History

The Laboratory Unit for Harmful Marine Microalgae of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (LUHMM - AUTH) is located in the School of Biology.

The Unit has two missions. The first is aimed at providing services for the detection, identification and quantification of potentially toxic marine microalgae in the context of the National Monitoring Program of Bivalve Mollusc Production Areas. The second mission is research oriented towards the taxonomy and ecology of harmful/toxic marine microalgae including benthic dinoflagellates. The laboratory was recently reorganized and introduction of molecular tools for the characterization of toxic microalgae, allelopathic interactions with bacteria and isolation of biologically active compounds, were set as new research targets.

Funding of the Unit is solely derived from service contracts and competitive research funds from national and EU bodies.

LUHMM - AUTH is also actively participating in educational activities of the School of Biology. To date over 15 undergraduate diploma research projects, 3 M.Sc. and 3 Ph.D theses have been completed in the Unit.

LUHMM - AUTH was founded in 1999 by the late Assoc. Prof. G. Nikolaidis in the context of harmonization of the Greek national legislation with EU directives concerning the monitoring of harmful and potentially harmful microalgae in bivalve mollusc production areas. Later, in 2004 the Unit was authorized by the Greek Ministry of Agricultural Development and Foods, as the sole authorized lab for carrying out the monitoring of harmful and potentially harmful microalgae in marine coastal bivalve mollusc production areas.

Since 2010 the Unit is directed by Prof. M. Arsenakis and was reorganized to incorporate Molecular biology techniques in both services and research projects. In the context of our continuous efforts for providing ever higher quality services, the Unit is currently in the final stages of obtaining ISO 17025 accreditation for its monitoring services.