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Photo: Boris Zimmermann

The Biospectroscopy and Data Modeling (BioSpec) group at the Faculty of Science and Technology carries out research related to spectroscopy in life and environmental sciences.

About the BioSpec group

The BioSpec group has been at the forefront of national and international research in the field for several years, and has a broad portfolio of projects within the field, as well as a strong national and international network. The group focuses on the following research areas:

  • Advanced vibrational spectroscopy of different biosystems - cells, tissues, and bioliquids
  • Developing and optimizing microbial bioprocesses for the production of a wide range of bioproducts
  • Understanding and modelling of scattering phenomena of systems in environmental sciences
  • Data modelling of spectroscopic data
Bioprocesses and biosystems

Bioprocesses and biosystems

The BioSpec Group is currently engaged in research exploring the potential of microbial fermentations as a sustainable and economically viable means for producing a diverse range of valuable products, including food, biofuels, enzymes, biopolymers, antibiotics, pigments, and various other chemicals. This research focuses on utilizing agrifood and forestry rest and waste materials as substrates in microbial fermentations, aiming to reduce environmental impact and enhance the value of underutilized resources. Within this context, Infrared and Raman spectroscopies emerge as highly effective techniques, providing comprehensive and detailed information in biotechnology. These spectroscopic methods have the capability to simultaneously measure the broad chemical profiles of constituents present in the bioprocess, making them invaluable tools for screening, optimization, and real-time monitoring of microbial fermentations.

BioSpec Data analysis

Data science

BioSpec Group specializes in high-dimensional data analysis within life sciences, developing tools for integrating diverse data types such as IR and Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, proteomics, metabolomics, and genomics. With focus on latent variable-based methods, the group pioneer multiblock approaches for data integration and sparse methods for biomarker detection. With expertise in advanced multivariate data analysis for vibrational spectroscopy, the group significantly contributes to pre-processing techniques, widely applied in life sciences and medical research, separating scatter contributions from chemical information in infrared spectra. The work involves developing tailored techniques for classification and calibration of biospectroscopic data with easily interpretable and robust models.

BioSpec Scattering and absorption

Scattering and absorption

Electromagnetic radiation interacting with a scatterer results in the scattering, absorption, and transmission of radiation power. In infrared transmission spectroscopy, the focus is on collecting transmitted light to identify the portion lost from the initial radiation power, which describes the scatterer's absorption properties. When a significant amount of light is lost due to scattering, interpreting data becomes challenging as it's hard to differentiate between scattering and chemical absorption at specific wavelengths. Scattering is particularly pronounced when the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave is comparable to the size of the scatterer, leading to high radiation power loss. To address these challenges, the BioSpec Group is actively developing algorithms that separate chemical information from physical properties. These algorithms play a crucial role in spectral correction and find applications across diverse scientific fields.

BioSPec Ecology and environmental studies

Ecology and environmental studies

Vibrational spectroscopies are gaining attention for their operator-independent, chemical-based characterization in ecology and environmental sciences. The BioSpec Group is actively engaged in research employing vibrational spectroscopies, allowing for the molecular analysis of plant tissues in plant ecology to provide valuable chemical insights into genotype variations, stress responses, and overall plant phenotypes. Measuring chemistry of plant pollen and spores has the potential to provide info on solar UV radiation changess in the geological past, sparking growing interest in applying this proxy to palaeoecological studies. In wastewater treatment, vibrational spectroscopies contribute to the characterisation of microbial biofilms containing diverse microbial communities that efficiently break down and remove contaminants.

Laks som svømmer

Food and feed safety and quality

Vibrational spectroscopies are powerful tools for food quality control, particularly in the dairy industry, where routine IR milk analyzers predict parameters like fat, lactose, protein, urea, and pH. BioSpec Group pioneers in establishing calibration models for fatty acid composition, enhancing milk quality through genetic improvement. The group demonstrated FTIR's ability to monitor cow health, predicting traits like energy balance, dry matter intake, and efficient energy intake in dairy cows. In food safety, the group is developing portable devices to identify microbial and chemical contamination, aiming to cut testing costs across the food chain. Additionally, we contribute to the development of smart sensors for real-time food quality assessment in processing lines, optimizing efficiency and sustainability in the food industry.

