Dr Gareth Arnott's research focuses on three key areas;
Animal contest behaviour: Understanding the information-gathering and decision-making processes underlying aggressive interactions, working with a range of animal species including vertebrates and invertebrates. Additional behavioural topics being addressed include: animal cognition, personality, and lateralization.
Animal welfare: Minimising aggression in captive environments to improve welfare. E.g. using early life socialisation to reduce aggression during later life regrouping in pigs. Other welfare topics being addressed include: the importance of play behaviour, using novel techniques to better understand animal emotion, examining dairy cow welfare and the welfare of dogs in commercial breeding environments.
Animal welfare sensor development: Working with industry partners to develop a next generation farm animal welfare and performance sensor.
Dr Gareth Arnott
Dr Bozzola’s main research focuses on;
Agricultural economics (decision making under risk, technology adoption, food and nutrition security)
Climate change economics (climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agri-food sector)
Sustainable value chains (with focus on the agri-food sector)
Economics of wildlife management and wildlife trade
- Agricultural economics (decision making under risk, technology adoption, food and nutrition security)
- Climate change economics (climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agri-food sector)
- Sustainable value chains (with focus on the agri-food sector)
- Economics of wildlife management and wildlife trade
- Applied Econometrics
Dr Martina Bozzola
I develop approaches to understand and predict species' dynamics in a world of continuous change: temperature rise, land-use change, species introductions. I use a combination of modelling, field studies and data analysis to reveal how species’ life-histories interact with environmental conditions and human intervention, to produce large-scale ecological patterns. I favour models as tools to address these questions for theoretical or applied studies. I juggle between modelling techniques to best approach the problem at hand, but I like those emphasizing mechanisms.
- Address practical conservation issues,
- In systems as varied as boreal forests,
- Irish pastures,
- Arctic mountains
Dr Paul Caplat
Enquiry into the `essence’ of life using information and cybernetic theory. The aim is to build a coherent theory of what life essentially is and use this to better inform biological science `from molecules to ecosystems’. Examples of research include an inquiry into the basis of the autonomy of organisms, the informational foundation of biodiversity and the extent to which ecosystems are really a thing.
Creating and testing mathematical and computational models of fisheries systems using connected sets of partial differential equations and broader simulation methods. This work contributes to the scientific foundation of `ecosystem based fisheries management’ and helps pioneer radically new forms of fisheries management such as the Real Time Incentive (RTI) scheme.
- Fisheries Sciences
- Fundamental Biology
- How the information structure of ecological communities quantitatively affects their ecological function
Dr Keith Farnsworth
My work focusses on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, the drivers of biodiversity change and the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem stability. I explore these questions using food webs, with a special focus on trophic interactions and body size, and employ a mixture of experimental and theoretical approaches using marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems to test ideas and hypotheses in ecology.
- Exploring the role of biodiversity in driving the stability of communities using a mixture of experiments and modelling approaches.
- Marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems can be explored.
Professor Mark Emmerson
My research group works on the interface of behaviour and ecology. We are particularly interested in how human-induce environmental change affects the behaviour of animals. Our approach is mostly experimental, and we study invertebrates and vertebrates both in the laboratory and in the wild.
- Human-induce environmental change affects the behaviour of animals
Dr Hansjoerg Kunc
Research in our lab uses complimentary ecogenomics tools to elucidate eco-physiological mechanisms in microbial systems that underpin ecosystem services. Specifically we focus on;
Eco-physiology of aerobic methylotrophs: bacteria that utilise one-carbon (C1) compounds (i.e. methane, methylated amines)
Microbial "functional" diversity and their impact on ecosystem functions (e.g. climate active trace gas cycling, soil and plant health and coupled biogeochemical cycles)
Biotechnological potential of aerobic methane-oxidising bacteria (MOB)
- Eco-physiology of aerobic methylotrophs: bacteria that utilise one-carbon (C1) compounds (i.e. methane, methylated amines)
- Microbial "functional" diversity and their impact on ecosystem functions (e.g. climate active trace gas cycling, soil and plant health and coupled biogeochemical cycles)
- Biotechnological potential of aerobic methane-oxidising bacteria (MOB)
Dr Deepak Kumaresan
My research is orientated towards the development and application of modern genomic methodologies and bioinformatics pipelines, to gain further understanding on population genetic structuring, evolutionary patterns and life history variation. Research emphasis is given to aquatic organisms (mainly salmonid fish and crustaceans).
Current research includes: local adaptation; taxonomy and phylogeography; landscape genetics; genetic diversity, population connectivity, genetic tagging; genetic consequences of deliberate/accidental introductions of culture fish on wild populations; GSI; identification of QTLs; identification/delimitation of conservation and management units.
- Local adaptation
- Taxonomy and phylogeography
- Landscape genetics
- Genetic diversity, population connectivity, genetic tagging
- Genetic consequences of deliberate/accidental introductions of culture fish on wild populations
- Identification of QTLs;
- Identification/delimitation of conservation and management units.
Professor Paulo A. Prodöhl
Policy-relevant evaluation of conservation strategies e.g. agri-environment schemes; Conservation ecology e.g. the impact of bushmeat hunting on Central American large mammals; Applied ecology of farmland species e.g. badgers and their role in bovine tuberculosis; Ecology of invasive species e.g. non-native plants and mammals; Statistical advances in terrestrial mammal abundance estimation e.g. Distance Sampling and camera trap Random Encounter Models; the Impact of hunting wild mammals with dogs e.g. hare coursing and most recently biodiversity, sustainability and carbon sequestration.
