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Dr Lorraine Archer

Environmental Scientist, Associate Lecturer, MA Biodesign
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Lorraine  Archer


I am an environmental scientist, specialising in applied phycology, microalgal bioactives, environmental change and the development of nature based sustainable solutions.

I have a longstanding passion for the natural world, microalga biodiversity and the development of circular models for sustainable systems. Completing my BSc Environmental Science through IT Sligo, Atlantic Technological University in Ireland, I was then introduced to the wonders of marine phytoplankton while undergoing a scholarship bursary at the Marine Institute of Ireland. This work expanded into a project examining the microalgal diversity and ecology within Lough Furnace Lagoon in Co. Mayo, where the planktonic photosynthetic microalgae community were seen to be integrated into wider complex systems.

I completed my PhD in on the Physiology and Molecular Biology of Microalgae for the Biorefinery of High-value Metabolites project at the Centre for Environmental Research and Innovation, where I had the pleasure of sampling along the west coast of Ireland and creating a large number of wild type microalgae cultures. In many ways this is where things started to get interesting. Through examining the ephemeral nature of these organisms, and witnessing the roles they play in diverse habitats and their intricate metabolic activity, it became apparent as an established natural and malleable method for systems management, bioremediation and the production of functional foods and high value metabolites.

I currently work as a postdoctoral research associate and laboratory manager at the Plant Metabolism laboratory in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. I offer support to projects in analytical instrumentation and at the Algal Innovation Centre located in the University Botanic Garden. In addition to my work in the field of phycology, I continue to follow my interests in developing circular economy systems, systems thinking and biomimicry.