Personal profile


My research interests centre on the diversity, function and adaptation of microbial life in the deep terrestrial habitats, spanning pristine and engineered subsurface environments on Earth, and the potential for life on other planetary bodies. I combine high-pressure subsurface simulation with genomic tools and geochemistry to understand the role of microbiology in these extreme environments. Particular areas of interest are the roles of microbial communities in hydraulically fractured shale environments and geological CO2 storage repositories. I am especially interested in how negetaive 'biofouling' processes (bioclogging, souring, unwanted biogenic gas production etc) can be attenuated, and ways in which positive processes (such as enhanced CO2 sequestration and conversion of CO2 into useful products) can be promoted using biotechnology. Fundamental to these research interests is the quest to understand how microorganisms cooperate with one another and function as consortia, and in particular how metabolic interdependencies drive these positive and negative processes. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Microbial iron reduction on Earth and Mars, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 10 Oct 2014

External positions

Visiting Research Fellow, OUAstrobiology, The Open University

2019 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Biotechnology
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


  • Microbiology
  • Deep terrestrial subsurface
  • Carbon cycling
  • Microbial ecology
  • Biofouling
  • Biotechnology


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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