- Conservation Biology, Ecology, Zoology or Environmental Science (or allied subjects) with an interested in policy-relevant evaluation of conservation strategies e.g. agri-environment schemes
- Conservation ecology especially in the tropics (rainforest biomes)
- Applied ecology (particularly of farmland species or non-native biological invasions) or development of methods in biodiversity monitoring and surveillance (with an emerging interest in the use of Artificial Intelligence i.e. neural networks for camera trap or satellite image analysis (including Geographic Information Systems) or soundscape audio analysis). Please read my online profile before approaching.
Dr Neil Reid
My main interests are reproductive, behavioural and ecological physiology, working at the whole animal level, using several different systems (e.g. dogs, cows, meerkats, voles, mice, mole-rats, pangolins, deer, squirrels, badgers, elephants, cheetahs). Work is interdisciplinary, encompassing aspects of energetics and thermoregulation, behavioural ecology, movement ecology, conservation physiology and chronobiology. The main areas of research may be sub‑grouped into:
Energy expenditure, metabolism and resting metabolic rate.
Behavioural Ecology, cooperative breeding and the evolution of breeding systems.
The physiology and evolutionary ecology of organisms, with particular emphasis on thermoregulatory adaptations to the environment.
Interactions between energetics, life history strategies and disease.
Use of physiological techniques for implementing practical conservation.
Quantitative measurements of comparative physiology, ecophysiology and behaviour which include laboratory and field determinations of metabolism, thermoregulation, disease, movement and behavioural profiling. We pursue ideas of conservation physiology in which quantitative data are used to inform management strategies in natural and agricultural environments. Examples include studies on energetics and movement in cheetahs, pangolins, and sloths as well as behaviour and disease in badgers with risks of tuberculosis infection to cattle.
- Energy expenditure, metabolism and resting metabolic rate.
- Behavioural Ecology, cooperative breeding and the evolution of breeding systems.
- The physiology and evolutionary ecology of organisms, with particular emphasis on thermoregulatory adaptations to the environment.
- Interactions between energetics, life history strategies and disease.
- Use of physiological techniques for implementing practical conservation.
Dr Michael Scantlebury
Dr Sigwart’s research focusses on the evolution of marine biodiversity. Adaptive features, which are relevant to each particular species, shape how they respond to environmental perturbations, in the modern world and in the fossil record. We use tomography to visualise animal adaptations in 3D and understand the world from other organisms' points of view.
Understanding the way animals respond to environmental change, require high resolution data from multiple disciplines. The work in our research group crosses genetics, morphology, anatomy, neurobiology, physiology, computational modelling, and experimental approaches, to understand the drivers for species diversity.
Our group has many strong international links especially in California, USA, and Malaysia.
- Systematics and phylogenetics - taxonomy of marine invertebrates - species concepts
Dr Julia Sigwart
My research focuses on elucidating the link between dietary intake and cancer risk/progression, including;
Analysis of dietary intake data within large cohorts and RCTs
Development of interventions to promote long term behaviour change
Nutrition intervention studies examining clinically relevant endpoints
Developing evidence based guidelines through systematic reviews and meta-analyses of dietary intake and cancer risk/progression
Collaboration with NI Biobank to examine the relationship between nutrition/obesity related molecular markers in tumour tissue and cancer progression.
- Analysis of dietary intake data within large cohorts and RCTs
- Development of interventions to promote long term behaviour change
- Nutrition intervention studies examining clinically relevant endpoints
- Developing evidence based guidelines through systematic reviews and meta-analyses of dietary intake and cancer risk/progression
- Collaboration with NI Biobank to examine the relationship between nutrition/obesity related molecular markers in tumour tissue and cancer progression.
Dr Marie Cantwell
Dr Cuong Cao is a Lecturer in Advanced Micro- and Nano-Diagnostics. His research has been dedicated to bringing together elements from micro- and nanofabrication, applied physics, analytical chemistry, and biology which is truly multidisciplinary in nature. His original research articles have been mostly published in leading, high impact journals such as Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Small, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Water Research, Lab on a Chip, etc.
Dr Cao research focuses on three main research topics exploiting cutting-edge micro- and nano-technologies to address these global challenges:
Synthesis and fabrication of optically-active materials using both top-down and bottom-up approaches to provide high quality plasmonic nanomaterials for biosensing.
Development of nanoplasmonics-based biosensing platforms, including but not limited to SPR, LSPR, SERS, and particle-based detections.
Development of point-of-care analyses: we aim to incorporate and transfer molecular diagnostic techniques and nanoplasmonic transducers on to compact lab-on-a-chip formats
- Synthesis and fabrication of optically-active materials using both top-down and bottom-up approaches to provide high quality plasmonic nanomaterials for biosensing.
- Development of nanoplasmonics-based biosensing platforms, including but not limited to SPR, LSPR, SERS, and particle-based detections.
- Development of point-of-care analyses: we aim to incorporate and transfer molecular diagnostic techniques and nanoplasmonic transducers on to compact lab-on-a-chip formats.
Dr Cuong Cao
Moira’s research group focuses on studying the ‘head, heart and hands’ (perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours) of actors along the food supply chain to explore food security challenges in three main areas:
global food integrity
nutrition and health
how we’ll feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.
