People

Professor of Environment and Health

Richard Quilliam

Richard Quilliam is Professor of Environment and Health, with research interests in environmental pathogen ecology, water quality, sustainable agriculture & aquaculture, and sustainable disease & waste management. My research focuses on a number of sustainability and disease-related topics. A central theme of my research is to understand how changes in agricultural practices and land-use, together with projected climate change, can increase the risk of exposure to human pathogens. My research background is in environmental pathogen ecology, and water & soil pollution caused by the carriage, survival & cycling of zoonotic pathogens and enteric diseases through agro-ecosystems and aquatic environments. Much of my work is carried out in the context of sustainable agriculture and food & water security and is underpinned by a significant level of engagement with the local community and a wide range of stakeholders. I adopt methods and theories from both the natural & social sciences and employ both qualitative & participatory approaches with a significant level of engagement with local communities.

Associate Professor in Catchment Science

David Oliver

David Oliver is Associate Professor in Catchment Science working in the fields of environmental pollution, modelling and decision support in environmental systems. There are two critical strands of my research portfolio. The first is to further understanding of behavioural traits of pollutants in the soil-water continuum and advance process understanding in environmental and agricultural systems. The second is to use this knowledge to solve real world issues through applied research and knowledge exchange. To maximise the potential of these two research strands I operate within interdisciplinary research teams, with both social and natural scientists and the research and policy communities. My research interests can be defined within the following three key research themes: (1) Environment, Pollution and Human Health: Understanding the fate and transfer of microbial pollutants and emerging pathogens warrants significant attention and is highly topical both within research council agendas and policy arenas. (2) Integrated Catchment Management: Interdisciplinary frameworks that recognise the importance of integrating science and social science, multiple-pollutants and multiple-stakeholders represent an important shift for more rewarding catchment scale studies. (3) Diffuse Pollution Risk Assessment and Modelling: The development of decision support tools and models for different stakeholder and end-users is paramount and offers potential to overlap and complement the previous two research themes.

Professor of Virology

Manfred Weidmann

Manfred Weidmann is Professor of Virology and heads the Emerging Aquatic Infectious Disease research group at the Institute of Aquaculture. He has a track record in applied virology research including a major emphasis on the development of point-of-care molecular detection tools for emerging viral diseases and their field deployment. His research has led to the development of RT-PCR and isothermal amplification assays for up to 70 infectious agents affecting humans, livestock and aquaculture species. He has worked on the geographic phylogeny of TBEV (affecting humans) and is currently working on the molecular epidemiology of IPNV and Betanodaviruses.

Senior Lecturer in Earth Observation

Peter Hunter

Peter Hunter is Senior Lecturer in Earth Observation with 15 years of experience in the use of EO data for environmental monitoring and assessment. He specialises in the development of near-ground, airborne and satellite remote sensing techniques for water quality assessment and has built a research group with considerable expertise in underwater optics, radiative transfer physics, image/signal processing and water quality analyses. He also operates a laboratory for cyanotoxin analysis and maintains cyanobacterial cultures at Stirling. He has carried out pioneering work on remote sensing of submerged aquatic habitats; discrimination of freshwater phytoplankton functional types; the time-series analysis of phytoplankton bloom and phenology; the development of a remote sensing-based early-warning system of cyanobacterial bloom development for the protection of human health. He also leads work on the development on remote sensing algorithms for water quality assessment in the UK (NERC GloboLakes).

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Vanessa Moresco

Vanessa Moresco is a biologist with PhD in Biotechnology and Biosciences from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil. She has a strong background in virology and environmental microbiology research, most specifically in environmental virology employing cell-culture (plaque assay, TCID50) and molecular methods (qPCR) to detect enteric viruses in environmental samples (water and shellfish). During her PhD, she quantified thermal and temporal stability and persistence of enteric viruses in distinct water matrices. During her postdoctoral fellowship she evaluated the mechanisms of rotavirus inactivation by temperature and ultraviolet light.

Research Assistant

Zoe O’Hara

Zoe O’Hara is a virologist with a PhD on the detection of Hepatitis E (HEV) in commercially harvested shellfish and the potential routes of viral contamination in the food supply chain. This resulted in the first report of the presence of genotype 3HEV in Scottish shellfish. Her current research interests lie within food and environmental microbiology; in particular, the survival and transmission of zoonotic and enteric viruses through food chains and the environment and their impact on public health.

