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Board Members

With a PhD in Geosciences and Environment obtained at the University of Lausanne in 2010, Mariluz is a Biogeochemist. She started in the fields of environmental geochemistry and carbonates, the origin of life and fossil fuels and continued her activities in the field of biogas production from microalgae biomass and coupling of biotechnology and thermochemical systems. She has experience in waste treatment and the analysis of pollutants in water, soil and sediments.  She has won several awards, given invited talks, published articles in peer-reviewed journals and also has experience as a project manager as well as teaching. Since October 2015, she has been working at the Institute of Thermal Engineering (IGT) on behalf of the Center for Studies and Technological Transfer of HEIG-VD (CeTT). She is active in the development of projects related to microalgal biomass.


Dr. Mariluz Bagnoud

Dominik Refardt studied biology at the University of Basel and obtained his PhD in evolutionary ecology from the University of Fribourg. With a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation he carried out postdoctoral research at the Universities of Auckland and Massey, New Zealand. Upon returning to Switzerland he worked as a Postdoc at the ETH Zürich. In 2012 he obtained a permanent position at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences where he subsequently was promoted lecturer and heads now the aquaculture systems research group at the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences. His group works mainly on aquaculture whereas he explores the cultivation of microalgae with a focus on sustainable cultivation, wastewater treatment and possible interfaces with aquaculture.


Dr. Dominik Refardt

Christian Ludwig received his master’s degree (1990) and PhD (1993) from the Chemistry Department at the University of Berne, Switzerland. Post Doctoral years were spent at the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources (LAWR), UC Davis, CA (1994-1995) and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology Eawag (1995-1997). Since 2000 he is head of the Chemical Processes and Materials research group in the Energy and Environment Division at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). In 2005 he was appointed adjunct professor at EPFL in the field of Solid Waste Treatment. He has been scientific chair and co-chair of many large and internationally recognized conferences in the field of waste treatment and resources management. He has co-authored/-edited several books, including a textbook. In 2010, driven by the vision of closing nutrient cycles for the production of biofuels, he initiated and coordinated a multimillion US$ algae research project. His research teams at EPFL and PSI use their competences in analytical chemistry and material science to support the development of resource and eco-efficient energy and waste technologies. 

Chief Financial Officer

Prof. Dr. Christian Ludwig

Fabian Fischer studied and graduated with a degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Bern. With a Novartis Jubilee Fellowship he executed postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley. After this stay he was a CNRS research associate at the ENSCP in Paris. In the following year he became First Assistant at the Biotechnology Centre of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Since 2002 he has been Professor for Biotechnology at the HES-SO, Valais realizing projects at the interphase between Chemistry and Biotechnology with a focus on bioelectric systems and the use of microalgae in such systems. In 2017 he worked for 5 months at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles while on sabbatical leave. He is a full member of the Life Technologies Institute and a part-time faculty at the new Energy and Environment Institute of the Engineering School in Sion.

The Assessor

Prof. Dr. Fabian Fischer

 General Secretariat

Secretary General

Dr.Bhavish Patel

Bhavish Patel is a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Paul Scherrer Institute working on thermal recovery of Phosphorus from natural bioresource. He has extensive experience in algae processing gained during his PhD at Imperial College London, as well as other biomass sources. He has won several awards, given invited talks, published articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as gained experience in technology transfer, start-ups and the global fertilizer market. Bhavish also lectures in biomass processing at EPFL as part of the Solid Waste Engineering masters course. He holds an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester and a BEng(Hons.) from University College London.

Head of Communication

Dr.Eya Damergi

Eya Damergi is a PhD student at Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL) working within a multidisciplinary project where valorization of biowaste and the production of bioenergy are the main fields of interest. She has extensive experience in wastewater treatment using microalgae as well as algal biomass valorization. She has experience in algae processing through hydrothermal processes, as well as other types of biomass such as  human excreta. She has also  published articles in peer-reviewed journals and has gained experience in start-ups by following an intensive training program given by the Swiss Innovation Agency, CTI. Eya has also lectured in Environmental Engineering at EPFL.


Prof. Dr. Christian Ludwig

Christian Ludwig also plays the role of the Chief Financial Officer and the Cashier in the association.



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