Boden Lab

Research Laboratory of Dr Rich Boden, University of Plymouth, UK

Official website of the Boden Lab - research group of Dr Rich Boden, University of Plymouth UK. Dr Boden is Lecturer in Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology and Communications Officer in the School of Biological Sciences. He also lectures students in the School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences and the School of Marine Science & Engineering, as well as training students in the Graduate School and early-career research staff. He performs consultancy for a number of different industries, from chemical manufacturers to mineral companies.

The Boden Lab is a team of interdisciplinary bacteriologists, physiologist, biochemists and geochemists working on a range of pure and applied research projects with the overarching themes of microbial sulfur and metal metabolism with particular focus on enzymology and bioenergetics, as well as the more applied areas of biorefinery and biohydrometallurgy. 

Current Members

Mr Lee Hutt B.Sc (Hons) (Ph.D Student Sept 2012-Present; Research Assistant Jun 2012 - Aug 2012)

Lee's research focusses on the metabolism of inorganic sulfur oxyanions such as thiosulfate and polythionates in organisms utilising the Kelly-Trudinger pathway of sulfur oxidation, in which tetrasulfur intermediates are formed. He is working with both chemolithoautotrophic organisms (Thermithiobacillus tepidarius ; Thermithiobacillus parkeri  and Thiobacillus thioparus ) and chemolithoheterotrophic organisms (including the former "Thiobacillus trautweinii "). His interests include the bioenergetic effects of sulfur oxidation in terms of carbon partitioning and storage and ATP production and major stable-isotope partitioning in sulfur end-products. He is also interested in the taxonomy and systematics of a range of sulfur-oxidising Bacteria. Prior to commencing his Ph.D, Lee worked in the Boden Lab for 2 months assisting with some consultancy work commissioned by a major international mineral company.

Miss Karolina Krupska B.Sc (Hons) (M.Res Student April 2014-Present)

With a background in metal mobilisation and contamination for the Environment Agency, Karolina's M.Res Applied Marine Science project focusses on the microbial metabolism of uranium, thorium, plutonium, neptunium and americium isotopes in marine sediments from the regions downstream of nuclear power stations so as to understand how these trace-contaminants move in response to microbial activity and how microbial action may add/remove them from the human food chain.

Mr Jack Cowling (Research Assistant June 2013-Present) 

Jack works on both growth kinetics in a range of organisms, assisting with the maintenance of our continuous flow chemostats and undertaking a range of biochemical assays to monitor microbial growth and on industrial biotechnology, focussing on bioextraction technologies for extracting rare-earth elements from low-grade ores and soils. Jack has been instrumental in the development of novel bioextraction technologies and has a wide technical skills base, including ICP-MS and analytical chemistry.

Former Members

Mr Tom Hathway (Research Assistant July 2013-Jan 2014)

Tom worked on the biorecovery of rare earth elements from mixed solutions, working to optimise proven-in-principle biotechnologies prior to scale-up and isolating and engineering novel strains to improve our biorecovery consortia. His other duties included maintenance of our extremophile culture collection and keeping other workers supplied with a range of media.

Mr Ryan Baylis (Research Assistant July 2012-May 2013) 

Ryan optimised and helped develop our rare earth biorefinery methods, including the biorefinery process now used in BioORE. 

Dr Liz Franklin (Postdoctoral Research Fellow June 2013-Sept 2013)

Liz joined us with a background in ant behaviour and ecology and undertook two studies - one on bioenergy crop effects on soil microbial ecology and metal geochemistry and also undertook the preliminary work on MAsC, setting up the initial experiments, ready to run for 2 years. 

Background image Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Canada. Copyright © 2008 Benson Kua (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Photograph of Dr Rich Boden, Copyright  © 2013 University of Plymouth. Post-production editing by Dr Jamie Caryl.