worked extensively with the marine sector since 2008. She is the current coordinator and PI of several EU projects including Seasolutions https://seasolutions.ie/.
Susan H. Brawley (Ph.D., Berkeley) is Professor of Plant Science in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, and, earlier, was Associate Professor of Biology at Vanderbilt University where she taught cell and developmental biology. She was Editor of the Journal of Phycology (1996-2001), President of the Phycological Society of America (2011) and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Her research interests include aquaculture; effects of herbivores, bacteria, and stress on marine algae; fertilization processes; and the algal cystoskeleton. She led the Porphyra (Laver) genome project.