Carla Ruiz González

        Support scientist Carla Ruiz González wearing white lab coat sitting in lab sub-culturing a sample

PhD Student

I am a marine scientist with interests in the sustainable exploitation of algae, its biotechnological applications and astrobiological prospects.

Contact details:

Life at the limits – Algal physiology under extreme conditions 

Snow algae are often found in polar and high alpine regions but can in theory bloom anywhere there is suitable snow and proper summer conditions; they are able to survive and bloom in the liquid phase of snow and ice. Outside of their active growth phase, snow algae can remain dormant, often during the long, dark and freezing temperatures of a polar winter. The project will investigate the limits of life of snow algae by subjecting the cells to various extreme conditions, including conditions analogous to Mars and the Moon. Metabolomic analysis will be carried out to reveal the metabolic pathways that allow them to thrive at these extremes. These findings will expand our understanding of physiological traits and their plasticity, as well as investigate applications for the Space exploration sector, for example, the potential of growing microalgae as “Space crop”.


Dr Matthew Davey The Scottish Association for Marine Science - UHI

Prof. Charles Cockell University of Edinburgh



This research is highly interdisciplinary and will contribute to SAGA project (current NERC grant NE/V000764/1

Employment history

2020 - 2022 Microbiology Support Scientist. SAMS

2019 - 2020 Lipid Analyst. SAMS

2016-17 Intern. IMEDMAR



2017 BSc (Hons) Grado en Ciencias del Mar. Catholic University of Valencia (with Erasmus exchange stay at SAMS UHI)


Training courses

2017 Open Water Diver. PADI

2010 Aquatic Lifeguard. Royal Spanish Rescue and Lifeguard Federation


Teaching Experience

H1 “Fundamentals of marine chemistry” – Teaching tutorials and demonstrator support in laboratory practicals

H4 "Defining the marine carbon cycle” – Teaching laboratory practical work



Brown TA, Rad-Menéndez C, Ray JL, Skaar KS, Thomas N, Ruiz-Gonzalez C, Leu E. (2020) Influence of nutrient availability on Arctic sea ice diatom HBI lipid synthesis. Organic Geochemistry

Koch CW, Brown TA, Amiraux R, Ruiz-González C, MacCorquodale M, Yunda-Guarin GA, Loseto LL, Rosenberg B, Hussey NE, Ferguson SH, Yurkowski DJ. (2023) Year-round utilization of sea ice-associated carbon in Arctic ecosystems. Nature communications



O’Connell C, Ruiz-Gonzalez C, Rad-Menendez C, Perrineau MM, Strittmatter M, Gachon C. (2021) Development of a pan-European, genetically characterized Saccharina latissima seedbank. British Phycological Conference Nottingham (virtual conference) - January 2021.