Mrs Joanne Vassallo
Joanne's research (EU funded) concerns the interaction of Bacteria with engineered nanomaterials, such as nanoparticles and quantum dots. This work is being undertaken to better understand the interactions in the environment of these widely used materials with soil microbiota. Work was done using the Guyer strain of Escherichia coli K-12 (cured of plasmids, phage and free from virulence factors) grow under varying substrate-oxygen regimes, to understand how the toxicity of the nanomaterials varied. We then moved on to organisms of climate change significance in the form of the model methanotrophs Methylococcus capsultatus Bath and Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b.
Mrs Nadia Jebril
Nadia's research (Iraqi Government funded) concerns the development of novel biotechnologies for the removal of arsenic and mercury from contaminated groundwaters. Owing to the potential industrial sensitivity of this work, we are limited in what details we can put online at this stage.
Mr Nicholas Berkley
Nick's research (University funded) concerns understanding the impacts of intensively farmed bioenergy crops on soil health, in which we are looking at both soil geochemistry (metal bioaccessibility and soil physics) and microbial ecology - since the geochemistry drives the microbiology, which in turn influences plant growth. This work has focussed on both Salix viminalis L. (the basket willow) and Miscanthus xgiganteus (the giant miscanthus) at field sites across Cornwall and Nottinghamshire.
Dr Lee Hutt
Teaching & Research Associate (2016-2017)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2015-2016)
Ph.D Student (2012-2016)
Research Assistant (2012)
Lee has been the longest-standing member of my group thus far and was my first appointee. His work for me began undertaking benchwork looking at pigment slurry quality for the paper industry during some consultancy I was undertaking. He then did his Ph.D under me looking at the physiology and taxonomy of the sulfur Bacteria, namely in Thermithiobacillus spp. and in Pseudomonas spp. and Achromobacter spp. He then stayed as a HEIF-funded postdoctoral fellow working on biotechnologies for the mining industry before taking on a portion of my teaching and effectively running my laboratory for 6 months.
Dr Hutt is now employed as a Senior Technician in the School of Biological & Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth.
Dr Liz Franklin
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2014)
Liz was only with us very briefly, working on the Mobilisation of Arsenic in Cornwall (MAsC) project, setting up soil microcosms seeded with various Bacteria and tokens of arsenopyrite (iron arsenic sulfide), and conducting baseline molecular ecological studies on the soil microbiota.
Dr Franklin is now a Demonstrator at Bournemouth University.