Associate Professor of Microbiology, Heriot-Watt University

Microorganisms are some of the smallest and by far most numerous of life forms on Earth, performing and controlling many important processes that are vital to the existence of all life as we know it. My research interests are in the study of bacterial processes in the ocean that influence the bioavailability and degradation of oil hydrocarbons. I am also interested in the role of bacterial exopolymers to the bioavailability of trace metal nutrients to phytoplankton. Some of my work involves: 1) taxonomic and systematic studies of novel bacterial taxa; 2) evaluation of the ecological function and commercial application of microbial polymers; and 3) the application of microbial systems for the conversion of organic waste products into second generation biofuels. Research within my lab employs a range of classical and molecular biological techniques.

Roles and responsibilities:
– Lead research on microbial ecology projects, with a particular interest on the microbial response to oil spills and bioremediation processes.
– Supervision of undergraduate, MSc and PhD projects, and reviewer of PhD vivas at UK and overseas universities.
– Member of international scientific associations and microbiological societies.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Microbiology, Heriot-Watt University