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Personal profile

Research Profile

I am a microbiologist by training with specific interests in the bacteria that inhabit the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. I received my PhD from the University of Dundee, specialising in gut microbiology and the role that intestinal bacteria play in the breakdown of dietary fibre. I then spent eight years at the Wellcome Sanger Institute before moving to my current post as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen/Rowett Institute. 

Key research interests include:

  • interactions between the gut microbiome and pathogens
  • links between host diet, the gut microbiome, and disease
  • microbial ecology of gut ecosystems
  • cultivation and genomic analyses of gut microbes



Clarivate (Web of Science) highly cited researcher: 2019 and 2020 

Editorial Roles:

  • Microbiome (2013 – 2017) [Editorial Board member then Associate Editor]
  • Microbial Genomics (2015 – present) [Senior Editor to July 2021, then Editor]

Grant Panel Member:

  • The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). 20/3/13 to 22/3/13
  • BBSRC, Tools and Resources Development Fund (15TDRF1). 10/2/16 to 11/2/16.
  • The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). 15/3/16 to 17/3/16.
  • BBSRC Institute Assessment Exercise. 20/9/16.
  • European Commission Joint Programming Initiative. 30/5/17 to 31/5/17 and 7/9/17 to 8/9/17.
  • BBSRC, Responsive Mode (20RM2) Committee A. 23/11/20.
  • BBSRC, Responsive Mode (20RM3) Committee A. 22/3/21.

Committee/Advisory Board Member:

  • ComMet – Community Network in Metagenomics (BBSRC funded initiative), 2014-2018.
  • EnteroBiotix Ltd – Independent Scientific & Medical Advisory Board member, 2015-present.
  • BBSRC Microbiome Expert Working Group, 28/9/16 and 15/11/16.
  • Zoe Global Ltd – Independent consultancy role, 2017-2018.
  • BBSRC Pool of Experts (Microbiome), 2018-2021.


Ann-Kristin Kaune (EC ITN-funded Ph.D. Studentship) – 2019 to 2022

Nate Cole (EC ITN-funded Ph.D. Studentship) – 2019 to 2022

Rebecca Smith (BBSRC EASTBIO Ph.D. Studentship) – 2018 to 2022

Swang Shallangwa (RESAS-funded Ph.D. Studentship) – 2017 to 2021

Helen Heaney (UoA Dev. Trust Ph.D. Studentship) – 2017 to 2021

Liviana Ricci (RESAS-funded Ph.D. Studentship) – 2016 to 2020

Elena Conti (Tenovus Scotland Ph.D. Scholarship) – 2016 to 2020

Teresa Grohmann (Industry-funded Ph.D. Studentship) – 2016 to 2020

Leah Cuthbertson (NERC CASE Ph.D. Studentship) – 2010 to 2014




  • Introduction to Microbiology, MC5008 – University of Aberdeen
  • Genes and Immunity, MB5526 – University of Aberdeen
  • Molecular Nutrition, RR5502 – University of Aberdeen
  • Clinical Nutrition for Disease Prevention, PU5541 – University of Aberdeen
  • Challenges in Global Nutrition, PU5547 – University of Aberdeen


  • Honours Microbiology, MC4014 – University of Aberdeen
  • Molecular Microbiology, MC3504 – University of Aberdeen

Education/Academic qualification

Life Sciences & Medicine, Doctoral Degree, Influence of substrate and environmental factors on human gut microbial ecology and metabolism, University of Dundee

Oct 2002Dec 2005

Award Date: 31 May 2006

Life Sciences & Medicine, Bachelors Degree, BSc (Hons) Microbiology

Sept 1997May 2001

Award Date: 5 Jul 2001


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