Associate Professor of Microbial Physiology and Taxonomy (University of Plymouth) and Associate Head of School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Biological Sciences Subject Group [Division] Lead), 2012 to present.

Editor-In-Chief, FEMS Microbiology Letters, 2014 to present.

I am a microbial physiologist, taxonomist, biochemist and historian of science, with my main area of interest being chemolithoautotrophic and photolithoautotrophic Bacteria key to the sulfur cycle. The electron donors I am interested in are polythionates, elementary sulfur, thiosulfate, dithionate, carbon disulfide and one-carbon sulfur compounds such as dimethylsulfide. I am also interested in metal redox reactions mediated by the Bacteria, particularly metals of the d and f blocks of the periodic table such as iron, manganese, uranium and plutonium. I have side-interests in bioremediation, biomining and biorefinery and in particular in the production of commodities from wastes. I make extensive use of genomics and evolutionary analyses in my work.

My physiological interests include growth kinetics, bioenergetics, use of the chemostat as a tool in understanding energy metabolism. 

My biochemical interests include flavin-linked monooxygenases, di-iron monooxygenases, copper monooxygenases, PQQ-linked dehydrogenases and cytochromes and other respiratory chain proteins. 

My taxonomic interests include the general 'sulfur Bacteria', namely those of the Alphaproteobacteria (StarkeyaParacoccusXanthobacter), the Betaproteobacteria (ThiobacillusAnnwoodiaThiomonas), the Gammaproteobacteria (HalothiobacillusGuyparkeriaThiomicrospiraThiomicrorhabdusHydrogenovibrio) and the Acidithiobacillia (Thermithiobacillus and Acidithiobacillus). I am also interested in methylotrophs such as MethylobacteriumMethylomonasMethylococcusMethylosinus and Crenothrix.

I have thus far named 2 species (Methylophaga thiooxydans and Methylophaga lonarensis), 5 genera (AnnwoodiaGuyparkeriaThiomicrorhabdusThiolineaThiofilum), 8 families (ThiobacillaceaeZoogloeaceaeAzonexaceae, Sterolibacteraceae, Thioalkalibacteraceae, Thiolineaceae, Thiofilaceae, Leucotrichaceae) and a class (Hydrogenophilalia). I have also named too many comb. novae to remember! 

My historical interests centre on early women microbiologists, in particular Mrs Grace C Frankland FLS FRMS (nee Toynbee) and the work of her husband Prof Percy Frankland FRS. I am also interested in early female Fellows of the Linnean Society of London and the Royal Society.