Applying a holistic, integrated and experiential approach, Moira’s research group aims to understand actors from ‘farm to fork’ (e.g. farmers, manufacturers, policy-makers, and consumers), using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, to provide implications for policy, practice, and subsequent research. Research in the group has explored, for example: food traceability; food quality (including safety); food fraud, competitiveness, resilience and trust in food supply chains; food marketing; food portion sizes; food shopping; and cooking/food skills.
- global food integrity
- nutrition and health
- how we’ll feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.
Professor Moira Dean
Identifying and finding solutions to the accidental and deliberate contamination of the world’s feed and food supply systems. Our research groups develop highly innovative ways to detect contamination using a wide range of analytical tools such as immunoassay, molecular spectroscopy and advanced mass spectrometry.
We also build chemometric models to ‘fingerprint foods’ and other advanced software tools to identfying where food contamination incidents may occur in the future using predictive analytics.
- Highly innovative ways to detect contamination using a wide range of analytical tools such as immunoassay, molecular spectroscopy and advanced mass spectrometry.
Professor Chris Elliott
My work concerns molecular aspects of Human Nutrition and Health, focusing specifically on metabolic disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. I investigate metabolites (human and dietary) to answer fundamental biological questions.
The aims are to discover:
metabolite (metabolomic) signatures of human disease and human dietary patterns?
the nutritive and non-nutritive benefits which can be harnessed from the metabolites and components of our diet?
- High resolution LC-MS/MS metabolite profiling of novel animal model of ageing and dementia
- Discovery of novel metabolomic biomarkers indicating risk of delirium or cognitive decline
- Food and plant bioactives with therapeutic actions in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease
Dr Brian D Green
Tassos Koidis long time research interest has been olive oil, its composition and bioactive properties and its authenticity, especially the methods to detect olive oil adulteration. Tassos also worked on cold pressed rapeseed oil produced locally in Northern Ireland resolving its chemical and physical profile, investigating novel pre-processing extraction methods and developing instrumental methods to detect substitution fraud with lesser oils. He had published extensively on this subject and is recognised as an authority within the UK and beyond in the chemistry and authenticity of vegetables oils.
His research has expanded in novel preservation technologies (such as cold plasma, high pressure processing, ultrasound) and their impact on food quality and safety. More recently, his main focus is on developing robust and rapid analytical platforms using vibrational spectroscopy (MID, NIR, Raman) and chemometics to predict the chemical parameters of plant-based foods, including their composition and origin. Using this platform he developed methods for vegetable oils, including palm oil and its derivatives, and coffee (traceability and authenticity) among others.
Current work includes online NIR sensing to control the black tea processing in pilot scale, a very promising concept for continuous measurements in the production line of food factories that together with a robust e-decision system also in development, would enable managers to take informed decisions in real-time and optimise production. Last but not least, in collaboration with machine learning experts, he developed a novel multivariate dimensionality reduction method (CLPP) and a comprehensive framework for augmenting spectral data that would help spectroscopy based chemometric models become more universal and independent of the instrument used doing their calibration or testing.
- Multivariate statistical methods,
- Fingerprint analysis and novel processing technologies when relevant to advance our understanding of the chemical and physical parameters of foods in relation to their structure
- Bioactivity and their authenticity via development of cutting edge analytical methods.
Dr Tassos Koidis
PhD and Post-doc opportunities are constantly available. Please, get in touch with me, if interested in conducting research on the topics in my profile.
Research area interest lies in the area of mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites of fungi, plants and bacteria. This includes: novel LC-MS based methods for the rapid and accurate quantification of these biotoxins and their modified forms in food and feed; determination of appropriate biomarkers to assess the exposure of humans; metabolomics based approaches to study plant-fungi- interactions; integrated strategies to mitigate the issue of mycotoxins along the entire food chain in coop. with China.
Professor Rudolf Krska
My research interest is in citizen-centered approaches that enable delivery of accessible and impactful solutions which positively impact population health and wellbeing. My approach is multidisciplinary, working with experts across disciplines and with stakeholders across public and private sectors.
Current research projects are exploring societal engagement, knowledge and trust in food production and its impact on educational and health outcomes. The role of data analytics and digital technologies in contextualizing and communicating information to empower citizens is also of interest.
- Exploring societal engagement, knowledge and trust in food production and its impact on educational and health outcomes.
Dr Danielle McCarthy
Andrew’s research is on the biogeochemical cycling of contaminants in agronomic & natural ecosystems focusing on:
Pollutant fluxes into & out of ecosystems
How organisms are exposed to contaminants
How those contaminants are assimilated & metabolized
Adaptive strategies to avoid/detoxify contaminants.
Andrew has also concentrated specifically on Arsenic using advanced speciation techniques, to investigate its environmental behavior.
- Pollutant fluxes into & out of ecosystems
- How organisms are exposed to contaminants
- How those contaminants are assimilated & metabolized
- Adaptive strategies to avoid/detoxify contaminants.
Professor Andrew Meharg
Open to PhD applications in;
The goal of the research is to better understand host-microbial interactions in the context of food security. To achieve this goal, we use next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, molecular biology and experimental approaches to study environmental microbiomes and the effect on their host: Next-Generation Sequencing and the study of genomes/transcriptomes and their response to and interaction with the environment, microbiomes, transcriptomics and diversity analysis, soil-plant-microbial interactions, food pathogens and gut microbiota.