Lecturer in Bioinformatics & Genomics

Michaël Bekaert

Michaël Bekaert is Lecturer in Bioinformatics & Genomics and works on the genomics of fish, mussels, sea lice, pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and SNP-based genetic mapping in aquaculture. He has been involved in cloud-based software solutions for next generation diagnostics in infectious diseases, and more recently has addressed questions of genetic diversity, genome assembly, and marker discovery in farmed fish.

Professor of Biotechnology

Peter Golyshin

Peter Golyshin is Professor of Environmental Genomics. His research focuses on the exploration of microbial diversity and its potential for biotech applications, including biodegradation of organic pollutants in the sea and prospecting for novel enzymes for biocatalysis. He has pioneered the isolation, characterisation and ‘omics studies of marine hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria that specialise in degradation of hydrocarbons. He pioneered activity-based metagenomic enzyme discovery in the cow rumen, earthworm gut and deep-sea environments. His other significant achievements include the determination of the chaperonin-based cold adaptation in E. coli and Oleispira. His lab has isolated and described >10 microbial taxa at the level of the genus and above, and performed culture-independent analysis of deeply branching microbial phyla from extreme habitats. His current activities focus on mining (meta)genomes for enzymes of industrial relevance.

Professor of Soil and Environmental Science

Davey Jones

Davey Jones is Professor of Soil and Environmental Science and holds a Professorial Chair position at the University of Western Australia. His research focuses on the links between land and water in relation to nutrients and human pathogens. This work ranges from understanding the fundamental processes involved in plant-soil-water nutrient/microbial cycling through to understanding social behaviour to elicit lasting change. Current applications of his work include (1) the implementation of strategies for controlling E. coli O157 and viral pathogens in agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems, (2) promoting carbon sequestration in agricultural systems and understanding the factors regulating carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions, (3) developing ways to improve nutrient use efficiency in cropping systems with specific focus on nitrogen and phosphorus, (4) nutrient dynamics in polar (Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems), (5) devising strategies for the effective reuse of wastes for land restoration and remediation (heavy metals and organic pollutants), (6) soil microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning, (7) modelling nutrients dynamics in the plant-soil-microbial and freshwater ecosystems, (8) understanding the barriers to technology adoption by farmers, (9) the flow of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment, and (10) the impact of flooding, drought and ozone on ecosystem functioning (including tipping points) and potential strategies to enhance ecosystem resilience.

Professor of Marine Biology

David Thomas

David Thomas is Professor of Marine Biology and Head of the School of Ocean Sciences. He is a member of the NERC Science Board and Chairs the Programme Advisory Group for the NERC Changing Arctic Programme. He is the Director of the Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment and a Visiting Research Professor at the Finnish environment Institute (SYKE). His research interests include: Antarctic, Arctic and Baltic sea ice ecology & biogeochemistry; the role of dissolved organic matter in aquatic systems and land-ocean transitions; inorganic nutrients and phytoplankton primary production; industrial-scale microalgal biomass production and utilisation; seaweed & halophyte ecology & physiology; conveying science to non-specialist audiences; and the connections between science & art.

Lecturer in Physical Oceanography

Peter Robins

Peter Robins is Lecturer in Physical Oceanography. He is an ocean modeller, with interests in interdisciplinary and applied research in the coastal zone including biogeochemical cycles, flood risk, and sediment dynamics. He has studied UK estuaries to understand sensitivity to complex interactions of rivers, surges, tides, and waves – and how these control coastal water quality and sediment dynamics. He has developed computer models to simulate ocean processes, whether this is realistic representations of the past or future, or hypothetical scenarios such as a proposed coastal alteration like flood mitigation measures. He studies estuaries at fine scales to understand their sensitivity to complex interactions of rivers, tides and sea-level rise, and how these interactions control coastal water quality and flooding. He has developed methods to characterise the bio-physical dispersal of larvae to help understand population dynamics and aid fishery and shellfishery management. He is also interested in characterising variabilities in tidal energy available for exploitation as a renewable electricity source – and quantifying the likely environmental implications that this may have.

