Aarhus University Seal

Marie Bolander Jensen

PhD Student

Marie Bolander Jensen


PhD project: Survival, growth mechanisms, and biotechnological potential of microorganisms on the Greenland ice sheet

University: Aarhus University
Department: Department of Environmental Science

Section: Environmental Microbiology and Circular Resource flow - EMCIF

Research group: Cryo-Microbiology
Supervisor: Alexandre Magno Barbosa Anesio
Project term: 01.08.2020 – 31.07.2023
Master’s degree: MSc in Biology-Biotechnology, specialization in Bioproducts, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.



The bare ice surface of glacier and ice sheets presents an extreme and harsh environment for most life forms. Nevertheless, it is the habitat for a range microbes including the 'glacier ice algae' Mesotaenium berggrenii. On the ice surface, the algae must be able to cope with high irradiation, continuously low temperatures, and limited amounts of nutrients. The phenolic pigment that gives Mesotaenium berggrenii its infamous deep purple/brown color, that contribute to the darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The pigmentation is assumed to be one of the survival strategies for living on the ice, as the pigments absorbs harmful UV radiation.


As a part of DEEP PURPLE (https://www.deeppurple-ercsyg.eu/) this PhD project will aspire to understand how glacier algae thrive and survive on the Greenland Ice Sheet. This will be done by investigate how environmental factors triggers oxidative stress and impacts growth of the glacier algae Mesotaenium bergrenii and the microbial community. Additionally, I will look into what genes are involved in the pigmentation of the algae.

View all (1) »

ID: 180541153