Professor Eva-Mari Aro is one of the world’s leading photosynthesis researchers. She has discovered and characterized various fundamental photosynthetic mechanisms crucial for the acclimation of photosynthetic apparatus upon changing environmental cues. Characteristic of her research approach has been incorporation of evolutionarily divergent photosynthetic organisms for comparative studies of molecular signaling and acclimation mechanisms. Aro has applied synthetic biology approach towards converting cyanobacteria to living “cell factories” that produce targeted chemicals.
During 2004-2010 Aro was a president and past president of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research. Aro has directed the Academy of Finland’s Center of Excellences 2008–2013 and 2014-2019 and NordForsk`s Nordic Centre of Excellence 2017–2019. Aro has received several international awards, is an honorary doctor in multiple universities in Finland and abroad. In 2017, Aro was awarded the title of Academician, the highest honor for a Finnish scientist, by the President of Finland. In 2018, she was named a Foreign Associate Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2023, Aro was elected as a Foreign member of the Royal Society.
Aro has published more than 350 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. Aro has been active in science-policy and in fostering research-based decision-making. She has served on numerous national and international boards in positions of trust. Starting from 2014, Aro has been in a board of the European Academies of Sciences Advisory Council (EASAC), first as a member and from 2017 as a vice president. EASAC provides science-based advice to support decision making in the EU`s Commission and Parliament.