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Scientific Committee


Jeanette Andersen

Professor, UiT

Jeanette Hammer Andersen is a professor in marine bioprospecting at UiT- The Arctic University of Norway and head of the natural products platform Marbio at UiT. Marbio has experience in screening extract library of natural product origin, both terrestrial and marine organisms and has successfully identified several novel bioactive compounds.  Research interest:  bioactive natural products,  bioactivity screening, anticancer and antibacterial natural products.


Picture of Professor Deniz TasdemirDeniz Tasdemir 

Professor of marine natural products chemistry at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany)

Deniz leads the Research Unit Marine Natural Products Chemistry and GEOMAR Centre for Marine Biotechnology (GEOMAR-Biotech). She obtained her PhD degree at ETH-Zurich (Switzerland) followed by a post-doctoral training on anticancer sponge metabolites at University of Utah (USA). Her research interests include marine biotechnology with focus on marine biodiscovery (against human and crop diseases), metabolomics and chemical ecology. She applies molecular network-based metabolomics, OSMAC, microbial co-cultivation and imaging mass spectrometry (DESI-IMS) techniques as research tools on marine invertebrates, seaweeds, seagrasses and cultivable microbes from temperate and polar regions. 


Picture of Thomas VanagtThomas Vanagt

Director, eCOAST Marine Research, Oostende 

Thomas Vanagt is a marine ecologist with experience as a research scientist and as an environmental consultant. He is one of the founders of eCOAST, and has been the managing director of eCOAST since the start of the research centre. Thomas Vanagt is a well-respected expert in coastal ecology, for which he combines a strong ecological knowledge with a sound understanding of the physical environment. In previous years, Thomas Vanagt worked as project leader and later research director at the Dutch marine field lab of Grontmij, one of Europe’s largest environmental consultants. He initiated and collaborated in numerous projects in the fields of marine ecology, marine environmental monitoring, ecotoxicology and marine aquaculture. Thomas Vanagt obtained his PhD at the renowned marine biology research group at Ghent University, with a study on sandy beach ecology. He holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in zoology from Ghent University. He was a visiting scientist at universities in Greece, Ecuador and the UK adn holds and MBA degree from the Vlerick Business School.



Mette Sørensen

Professor, Nord Universitet, Bodø

Mette Sørensen is working as a professor in Aquaculture at Nord University, Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture. Prof. M. Sørensen is an expert fish nutrition focusing on novel feed ingredients, nutrient digestibility, growth performance and utilization of feed resources. Her research area includes testing of biomolecules with health promoting effects in fish.



Trygve Brautaset

Professor, NTNU/Centre for Digital Life, Trondheim

Trygve Brautaset is professor in microbial molecular biology at NTNU. He has a PhD in biochemistry from NTNU in 1998 and had later a research stay as postdoc at University of Minnesota USA. In period 2005 – 2015 he was employed as researcher, and later research manager and research director at SINTEF materials and Chemistry; his research focus was on industrial biotechnology, more specifically on the disciplines metabolic engineering, systems biology and synthetic biology. He has experience on biosynthesis of amino acids and platform chemicals using methylotrophic bacteria, genetically engineered antibiotics using Streptomycetes, and production of recombinant proteins and carotenoids using Escherichia coli. Brautaset has 64 peer-review publications and 7 patents. Brautaset is also Director for Centre for Digital Life Norway. 



Gro Bjerga

PHD, Uni research

Gro Bjerga is a group leader in Uni Research and works on enzyme discovery and development for industrial applications. (Photo: Andreas Graven/Uni Research)



Tormod Thomsen

General Manager / Director Global Category Seafood Business Unit, Firmenich&lt

Dr. Tormod Thomsen has his Ph. D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Bergen. He is currently working as Global Director for Seafood in Firmenich – the world’s largest private company in the fragrance and flavor industry. Before joining Firmenich Thomsen has held several executive positions is health and biotech startups. He is also the Chairman for the Biomarine cluster Blue Legasea and Board Member of several Biomarine related companies.


