After completing his doctoral thesis under supervision of Prof. Gerhart Braunegg, one of the most eminent pioneers in polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) research, Martin Koller was awarded his PhD degree in 2005 from Graz University of Technology, Austria, for his work on PHA production from dairy surplus streams; these activities were part of research in the EU-FP5 granted project WHEYPOL (“Dairy industry waste as source for sustainable polymeric material production”). Afterwards, he became a highly experienced senior researcher in the field of bio-mediated PHA production, encompassing design and development of continuous and discontinuous fermentation processes, and novel downstream processing techniques for sustainable biopolymer recovery from microbial biomass.
His focus of research is enhanced cost-efficiency of PHA production from surplus materials using both eubacteria and halophile archaea as whole cell biocatalysts. He holds numerous research articles in high ranked scientific journals, authored several chapters in biotechnological scientific books, gave a broad number of invited and plenary lectures at international conferences, and is active member of the Editorial Boards of distinguished scientific journals. From 2010 to 2012, he acted as coordinator of the EU-FP7 granted project ANIMPOL (“Biotechnological conversion of carbon containing wastes for eco-efficient production of high added value products”) which investigated the value-added conversion of waste streams from the animal processing industry towards structurally diversified PHA biopolyesters and their marketable follow up products. In addition to biopolymer exploration, he was also active in microalgal research and has long-year experience in biotechnological production of marketable compounds like bioethanol, polysaccharides, lactic acid or polyunsaturated fatty acids from renewable resources by various microorganisms such as yeasts, chlorophyta, bacteria, archaea, fungi or lactobacilli.