Department Experimental Phycology and Culture Collection of Algae (EPSAG)

Department Experimental Phycology and Culture Collection of Algae (EPSAG)

green algue

Algae are important primary producers in almost all ecosystems and comprise an enormous phylogenetic diversity

The SAG Culture Collection of Algae (Sammlung von Algenkulturen der Universität Göttingen)

Algae include photosynthetically active eukaryotes and the prokaryotic cyanobacteria as well. The department EPSAG with the SAG Culture Collection focuses on the Biodiversity of Algae in research and education.
- is a comprehensive biological resource centre of living culture material of microalgae and is among the largest algal service collections in the world. It is supporting the scientific, biotechnological and educational communities worldwide by its various services and curatorial roles. They include expert knowledge on the ex situ conservation, isolation as well as identification of micro algae.


Press release: Algae reveal clues about climate changes over millions of years

Göttingen University scientists identify and investigate algae which register sea water temperatures of the warmest months. Link to the article and link to the publication (The Long chain Diol Index: A marine palaeotemperature proxy based on eustigmatophyte lipids that records the warmest seasons; Rampen, Friedl, Rybalka and Thiel; 2022).

The tube-shaped alga Vaucheria became Alga of the year 2021. It is propagating quickly and modifying the mudflat in the North Sea

The tube-shaped yellow-green alga Vaucheria velutina (Xanthophyceae, Stramenopiles) has been elected as "Alga of the year 2021" by the German Botanical Society. It supports the cooperation of mudflat researcher Prof. em. Dr. Karsten Reise of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Sciences (AWI) and Dr. Nataliya Rybalka, who is performing research on yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae) using molecular methods at the Sammlung von Algenkulturen der Universität Göttingen (SAG), department EPSAG. At present, the SAG provides four culture strains of Vaucheria to the public.

More information (in German):
Press release No. 198 of 2020-12-21 of Göttingen University.
Press release of Section Phycology in the German Botanical Society.
TV program of 2021-01-08 "17:30 Sat1.Regional", Region Schleswig-Holstein.

State of knowledge of soil biodiversity - SAG's researcher Nataliya Rybalka has contributed to the latest report on soil biodiversity of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

In December 2020 the latest report on soil biodiversity of the FAO has been published. The contribution on soil algae by Nataliya Rybalka can be found in the chapter 2.3.4 Algae, pages 30 - 36.

The whole report can be downloaded as PDF file from the website of the FAO (

Citation of the report: FAO, ITPS, GSBI, SCBD, and EC. 2020. State of knowledge of soil biodiversity - Status, challenges and potentialities, Report 2020. Rome, FAO.

There is also a summary of the report available: FAO, ITPS, GSBI, SCBD, and EC. 2020. State of knowledge of soil biodiversity – Status, challenges and potentialities, Summary for policymakers. Rome, FAO.

SZ newspaper article: "Virtuosen des Lebens" (virtuosos of life)

Article in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" about the history of algae and our institute. In collaboration with Dr. Maike Lorenz. SZ from 4.05.2019, category "Wissen".


Open position for Master Thesis

Culture-independent evaluation of distribution patterns of yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae)


International Postgraduate Course on the Biodiversity of Terrestrial Algae and Cyanobacteria

Professor Thomas Friedl and Dr. Nataliya Rybalka were teaching together with chilean colleagues an International Advanced Postgraduate Course at Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh), Valdivia, 25.02. – 02.03.2019. Topic of the course was "Molecular analysis of terrestrial and freshwater cyanobacterial/algal communities in pristine temperate rainforest, Southern Chile“.

More about the course: announcement and report on UACh’s website
More about the presentation connected to the course (supported by )

Usage of the EPSAG library

Information on the use of the EPSAG library "Handbibliothek" can be found at this link.

"Algae are all-rounders"

Interview with the Deutschen Umwelthilfe with Professor Thomas Friedl: Why are algae so fascinating? (in german only)