BioSpec publications

BioSpec group members

    • Mehdi Andresen Belhaj (MSc, environmental physics and quantum information theory)
    • Murat Bağcıoğlu (PhD, biospectroscopy)
    • Stine Brekke Vennemo (MSc, administrator)
    • Claudia Colabella (PhD, microbiology)
    • Darya Dubava (PhD student, biospectroscopy and biophysics)
    • Benjamin Xavier Dupuy--Galet (PhD student, biospectroscopy and microbiology)
    • Simona Dzurendová (PhD, researcher in biospectroscopy and biotechnology)
    • Kai Fjær (MSc, researcher in biochemistry and microbiology)
    • Kristin Forfang (PhD student, biospectroscopy, microbiology and biorefinery processes)
    • Evgeniy Gunko (PhD student, computer science and biospectroscopy)
    • Johanne Heitmann Solheim (PhD student, postdoc)
    • Johanna Karin Hillevi Blomqvist (PhD, researcher in microbiology and biotechnology)
    • Tatiana Konevskikh (PhD, scattering in vibrational spectroscopy)
    • Gergely Kosa (PhD, biospectroscopy, microbiology and biotechnology)
    • Anne Marie Langseter (PhD, researcher in organic synthesis and analysis)
    • Tiril Aurora Lintvedt (MSc, scattering in IR spectroscopy)
    • Rozalia Lukacs (PhD, researcher in scattering physics, non-crsytalline solids and IR spectroscopy)
    • Daria Markina (PhD, researcher in microbiology)
    • Ellen Opsahl Mæhle (MA, project manager)
    • Nageshvar Patel (PhD, researcher in food sciences)
    • Amira Rachah (PhD, researcher in multivariate data analysis)
    • Simen Rønnekleiv Eriksen (MSc, scattering in IR spectroscopy)
    • Eivind Seim (PhD, scattering in energy physics)
    • Andreas Ulrich Nicolas Persch (PhD student, physics, biospectroscopy and data analysis)
    • Hafeez Ur Rehman (PhD, researcher in spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis)
    • Valeria Tafintseva (PhD, researcher in data sciences)
    • Dominic James Thomas (PhD student, biospectroscopy and microbiology)
    • Stanislau Trukhan (PhD student, computer science and biospectroscopy)

BioSpec research infrastructure

  • The Biospectroscopy and Data Modeling Group at the Faculty of Science and Technology has two laboratory facilities:

  • Storage of data in ongoing projects

    • We store all our data daily on NMBU’s server, according to NMBU's guidelines and national guidelines
    • Separate folders for each project
    • Access to the data is restricted to selected project participants
    • We have routines in place for master students and guests

     Archiving of research data

    • We archive our data at Zenodo, as suggested by NMBU's guidelines
    • This is done when a paper is published
      • It is the task of the first author in the BioSpec group
      • We archive the data relevant for the paper
    • Before we archive, we check if the data is ready
      • This is done with the project manager and person generating the data
      • We check to make sure we use correct names, that the data is structured properly, etc.
    • At Zenodo, we connect data to the BioSpec Norway community, and reference our NRC/EU-projects
    • In addition, the project manager must make a data management plan for the project
    • After the end of the project period, the project manager has to make sure all relevant data are archived
    • We follow the FAIR principles

     Database for all data

    • A spectral database called BIOSDATA is under development.

How to find BioSpec

  • Visiting address: 

    Postal address: 

    • P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, NO-1432 Ås, Norway

    Contact the Biospectroscopy and Data Modeling group:

    Follow us on LinkedIn for news and updates

  • The NMBU campus is located in Ås, which is the neighbor town of Ski, and about a 30-minute trip from Oslo. You can easily get from Oslo to Ås either by train or by bus.