Steering Group


Victoria Schjønning Paulsen

Manager, The MABIT Programme

Victoria is manager of the MABIT-program. MABIT was the founder and owner of the BIOPROSP conference until 2018. Victoria has a background in bioprospecting from arctic marine environments, with a PhD in molecular biology from the Norwegian College of Fishery Science in Tromsø. She also has education and background in administration and management from UiT – The arctic university of Norway. Victoria was member of the BIOPROSP steering committee and organizing committee for BIOPROSP_15.



Unn Sørum

Senior Advisor at Norinnova Technology Transfer AS

Sørum has a PhD in marin biotechnology from UiT The Arctic University of Norway from 1998. Sørum has been project leader for the BIOPROSP conference six times since 2006.



Espen Hansen

Professor at Marbio

Marbio is a platform for natural products drug discovery at UiT – the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø. Espen has a PhD in biochemistry, and is an expert in isolation and characterization of natural products using chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques.


Steinar Daae Johansen_rundt.jpgSteinar Daae Johansen 

Professor, Faculty of Biosciences and quaculture, Nord University

Professor in genomics at Nord University, and in molecular biology at University of Tromsø. Research interests cover genome biology and noncoding DNA, regulatory and catalytic RNA, cold water coral and sea anemone genomics, marine bioprospecting, and genome sequencing of fish species. Pro-dean of research at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University. 


Jan Erik Olsen 

Sales- and Product Manager Calanus

Jan Erik has a M.Sc. Pharmacy from the University of Tromsø. He has been involved in multiple innovation development projects within the dietary supplement industry between 2007 and now, where he currently holds the position Sales- and Product Manager for the innovative, marine Calanus® Oil. In addition to being member of the Steering Group of BIOPROSP, he is also board member in Biotech North and Tekna Tromsø.



Reference Group


Jan Buch Andersen

Founder and CEO, Njorth Bio AS

Educated as an agronomist and took a PhD at the University of Copenhagen. The majority of my career has been as entrepreneur and founder of companies within biotechnology. Have founded companies in sales and distribution of laboratory reagents for molecular biology, immunology and cell culture (now Thermo Fisher in Denmark), innovative laboratory plastic plastic coating technology and in enzyme development. Have furthermore been employed in international corporations in sales management (Invitrogen, Roche Diagnostics), and I have managed an Indian biotech company with 130 employees. 2015 founder and CEO of Njorth Bio_ engaged with commercialisation of innovative biobased ideas.



Steinar Bergseth

Special Advisor, Biotechnology for Innovation, The Research Council of Norway

His has a Ph. D. in biochemistry and worked as a scientist at the university and in pharma industry before he came to the Research Council of Norway. Here he has been focused on building and funding biotechnology activities in academia and industry both nationally and internationally. The last 10 years, marine biotechnology has been his focused interest area.



Ole Jørgen Marvik

Special Advisor for Life Sciences, Innovation Norway&lt

Marvik has many years experience from the medical and biotech industries. He has been active in industry policy through many board and advisory positions, including the national strategies for biotechnology, bioprospecting, biobanks and the bioeconomy. Currently he is engaged in stimulating emerging technologies for biorefining and new biobased value chains. Marvik holds a PhD in molecular biology.

External Project Managers

Jessica Green

Founder, Green Door Creative Consultancy

Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, Jessica decided to move from the U.S.A. to Tromsø and study Business Creation and Entrepreneurship at the master level at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway in 2011. She runs her own sole proprietorship called Green Door Creative Consultancy, offering business consultancy services in the biotechnology arena and beyond. She currently has a long-term contract with innovation cluster organization Biotech North in Tromsø as Head of Communications and was has Head of Communications and Sponsorships for BIOPROSP_17. Other customers include the Mabit Program, Norinnova Forvaltning, Tromsø Forskningsstiftelse, Trmsø Kommune, and more.




Ernst Kloosterman

Owner, Kloosterman BioConsult / Clustermanager, Biotech North&lt

Ernst has a background as chemical engineer and 15 years of experience from the international chemical industry (DSM, The Netherlands) within R&D, technology management, new business development and production. Biotechnology, and more broadly the bioeconomy, became his main area of activity and interest beginning in 2010. He first began as project manager for the establishment and implementation of the biotechnology cluster Biotech North in the Tromsø area in Norway, and later as managing director of the Industrial Biotech Network Norway. Currently, he is working as a self-employed consultant for biotech/bio-based companies and organizations.