Louise Isager Ahl
I am a molecular plant scientist working on the polysaccharide composition of cell walls to further our understanding of their role in plant evolution and survival.
During my PhD I focussed on the succulent plant genus Aloe, and in particular the polysaccharide composition of the inner leaf mesophyll. Aloe vera is a world renowned Aloe species used extensively in the herbal medicinal industry, why part of my work was allocated to the investigation of the polysaccharide composition across the genus to figure out if the medicinally used species had a different composition compared to the non-medicinally used speces. Here I also looked at the changes in cell wall composition over the course of a year, and when exposed to drought. The work with the drought stressed Aloe species laid the foundation for my next scientific endeavour - the development of a new and potentially ground-breaking method to investigate the polysaccharide composition of fossil plant material. For this work I was recently granted 2 million by the Villum Foundation.