- Understanding host-microbial interactions in the context of food security
Dr Caroline Meharg
Research interests reside in applying innovative effect-based bioanalysis techniques including proteomic and metabolomic profiling tools to issues relating to food safety with a particular emphasis on identifying chemical and biological agent exposure in the feed/food/animal supply chain. On-going research projects within the Institute for Global Food Security focus on development of techniques for emerging chemical contaminant monitoring and detection in the food supply chain and food-producing animals, and the development of new technologies to enhance the efficacy of disease diagnosis and screening in animal production systems.
- Development of techniques for more effective detection and monitoring of emerging chemical threats and endemic diseases affecting food safety and sustainable food production.
Dr Mark Mooney
Collection and utilisation of data from national food consumption databases to understand how foods, nutrients, food ingredients and food borne chemicals can influence health. She is also interested in how this data can be used to underpin public health policy relating to nutrition and food safety and to guide product development.
- Understanding how the foods we consume can influence our health and what we can do to make them more healthful.
Dr Anne Nugent
My research group works with the agri-food sector to improve farm animal welfare, and our programme spans broiler chickens, laying hens, pigs and cattle. Much of our research in recent years has involved developing ‘bird-directed’ environmental enrichment strategies for broiler chickens, and this research has had a direct impact on farm practice in the UK. We also work in the fields of biosecurity and dairy cow lameness, and in the development of abbatoir-based and on-farm welfare measures.
- Developing ‘bird-directed’ environmental enrichment strategies for broiler chickens
- Biosecurity and dairy cow lameness
- Development of abbatoir-based and on-farm welfare measures
Professor Niamh O'Connell
Professor Roche’s research focuses on two key themes;
Precision Nutrition: One ‘healthy’ diet does not fit all. Human intervention studies demonstrate that individuals will respond or not to any healthy diet, despite equivalent compliance. Precision Nutrition seeks to determine if / how / why certain individuals are at risk of dietary stressors and / or respond for effectively to a healthy dietary intervention.
Nutrigenomic approaches will elucidate the molecular mechanisms wherein nutrition impacts health. It is at the cutting edge of translational nutrition research.
Current research projects, conducted in collaboration with University College Dublin, Ireland, focus on metabolic - inflammation, relating to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD) and sarcopenia.
- Understanding if/how the foods/nutrients consumed influence human health, with a view to advancing understanding in relation to the mechanistic and evidence base.
Professor Helen Roche
Our research interest is to decipher the molecular mechanisms linking nutritional signalling (e.g. high-fat and high-carbohydrate diet) with the onset of chronic metabolic disease, including insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Our long term goal is to apply multidisciplinary approaches (e.g. Crispr/cas9 and gene sequencing) that interface lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and gut microbiome to identify pharmaceutical targets and functional foods that may land supports for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome.
- Insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease
Dr Qiaozhu Su
Professor Vanhaecke’s research focus is mainly HRMS-based (untargeted) metabolomics, enclosing multi-component screening and enabling for instance biomarker studies, which are specifically designed to serve multiple applications with a particular focus on food intake and food-related Western diseases.
- Biofluid metabolomics for discovering biomarkers for diet-related conditions.
- Tissue metabolomics and DNA adductomics to unravel the link between meat consumption and Western diseases.
- Environmental metabolomics to study environmental contamination.
- Food metabolomics as a means to determine food safety and quality.
Professor Lynn Vanhaecke
Paul’s research interests centre on understanding plant-soil interactions and improving soil health. With over 70 papers, 3 of which having received enough citations to place them in the top 1% of their academic field based on publication year (Essential Science Indicators).
Paul has also written the chapter on high-resolution analysis in the authoritative subject related book “DGT for Environmental Measurement” Cambridge University Press, which is part of the Environmental Chemistry Series and he has an h-index of 31. In 2009 his work on arsenic in rice was identified by Thompson Reuters, Essential Science Indicators, November 2009, Environment & Ecology category as the most cited paper in the Fast Moving Front “Arsenic Speciation”.
Over the past 17 years Paul's focus has been to identify and attempt to correct the hidden inequality existing in global diets, a quest that’s taken him to the tannery slums of Dhaka, through to inaccessible mountain-dwelling communities in China poisoned by selenium – an element more commonly viewed in the “West” as being a super-nutrient, and the rice paddies projects of Sekinchan - a vital part of Malaysia’s food security strategy. Paul is currently researching the scientific/agronomic potential of a technology called DGT that can be used to analyse soil/water quality, in a bid to evaluate agro-ecosystem sustainability/health.
- Global food security
Dr Paul Williams
As a cross-disciplinary microbiologist I am interested in utilising molecular microbiology in diverse areas including bioorganic chemistry (e.g. biocatalysis), environmental science (e.g. soil profiling), process engineering, geology (e.g. understanding global cycles in the soil microbiome and the process of soil genesis) and paleoecology. This makes my work unusually diverse.
- Bioinformatics or a related discipline (or equivalent, including other research experience)
Professor Chris Allen
My research hinges on the fundamental biology and control of parasitic worms that inflict debilitating disease in humans, and undermine global animal health.
Through the exploitation of ‘omics’ resources and the development and application of parasite functional genomics tools, my work aims to interrogate important aspects of parasite biology (movement, feeding, reproduction, host infection/interaction) to reveal novel drug targets for worm control. With this in mind I am currently interested in the exploitation of the human gastrointestinal nematode Strongyloides stercoralis for advanced functional genomics studies (CRISPR/Cas9) of parasite biology, in particular endocannabinoid signaling.
