About Phytola

The Alberta Innovates Phytola Centre performs research in lipid biochemistry and molecular biology aimed at creating new opportunities for Canada’s oilseeds industry. Established in 2010 with funding from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Phytola works in partnership with industry on commercially-focused projects oriented to market needs. Phytola’s multidisciplinary expertise and collaborative network provides a unique, integrated platform for the development of new traits and specialty oil products.


Based in the Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta, Phytola builds on the success of the Bioactive Oils Program and several other large-scale initiatives focusing on improvement of Canada’s major oilseed crops. Phytola is led by Dr. Randall Weselake, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Lipid Biotechnology, and supported by an experienced team of researchers with expertise in all aspects of oilseed biotechnology, including plant breeding and transformation, enzymology, and analytical lipid chemistry.

Phytola actively seeks to develop collaborations and partnerships with industry. Strategic direction is provided in part by a Management Advisory Board, with day-to-day operational support provided by the Centre Manager and Business Development Director.