Eva-Mari Aro

Eva-Mari Aro (born 1950) is a Finnish biologist and professor of plant molecular biology at the University of Turku, Finland.[1] Her research has focused on the function, regulation, damage, repair, and evolution of the machinery of photosynthesis, with applications in renewable energy.[2] She was elected to the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in 2001 and was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Eva-Mari Aro
Born1950 (age 69–70)
AwardsForeign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (2018)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Turku


Aro received a master's degree from the University of Turku in 1975. She received her doctorate in 1982 after successfully defending her dissertation on "the relationship between the structure and function of plant photosynthesis and the adaptation of photosynthesis to natural environmental conditions."[3]

Career and researchEdit

In 1987, Aro was appointed Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology in the department of Biology at the University of Turku. She became Full Professor of Plant Molecular Biology in the Department of Biochemistry in 1998.[3][4]

Aro served as an Academy Professor at the Academy of Finland (1998–2008). She was elected chairman of the International Society for Photosynthesis Research in 2004[3] and appointed vice-president of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) for the period 2017–2019.[5] Aro also served on the Editorial Board of Journal of the Royal Society Interface (2012–2015).[6]

Aro directed the Academy of Finland's Center of Excellence in Integrated Photosynthesis and Metabolism Research for the period 2008–2013. In 2014, she became director of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology of Primary Producers, which was selected by the Australian Research Council (ARC) to partner with other Plant Energy Biology research centers for the period 2014–2019.[4][7][8] Her contributions to the project include the elucidation of photodamage and photoinhibition mechanisms.[9] In 2017, Aro became a leader of NordAqua, a Nordic Centre of Excellence funded by NordForsk to develop bioeconomy knowledge and technologies for the period 2017–2022.[10][11]

Aro's research interests lie primarily in the regulation of photosynthesis, the process by which primary producers such as plants convert an abiotic energy source such as light into organic compounds. Her lab studies the evolution of thylakoid light harvesting by photosystem membrane complexes in model organisms such as cyanobacteria, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, diatoms, Physcomitrella patens, ferns, Arabidopsis thaliana, and spruce. Her applied research interests lie in renewable energy. The Aro lab utilizes synthetic biology principles to design and engineer systems for the production of biofuels.[4][1]

Awards and honorsEdit

Aro has received several awards for her individual research contributions as well as her international collaborations:


  1. ^ a b "Academician Eva-Mari Aro". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  2. ^ Eva-Mari Aro publications indexed by Google Scholar  
  3. ^ a b c d Aaltonen, Hannu (1 November 2013). "Eva-Mari Arosta Vuoden Professori". University of Turku, Finland. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Eva-Mari Aro". University of Turku, Finland. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Winner of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters Academy Award for 2018, Academician Eva-Mari Aro". European Academies Science Advisory Council. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Eva-Mari Aro Biography". The Royal Society. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  7. ^ Matikainen, Jussi (18 December 2013). "Professori Eva-Mari Aron ryhmä partneriksi australialaiseen huippuyksikköön". University of Turku, Finland. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Partners". Plant Energy Biology ARC. Australian Research Council. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  9. ^ "PEB Annual Report". Plant Energy Biology ARC. Australian Research Council. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  10. ^ Sætre, Eivind (16 May 2018). "National and International recognition for NordAqua-leader". NordForsk. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Towards Versatility of Aquatic Production Platforms: Unlocking the Value of Nordic Bioresources (NordAqua)". NordAqua. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Eva-Mari Aro Uumajan yliopiston kunniatohtoriksi". University of Turku, Finland. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Eva-Mari Arosta tieteen akateemikko". University of Turku, Finland. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Eva-Mari Aro". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 21 April 2019.