- Exploitation of the human gastrointestinal nematode Strongyloides stercoralis for advanced functional genomics studies (CRISPR/Cas9) of parasite biology.
Dr Louise Atkinson
Professor Creevey's research focuses on Computational biology with an interest in applying ecological and evolutionary principals to microbial communities, especially for those associated with animal hosts, everything from ruminants (Cattle and Sheep) to South American Poison Frogs. Prof. Creevey’s research group consists of students and postdoctoral researchers from both pure biological and computational backgrounds (and everything in between). The research in the group involves in vitro and in vivo experiments (with collaborators) but primarily focusses on bioinformatic analyses, including the development of novel open source computational approaches for evolutionary analyses and understanding microbial community organisation and structure.
- Bioinformatic analyses
- in vitro and in vivo experiments
Professor Chris Creevey
I work in the field of helminth biology, and more specifically schistosomiasis which is a major human disease of tropical and sub-tropical countries. My research interest’s cover, schistosome calcium homeostasis and drug design, microbiomes and helminths, schistosome induced hepatic disease, and helminth tegumental structure/function. Overall my research agenda and expertise falls under the broad banner of host-parasite interactions, and include the use of transcriptomics, functional genomics and cellular biology.
I have active research collaborations with groups in Australia, USA, Malaysia, China and Thailand. My local research collaborations include the University of Edinburgh, University of Newcastle, Kingston University, Lancaster University and the Sanger Institute.
- Chistosome calcium homeostasis and drug design
- Microbiomes and helminths
- Schistosome induced hepatic disease
- Helminth tegumental structure/function.
Dr Geoffrey Gobert
My work sits at the interface of Biological Sciences, chemical biology, chemistry, biochemistry and genomics entailing the development and application of novel enabling technologies to basic science and disease characterisation.
My research focuses on the application of proteomics based mass spectrometry to the fields of Microbiology, Pathogens, Parasitology, Pharmacology, Biotechnology and human health. My current focus is on defining the molecular aetiology of host pathogen interactions within the gut.
- Proteomics based mass spectrometry to the fields of Microbiology, Pathogens, Parasitology, Pharmacology, Biotechnology and human health.
- Defining the molecular aetiology of host pathogen interactions within the gut.
Dr Bobby Graham
Irene is Professor of Microbiology and Food Safety within the Institute for Global Food Security. Her long time research interest has been Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, its heat resistance, presence in milk and dairy products, and methods for its accurate detection and enumeration in milk and faeces. She has published extensively on this subject and is recognized as an international authority on this potentially foodborne and zoonotic bacterium. More recently, her research has expanded to include Mycobacterium bovis, the cause of bovine tuberculosis. Irene manages Containment Level 2 and 3 pathogen laboratories within the Institute, where research on a range of foodborne pathogens – Salmonella spp., Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli - is undertaken.
Her main interest is in developing improved methods to detect the above range of foodborne zoonotic pathogens, principally by generation of novel pathogen-specific binders (antibodies and phage-display derived peptide binders) which are then evaluated for application in magnetic separation, ELISA, lateral flow devices, or other biosensor platforms.
- Food Microbiology
- Microbial Biochemistry
Professor Irene R Grant
My research interest orbits around the field of protein biochemistry and is focused on two main areas. The first is on understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of membrane proteins, in particular those that function in membrane transport processes in the malaria parasite and in multidrug efflux in pathogenic bacteria. My second area of interest is in exploiting knowledge of fundamental protein biochemistry for novel applications in elite sports.
- Understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of membrane proteins
- Exploiting knowledge of fundamental protein biochemistry for novel applications in elite sports
Dr Christopher Law
Our research centres on infectious disease and has two main strands:
The detection and monitoring of infectious diseases, especially parasitic infections. The work encompasses the monitoring of farm animals for parasitic infections and how this correlates to farm management practices and vector ecology. One area of focus encompasses analysis of changes in the distribution and prevalence of parasitic diseases in farm animals over time and correlating this to treatment regimens / anthelmintic resistance, farm practices and climate change. We also screen and monitor the prevalence of key disease vectors and associated pathogens, including ticks and tick-borne diseases. Other key aspects of these studies include monitoring local bee populations for infections and horizon scanning for new and emerging diseases;
We are using new advances in sensor technologies to develop detailed understanding of animal behaviour and to exploit these tools and data to determine infection status to inform disease management and control.
Additionally, we use advanced thermography as a tool for the early detection of key inflammatory conditions.
- The detection and monitoring of infectious diseases
- The work encompasses the monitoring of farm animals for parasitic infections
- Develop detailed understanding of animal behaviour and to exploit these tools and data to determine infection status to inform disease management and control.
Dr Nikki Marks
We work to reconcile omics data with biological functions in the context of parasite disease control. Our focus is on the development of novel drugs / vaccines for parasites through the discovery and validation of new targets for these interventions.
We interrogate pathways and processes that control parasite behaviour (parasite nervous systems and muscles) as well as their growth and development (parasite stem cells) to uncover these new targets. Vaccine candidates encompass virulence proteins involved in the host-parasite interaction as well as novel, parasite-specific proteins lacking known homologues.
We develop functional genomics tools for parasites, facilitating the delineation of gene function and the exposure of new control targets from diverse omics datasets. Work also encompasses the translation of in vitro gene silencing methods for both the in vivo assessment of target value and for the direct control of parasitic worms.