    Train from Oslo (Oslo S) to Ås:

    To get to Ås by train, take train L21. The train departs from both Oslo S and from Ski. The end station is Moss, and you should get off at Ås. The train station in Ås is 1.1 km from the BioSpec building (TF fløy3, see the map below). During rush hour, the train leaves every half hour, otherwise it leaves every hour.

    Bus from Oslo Airport (Oslo Lufthavn) to Ås (Korsegården):

    The most effective way to travel directly from the Oslo Airport to NMBU is to take a direct bus to Ås from the airport (Flybussen FB11 to Fredrikstad). The bus leaves at 10 minutes past the hour, approximately every one to two hours (every two hours on Saturday). The bus takes 55 minutes. The FB11 bus station in Korsegården is 2 km from the BioSpec building (TF fløy3, see the map below). If you do not want to walk to the BioSpec building, take bus 510 Drøbak - Frogn vgs. The bus stop is close to the petrol station (bus stop "Brønnerud Skole", see map below). The bus stop in Ås is called “Åsgård skole” (see map below). The bus takes 5 minutes.

    Plan your travel from the airport to Ås online
    Departure station: Oslo Lufthavn 
    Arrival station: Korsegården (first stop)

    Arriving by bus from Oslo Airport
    Arriving by bus from Oslo Airport Photo: Google
  • The BioSpec group is located at NMBU campus, Ås, TF building, wing 3 (TF Fløy 3), second floor (see the map below). Enter the main entrance of TF Fløy3 (Kajaveien 11), go to the second floor, then turn left to the corridor next to the stairs, and then left to the meeting room TF201. Note that TF3 is a separate building from the main TF building (see the map below).


    There is a large parking area at the TF building complex, including in front of TF3 building (see the map below). Pay attention to the marked parking spaces in order to avoid a parking fine. Send us your license plate number in advance in order to register your vehicle in the NMBU’s parking system.

    Address: Kajaveien 11, 1430 Ås, Norway

    Arriving at BioSpec
    Arriving at BioSpec Photo: Google
    NMBU-RealTek (TF building complex)
    NMBU REALTEK (TF building complex) Photo: Google
  • Thon Hotel Ski

    Thon hotel Ski

    When visiting NMBU, the easiest place to stay is at Thon Hotel. Thon hotel is located in Ski, right next to the train station.

    The most effective way to travel to Ski is by taking a plane to Oslo Airport, and from the airport, the fastest and easiest way to get to Ski is by train (approx. 1 h). You have to change train at Oslo central station (Oslo S).

    Train from Oslo Airport (Oslo Lufthavn) to Ski:
    From Oslo Lufthavn to Oslo S: take train R10, R11 or L12.
    From Oslo S to Ski station: take train L2X, L2, L21, L22 or R10.

    Plan your travel from the airport to Ski online:
    Departure station: Oslo Lufthavn
    Arrival station: Ski
    Check railway maps

    Train from Ski to Ås:
    Take train L21 from Ski to Ås. The train station in Ås is 1.1 km from the BioSpec building (TF fløy3, see the map below). From Ski, the trains go every half hour (12 min past and 42 min past every full hour).

    Bus from Ski to Ås:
    Take bus 510 Drøbak-Seiersten. The bus departs right besides Ski train station (bus stop "Ski Stasjon", see the Ski map above) every 10th minute in the morning. The bus stop in Ås is called “Åsgård skole” (see the map below). The bus takes 21 minutes.


    SiÅs offers guest accommodation to researchers, fellows, visitors and others associated to NMBU and the research institutions on Campus Ås. SiÅs’ guest accommodation is located in Utveien 6, approx. 300 m from the TF building. It consists of shared housing and studio apartments. To check for availability, send an e-mail to 

  • Open and free WiFi can be accessed via the “NMBU-guest” net or via “Eduroam” (for members of universities). 

BioSpec summer school logo.

BioSpec summer school

BioSpec Norway, as part of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, is organising an interdisciplinary summer school for Master and PhD students dedicated to analysis of biological data in infrared spectroscopy.

Read more and sign up for the summer school here