Deep Blue stories: Soukaina in Portugal

Deep Blue Stories #7 | Soukaina Kaidi is a young researcher and PhD student in applied phycology at the University Chouaib Doukkali, Morocco. The aim of her research is to study ecology, genetic structure, and diversity of two kelp species along their southernmost distribution range edge. In addition, my study also focuses on the exploration of new aspects of valorization (Biotechnology) using both kelps. She developed a three-month traineeship with the Portuguese laboratory of the Marine Sciences Centre (CCMAR) of the University of Algarve, Portugal.

The Deep Blue programme allowed her to strengthen its knowledge acquiring new skills in different aspects of phycology such as holding ecophysiological experiments, exploring the kelps genetic diversity, and their aspects of valorization. She says:

“This experience was very challenging with the pandemic's circumstances, but yet very enriching (...) This traineeship had a great impact on different aspects, first, by getting the opportunity to meet and work with imminent researchers who taught me a lot both personally and professionally as I learned about their cultures and shared mine. But above all, I learned from their scientific knowledge that they generously shared with me through learning new skills of great interest for my future career.”

Has this experience had an impact on your career? 

“The DEEP BLUE training was a very enriching experience and a great opportunity that allowed me to acquire new skills and proficiencies in different aspects of phycology such as holding Eco physiological experiments, exploring the kelps genetic diversity, and develop new aspects of valorization (Biotechnology). The program was a springboard that offered me an opportunity to meet with highly qualified researchers in the field of my study such as my tutor Prof. Ester SERRÃO and her research team in CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar) who helped me progress in my thesis work by sharing their knowledge and ideas from which I learned a lot.”

Would like to add or share something more?

“After the DEEP BLUE experience, I was able to attend workshops and webinars in the field of Blue Biotechnology, Marine Biodiversity, and New developments in the cultivation of seaweed and microalgae. This helped me improve the skills I learned during the DEEP BLUE project experience, and have updates about the new challenges in the field.”

Soukeina is currently writing an article based on the results obtained during her training in CCMAR (Centro de Ciências do Mar) which shows the genetic structure and diversity of Laminaria ochroleuca and Saccorhiza polyschides along the northwestern Atlantic coast of Morocco (Southernmost distribution range edge).

We wish Soukeina all the success in your future career!


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Soukeina Kaidi