- Biological/veterinary/medical science
- Infectious disease
- Functional genomics
- Exploitation and development of new ‘omics’ technologies for drug discovery/disease control.
Professor Aaron Maule
John’s research is translational and cross-disciplinary in nature which encompasses microbiology, biochemistry, microbial ecology, metagenomics-metatranscriptomics, engineering, and chemistry. Much of his research effort is devoted to understanding how microbial communities can be managed to remove and recycle value added products from waste, make renewable energy sustainable, and improve human health. Specifically this work focuses on:
The biogeochemistry of microbial phosphorus and organophosphorus cycling in the marine, freshwater, terrestrial, agri-food and engineered (anaerobic digestor and activated sludge) environments
Development of biological and chemical approaches for the removal and/or recovery of high-value compounds from waste eg. phosphorus, ammonia, volatile fatty acids, formaldehyde, herbicides etc)
- The biogeochemistry of microbial phosphorus and organophosphorus cycling in the marine, freshwater, terrestrial, agri-food and engineered
- Development of biological and chemical approaches for the removal and/or recovery of high-value compounds from waste eg. phosphorus, ammonia, volatile fatty acids, formaldehyde, herbicides etc)
Professor John McGrath
My research group focuses on understanding more about the pathogen Clostridium difficile. We utilize omic technologies to investigate the biochemistry and genetics of this organism, and in particular use high throughput MS-based proteomics. We have also utilized this technology to describe the proteome of a range of bacteria including the extremophiles Oceanobacillus iheyensis and Geobacillus thermoleovorans. We are interested in the exploitation of microorganisms and their metabolic capabilities, for example in the utilisation of white-rot fungi for the degradation of pollutants.
- Proteomics to resolve microbial questions
Professor Geoff McMullan
I am primarily interested in how climate influences the epidemiology of parasitic infections in animals, and in applying this understanding to help manage parasites and reduce their impacts on health, production and population viability. Specific areas include:
Building and testing predictive models of parasite infection patterns in grazing animals
Selective intervention against parasites in livestock to support production and livelihoods
Parasite transmission at the wild-domestic interface
Lungworm and ascarid infections in dogs, cats and wild canids
- Building and testing predictive models of parasite infection patterns in grazing animals
- Selective intervention against parasites in livestock to support production and livelihoods
- Parasite transmission at the wild-domestic interface
- Lungworm and ascarid infections in dogs, cats and wild canids
Professor Eric Morgan
Nematode pathogens threaten livestock production and global food security. Resistance-induced inefficacy is common amongst many of the current anti-nematode therapeutics and will render them obsolete in the not-so-distant future. Sustained nematode pathogen control relies on the delivery of novel chemotherapeutics and/or development of resistance-breaking control strategies, and requires new/improved drug discovery tools.
My research focusses on the identification and priortisation of novel control targets within the neuropeptidergic system of nematodes, and the development of functional genomics platforms for control-target validation.
- Identification and priortisation of novel control targets within the neuropeptidergic system of nematodes
- Development of functional genomics platforms for control-target validation.
Dr Angela Mousley
Dr Mark Robinson’s research focuses on helminth parasites and how they interact with their hosts at a molecular level. Of particular interest are peptidases, immunomodulators and extracellular vesicles secreted by trematodes such as liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) and rumen fluke (Calicophoron daubneyi) as these have critical roles during infection and pathogenesis. The overarching aim of this work is to develop new strategies to protect animals and humans from parasitic infections or to improve diagnosis.
- Extracellular vesicles
Dr Mark Robinson
I work in the field of systems biology the objective of which is the study of biological systems, including genes, RNAs, proteins, metabolites and cells in a focused manner, and organs, organisms and populations in a broader context. Areas of research focus include;
Studying the effects of man-made contaminants (e.g. microplastics, persistent organic pollutants, xenobiotics) on marine and human health
Studying prostate cancer in the context of racial differences and nutritional deficiency
Examining the impacts of long term space travel – specifically the effects of nutrition, torpor, space radiation and microgravity on hepatic and intestinal biology
Developing a rat model of opioid abuse to better understand the biological basis for substance abuse disorders and advance development of preventive strategies and more efficacious treatments
Developing a robust toolkit for better integration of Omics data sets into genotype-phenotype predictions.
I maintain active research collaborations with groups in the USA (University of California, Medical University of South Carolina, Wake Forest School of Medicine), (Université de Camerino & Università Politecnica delle Marche (Italy), National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland) & University of Aberdeen (Scotland).
- Computer science
- Marine biology
Professor Gary Hardiman
Dr Linda Stewart research focuses on the following;
Development of rapid diagnostics for the detection of bacterial pathogens.Involves:biomarker discovery; binder generation, including polyclonal, monoclonal and recombinant antibodies, and peptide binders; binder characterisation and epitope mapping. Bacterial targets include Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli Bacteroides fragilis. Detection platforms include lateral flow, biosensors, latex agglutination, ELISA, microfluidics, raman spectroscopy
The microbiome: specifically, Bacteroides fragilis and its role in health and disease.
