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Professor of Environmental Healthcare, University of Southampton

Bill is Professor of Environmental Healthcare and Heads the Microbiology Group in Biological Sciences at University of Southampton, working on rapid detection of infectious agents in the natural and built environments, and developing decontamination strategies for antimicrobial resistant bacteria, biofilms, viruses and prions. He formerly worked as Head of Microbial Technology Department and Scientific Leader at CAMR, Porton Down where he developed the continuous culture biofilm fermenter, and artificial urine and saliva media for biofilm studies. He gave the first description of 3D polymicrobial biofilm structures and initiated his work on antimicrobial copper in drinking water systems. He moved to University of Southampton as Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit in 2001 where he elucidated the mechanisms of antimicrobial copper touch surfaces and was co-inventor of the EDIC microscope for high resolution detection of bacteria, biofilms and CJD prions on complex surfaces. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and former Scientific Advisor to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee. Currently Chair of the UK Government Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food.


  • 2004–2020
    Head of the Microbiology Group, University of Southampton
  • 2001–2020
    Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit, University of Southampton


  • 1998 
    Royal Society of Biology, CBiol
  • 1976 
    University of Birmingham, PhD
  • 1973 
    University of Birmingham, BSc (Hons)

Professional Memberships

  • American Society for Microbiology
  • The Microbiology Society
  • Society for Applied Microbiology


Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, Winner of the Colgate Prize