BIOPROSP_21 | online


Scientific Committee:

Deniz Tasdemir


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.

Gro Bjerga

Research Leader II

NORCE (Norway)

Gro is the leading a research group on marine biotechnology at NORCE Norwegian Research Centre. The scientific pillars include vaccine development, enzyme discovery and development and microalgae cultivation. She is the project leader of six ongoing projects on enzyme discovery, enzyme optimization and recombinant enzyme production for industrial applications.

Jeanette Andersen


UiT (Norway)

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.

Marin Roje

Senior Research Associate

Ruđer Bošković Institute (Croatia)

Marin is a senior research associate at Ruđer Bošković Institute, and assistant professor at University of Split. He is also involved in teaching at the University of Rijeka, Department of Biotechnology. Dr Roje’s expertise and research interest involve stereoselective synthesis, chiral chromatography and absolute configuration determination of bioactive molecules. Currently, he is co-leader of the Center of excellence for marine bioprospecting, and WP leader of the project: “Bioprospecting of the Adriatic sea”, European Union through the European Regional Development Fund - the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme (KK.

Mette Sørensen


Nord University (Norway)

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.

Nina Zisko

Project Manager, Marine for Health

NCE Blue Legasea (Norway)

Nina Zisko currently works as a Marine for Health project manager within NCE Blue Legasea. She received her Bachelor of Science with a Minor in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo in Canada, her Master in Biomedicine at Linkoping University in Sweden, her PhD in Clinical Medicine at NTNU in Norway, and her postdoc from Novartis Pharma in Switzerland. As a clinical scientist, Nina is very much interested in health and disease prevention.  In her current role she works to support companies in building expertise which will allow faster commercialization of high value products that could significantly impact human health.

Thomas Vanagt

Senior scientific advisor and managing partner

ABS-int (Belgium)

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.

Steering group:

Espen Hansen



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.

Hans Kleivdal

Executive Vice President – Environment

NORCE Norwegian Research Centre

Hans is the Executive Vice President of the Environment department of NORCE, and is also Adjunct Associate Professor in marine biotechnology at the University of Bergen. He holds a Dr.scient in molecular biology on antibiotic resistance, and worked with algal toxins as potential chemotherapeutics during his post doc. After 9 years in the private biotech industry working on toxin detection and monitoring for environmental and food safety purposes, he joined the research institute Uni Research (now NORCE) in 2010 where he established the research group of applied biotechnology in Bergen. His research focus on enzyme discovery and development, bioprospecting and the development of microalgae for industrial purposes. Kleivdal currently heads the NORCE research and innovation focus on molecular ecology, marine and freshwater ecology, sustainable aquaculture, and biotechnology with some 100 researchers in Stavanger, Bergen and Tromsø.

Håvard Sletta

Research manager

Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, SINTEF Industry (Norway)

Håvard leads the Research group of Biotechnology (RGB) at SINTEF Industry. He has more than 25 years experience in development of bioprocesses in cooperation with industry. The RGB is currently involved several ongoing projects focusing on marine- and industrial biotechnology, strain engineering, synthetic- and systems biology, novel drugs, biopolymers and advanced biomaterials. The marine biorefinery part of this activity is focusing on development of tools and processes for processing of marine biomass, and development and application of marine biomass derived products. Sletta is leading several activities in this field, including national and international projects.

Line Kjelstrup

Cluster Manager

Biotech North

Line is the Cluster Manager for Biotech North, a cluster organization located in Tromsø, Norway, which serves the biotechnology and biomarine sectors in the entire northern part of the country. The cluster organization contributes to increased value creation in trade and industry by helping to develop expertise and encouraging collaboration within the areas of innovation and internationalization. Line holds a Master of fishery science and has previously worked with the conference Arctic Frontiers and as a country manager for Norwegian Seafood Export Council.

Iselin Wood

Membership and event coordinator

The Life Science Cluster

Iselin works as membership and event coordinator for The Life Science Cluster, a major life science cluster network based in Norway. Her primary interests are developing business-research cooperation and promoting knowledge sharing across the life science sectors. Iselin holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and innovation from The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), specializing in government-business-academia integration and cooperation models. She has experience in working on and with cross-sector projects and creating meeting spaces for TLSC members and partners.

Steinar Bergseth

Special Advisor, Biotechnology for Innovation

The Research Council of Norway

Steinar has a Ph. D. in biochemistry and previously worked as a scientist at both 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. Marine biotechnology has been his main interest area for the laste 10 years..

Ragnhild Dragøy Whitaker

Research Director


Ragnhild is the director for the marine biotechnology group at Nofima. The group focuses on identifying, testing, isolating and scaling bioactive and valuable components, ingredients, peptides, molecules and composites from unused biomass. We mainly work with marine biomass and collaborate towards the terrestrial biomasses. The group develops processes in lab scale, and subsequently ensure that they are scalable and we can make prototype products at the demonstration facility, Biotep, which is owns and operated by Nofima. We work closely with consumer acceptance groups, with LCA and ensuing that the marine ingredients developed are sustainable and accepted in the market. Ragnhild holds a PhD in Chemistry and a MBA in sustainable innovation within the seafood sector. She has previously worked within bioprospecting and drug delivery before joining Nofima in 2014.

Unn Sørum

Administrative Manager

Tromsø Research Foundation

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.

Victoria Paulsen


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.