Professor of Chemistry

Bela Paizs

Bela Paizs is Professor of Chemistry, with research interests in mass spectrometry and related informatics/modelling. He was a Heisenberg fellow (2009-12) of the German Research Council (DFG) and runs the Computational Proteomics group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. He is one of the two UK-based Biemann Awardees (2011) of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He is currently the PI of the WEFO-funded Beacon+ project assisting local companies with mass spec related service and the Bangor University PI of the Supercomputing Wales Operation backed by ERDF. Together with Prof Peter Golyshin he is Director of the Centre of Environmental Biotechnology (CEB).

Professor of Environmental Microbiology

Liz Wellington

Liz Wellington is Professor of Environmental Microbiology and Director of the Warwick Environmental Systems Interdisciplinary Centre (WESIC). Her research focuses on the survival of pathogenic bacteria and the environmental transmission routes for antimicrobial resistant bacteria and their resistance genes. Her research focuses on understanding the ecological roles for specific bacterial activities including antibiotic production, resistance and exoenzyme production and analysing the impact of lateral gene transfer. During the past decade expertise has been developed in the detection, quantification and analysis of soil microbial communities, including the identification of pathogen reservoirs outside of their hosts. Her group was one of the first to report the molecular detection of antibiotic biosynthesis in soil and co-evolution of resistance in non-producers. Subsequent work indicated that waste disposal practices further disseminate antibiotic resistance gene into the environment. Studying the fate of introduced bacteria in the environment has focused on the survival of pathogens such as Salmonella species, MRSA, Dichelobacter nodosus and slow growing mycobacteria including the M. tuberculosis complex.

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Vinko Zadjelovic

Vinko Zadjelovic is a Post-doctoral Research Associate

Research Fellow

Joseph Christie-Oleza

Joseph Christie-Oleza is a Ramon y Cajal Research Fellow at Universitat de les Illes Balears, Mallorca. He works at the cutting edge of marine microbial ecology and nutrient cycling in the oceans, with a research focus on the ecology and biodegradation of marine plastic debris, including plastic behaviour in marine environments, microbial colonisation and biodegradation. He has developed novel methods for detecting small microplastics, and has isolated and characterised biodegraders via genome sequencing and high-throughput proteomics.

Research Technician

Gwion Williams

Gwion Williams is a research technician at the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB), Bangor. Having gained undergraduate and master degrees from the University of Liverpool, he joined CEB in mid-2018 as a technician in the field of enzyme chemistry. Subsequently in late 2018, he commenced a part-time PhD, focusing on the discovery and engineering of enzymes that degrade recalcitrant plastics.

Research Technician

Marco Distaso

Dr Marco Distaso is a Research Technician at the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) at Bangor University (Wales). He obtained his Masters degree in Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Bari in Italy, and since 2014 has been working in the research group of Prof. Peter Golyshin. He completed his PhD in 2019 working on the Innovate UK-funded project “Biotechnology for anti-weeds”, which aimed to establish the enzymatic synthesis of a natural herbicide for efficient weed control. His activities focus on metagenomics of extreme environments for mining novel enzymatic diversity, characterisation and improvement of microbial enzymes of industrial relevance

Research Technician

Samuel Wright

Samuel Wright is a Research Technician at the Centre for Environmental Biotecnhology (CEB) at Bangor, and a part time PhD student. He mainly works as a synthetic organic chemist and supports synthetic biologists with substrate preparation and analysis. His PhD focuses on producing a naturally occurring herbicide by biosynthetic and green organic synthetic means.

PhD student

Constance Tulloch

Connie Tulloch started working as a research technician and part time PhD student in November 2019 at the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology at Bangor University. After gaining her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, Connie worked as a research technician in the Institute of Microbial Infection and Anti-microbial Resistance Groups before moving to North Wales.

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Neil Dickson

Dr Neil Dickson a Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Ocean Sciences at the University of Bangor. Neil’s research focuses on understanding how hydrological processes control physicochemical habitat dynamics through river systems from source to coast. Neil completed his PhD in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds where he studied the spatiotemporal dynamics of an alpine river ecosystem subject to flow regulation for hydropower. He is currently working on developing numerical models to study the transport and retention of microplastics in river estuaries.