Antimicrobial resistance and the discovery of novel antimicrobials
- Development of rapid diagnostics for the detection of bacterial pathogens
- The microbiome
- Antimicrobial resistance and the discovery of novel antimicrobials
Dr Linda Stewart
My research focuses on the domain Archaea, and aims to understand how these microorganisms interact, both with their environment and within complex microbial communities, using conventional microbiological approaches combined with techniques including genomics, metagenomics, and phenomics. Other areas of research include fundamental biology of archaea, including studies of archaeal biofilms, stress responses, and archaea as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance in the environment.
Dr Julianne Megaw
His research is concerned with the role of natural selection as the driver of evolutionary change that leads to the origin, adaptation and extinctions of species, with the aim of understanding the global organisation of biodiversity, its responses to climate change and the implementation of actions for their conservation.
Natural selection, adaptation, extinctions, adaptive radiation, climate, macroecology, reptiles, amphibians
- Evolutionary biology
- Climate change biology
- Conservation biology
- Vertebrate ecology
Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso
My research involves the application of mass spectrometry to health and disease. I have a particular focus on human milk profiling and developing methods to take a systems biology approach to understanding the role that different components of human milk play in the development of the infant microbiome. My work takes a combination of approaches employing 'omic technologies with culture-based microbiology.
As a microbiologist by training, I maintain a wider interest in the application of mass spectrometry (focusing on ambient ionisation mass spectrometry) to microbial applications including in animal and plant disease diagnosis, and understanding microbe-microbe and host-microbiome interactions.
Mass spectrometry, microbiology, metabolomics, human milk, microbiome,
- I am open to students (any level) interested in research within my group and would welcome email enquiries outlining your past research experience, how your interests align with my group, and a potential project you would be interested in exploring.
Dr Simon Cameron
My main research interest are centred around the biochemistry of human RNA Polymerase I (Pol-I) transcription machinery, molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis including signal transduction and epigenetic mechanisms, and discovery of novel drugs targeting rRNA transcription.
The level of ribosomal RNA synthesis by Pol-I is rate-limiting to ribosome biogenesis and therefore has a major influence on the cellular capacity for protein production, making Pol-I transcription fundamental to life. Elevated levels of rRNA synthesis are required to support the unrestrained proliferation of cancer cells making rRNA synthesis a valid target for anticancer therapy as well as providing opportunities for the diagnosis of cancer. On the other hand, drugs promoting rRNA synthesis might be useful for stimulation of cell growth and proliferation in cell-replacement therapy strategies.
Dr Konstantin Panov
I am interested in large scale patterns and processes explaining the evolution of animal diversity. Using state of the art phylogenetic comparative methods, I investigate fundamental questions on how ecology shapes diversity among species in physiology, morphology and behaviour. I currently focus on three major research areas: biological invasions; reproduction and parental care; sleep ecology. I have recently started to investigate how animals, like fallow deer, sleep in the wild under natural conditions.
- Biological invasions
- Reproduction and parental care
- Sleep ecology
Dr Isabella Capellini
We are a mass spectrometry-based proteomics research group with interests broadly in 3 areas:
(i) Method development and applications in quantitative proteomics with a focus of data independent acquisition (DIA/SWATH) mass spectrometry and most recently diaPASEF
(ii) The analysis of protein interaction networks and protein complexes using targeted (e.g. affinity purification) and global (e.g. native separations such as SEC) methods coupled to quantitative mass spectrometry
(iii) Host-pathogen biology with a focus on Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- The quantitative analysis proteins and protein complexes by mass spectrometry and/or host pathogen/microbe interactions
Dr Ben C Collins
My research explores how microorganisms acquire and process different nutrients – particularly phosphorus – and how this affects the environment around them. This work includes engineered and natural systems, encompasses microbial ecology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics, and ranges from identifying the organisms driving these processes to exploring the mechanisms used and their controls. Through this I hope to advance our understanding of how the natural world functions and support the development of novel technologies to reduce the impacts of human society..
- Microbial nutrient cycling and biogeochemistry, particularly of phosphorus and nitrogen
- Marine or freshwater microbiology and microbial ecology
- Microbial biochemistry
Dr Jason Chin
The McVeigh lab is interested in the biology of parasitic worms known as trematodes, or "flukes". These parasites are responsible for human diseases of global health importance, such as schistosomiasis, and animal diseases of local veterinary importance, e.g. liver fluke. We use computational methods alongside wet lab molecular biology to try to better understand these fascinating organisms, and to develop new options for diagnostics and control of the diseases that they cause.
Helminth, Parasite, Diagnosics, Functional Genomics, Bioinformatics
- Molecular Diagnostics: Polyomic approaches to helminth biomarker discovery
- Host-parasite interactions: The roles of extracellular nucleic acids in host-parasite interaction
- Schistosomiasis: Functional genomics approaches to study of snail-schistosome interactions, and development of innovative new approaches to vector control
Dr Paul McVeigh
Alberto is an applied economist with main interests in environment, energy, health, food, and human behaviour. He is particularly interested in cost-benefit analysis and non-market valuation. He applies microeconometric techniques to investigate households' choices, methodological issues in non-market valuation, and nudges for behaviour change.
- Applied econometrics to study households' choices and behaviour
- Nudges for behaviour change
- Valuing environmental and public health goods and services
Dr Alberto Longo
Professor Kyriazakis specialises in the effects of animal management on their performance, ability to cope with challenges, such as pathogens, and environmental impact. He has worked with a variety of animal species ranging from mice to cows. His recent work addresses: 1) effects of nutrition on the ability of animals to cope with pathogens; 2) use of alternative and home grown feeds for livestock systems; 3) development of methods to assess the environmental impact of local and global livestock systems.
- Interactions between animal management and health
- Modelling biological processes and environmental impacts of livetsock systems
- Sustainable livestock systems
- Precision Livetsock Farming - Smart Livestock Nutrition
- Automated detection of animal health and welfare challenges
Professor Ilias Kyriazakis
For my research I am using cohort studies and dietary intervention trials. I am interested in nutritional epidemiology and preventive nutrition, with a focus on cancer and cardio-metabolic diseases. Further specific topics I am working on are intermittent fasting, plant-based diets, body composition and metabolic health, or nutritional support for cancer patients.
Here are some examples of my work (full texts available on request):
- Nutritional Epidemiology
- Preventive Nutrition
- Nutrition and Cancer
- Nutrition and Cardiometabolic Diseases
- Cohort Studies
- Mendelian Randomization
- Mediation Analyses
- Dietary Intervention Trials
- Plant-based Diets
- Intermittent Fastin
Dr Tilman Kuhn
We are interested in the epigenetic determinants of fungal disease, specifically in Candida spp. pathogenic yeasts. We aim to dissect the molecular mechanisms by which alterations in histone modification pathways alter fungal virulence traits such as phenotypic plasticity and antifungal resistance. Our goal is to identify novel molecular targets to combat the alarming rise in fungal disease.
Candida, antifungal resistance, histone modifications, epigentics, transcriptomics
- Fungal disease and microbiology
- Fungal genetics
- Anti-fungal resistance
- Fungal molecular epigenetics
- Transcriptomics C
- omparative epigenomics
Dr Edel M. Hyland
The endocrine disruptor group research programme focuses on endocrine disrupting environmental and food based toxins resulting from modern day industrial, agricultural or natural sources and assessing the effects that these contaminants may have on human health. The Connolly team primarily utilise in vitro bioassays for the screening of endocrine disruptors in food and feed and assessing their adverse biological effects in mammalian health. This work also covers horizon scanning for emerging endocrine disruptors, assessing their mode of action and mixture effects. The overall aim of this research is to identify risk and provide information to aid exposure prevention.
Endocrine disruptors, toxicology, in vitro bioassays, mammalian cell culture, persistent organic pollutants, mycotoxins
- Endocrine disruptors
- Toxicological analysis of endocrine disruptors
- In vitro bioassay development/analysis of chemicals
- Chemical food safety
- Investigating the effects of chemicals on mammalian and environmental health.
Professor Lisa Connolly
Linda's current research within the field of microbiology focuses on the study of microbiomes to tackle key societal challenges including infectious diseases in the clinical and agricultural sectors. Her expertise involves a One-health approach on AMR surveillance utilising a combination of wet-lab, in silico and meta-‘omic methods. She also focuses on the area of antimicrobial chemotherapy, including the discovery and development of novel antimicrobials within microbiomes to combat the challenges of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
antimicrobial resistance, antibiotics, antimicrobials, microbiomes, one health, livestock, infectious diseases, discovery
- Alternative antimicrobial therapies
- Multi-omic approaches for prospecting novel antimicrobials and bioactive enzymes.
- A One health approach to understanding the origins of antimicrobial resistance in livestock neonates and colostrum.
- Early life modulation of livestock microbiomes to reduce AMR footprint
Dr Linda Oyama
Katrina's research focuses on the identification and recognition of known and emerging threats within the entire food supply chain from “environment to farm to fork” and to determine their consequential effects. She designs nanosensor / biosensor based screening methods, for the rapid on-site detection of toxins, chemical contaminants, allergens and harmful organisms, as a tools to enhance food safety and sustainability.
Sensors, microarrays, allergens, toxins, chemical contaminants, pathogens, antibody production, novel binders, biocontrol
- Antibody production, novel binders, biosensors and microarray diagnostics, allergens, natural toxins, chemical contaminants and pathogens and confirmatory techniques mass spectrometry and PCR
- Food security such as food supply chains, AMR and biocontrol, climate change and contaminant mitigation strategies
Professor Katrina Campbell
Dr. Wu have been working within a series of international collaboration frameworks in food authenticity and food safety. His current research interests focus on 1) Developing fingerprinting tools for geographic origins (via both spectroscopy and mass spectrometry tools combined with machine learning algorisms) of tea and potential fraud issues related. 2) Development of an emerging nanopore system for in vitro single molecule function studies of DNA and proteins. 3) Identification of risks for alternative protein and its testing methods (Targeting DNA, peptide and chemical contaminants).
Food Authenticity; Mass Spectrometry; Spectroscopy; Nanopore; Alternative Proteins; Tea; Fingerprinting; Machine Learning
- Cell biology
- Food chemistry
- Analytical chemistry
- Structural biology
- Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy
Dr Di Wu
I have broad interests across the field of animal behaviour, and this is reflected in the nature of the projects currently running in my lab. Investigating fundamental questions on the evolution of behaviour, and in collaboration with members of my lab, we are looking at how reproductive strategies influence the costs of reproduction for individuals, how maternal stress affects maternal investment in her offspring and its impact on survival, the function and benefits of play and how it changes as the individual develops, and decision making by third-party bystanders in relation to intervention behaviour during escalated fights.
contest behaviour, play, stress and investment, reproductive strategy and costs, ungulates
- Ungulate behaviour and management
- Contest behaviour in any species
- Projects around endocrinological and photogrammetic techniques
Dr Domhnall Jennings