• 20851
1985 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Profile

Research interests

My research interests focus on gaining a deeper understanding of the role of mammalian commensal bacteria on health and disease. Key interests include:

  • elucidating the composition of the human and mammalian gut microbiota
  • identifying keystone species for complex fibre degradation
  • identifying bacterial species for their contribution to acetate, propionate, butyrate synthesis and     lactate utilisation
  • using model fermentor systems to study environmental factors on microbial metabolism and bacterial competition
  • mining the genomes of gut anaerobes for key traits of interest
  • screening commensal bacterial strains for bacterial secondary metabolites and for their ability to inhibit the growth of important pathogens



Member of the Organizing Committee for the series of Rowett-INRA International 3-day conferences on Gut Microbiology held in Aberdeen and in Clermont Ferrand (meetings held bi-annually in Aberdeen and Clermont-Ferrand).

Regularly invited to review primary papers (receiving several requests per week) which includes invitations from high quality journals (such as Nature, ISME journal, Scientific report, FEMS) and to prepare invited review articles and book chapters. In addition to review grants by International funding bodies.

In addition to review grants by both National (MRC RCUK) and International funding bodies including NWO scheme, The Netherlands and Chilean government funding scheme.

During 2019-2020 External examiner for three PhD students (Australia, New Zealand and Ireland).


External Funding

2014-2018. National Institute of Health (USA) funding. Role of microbial metabolites in cancer prevention and aetiology.  

2015-2018.Christian Hansenfunding. Exploiting the microbiome to prevent and treat human disease.

2016-2020. Tenovus charitable trust funding. Mechanisms underpinning the links between diet, the intestinal microbiota and health.  

2016-2021. Heineken. Molecular and physiological characterisation of Pectinatus frisingensis

2020-2023. KTP-Enterobiotix partnership. Development of faecal microbiota transplant for Clostridium difficile treatment



PhD students

Wing Sun Faith Chung (2012-2016) Development of new targeted prebiotic approaches for optimising the human intestinal microbiota

Liviana Ricci (2016-2020)Mechanistic studies on the role of dominant human gut anaerobes and their interactions in determining colonisation resistance and individual responses to dietary oligosaccharides


Elena Conti (2016-2021) Assessment of mechanisms underpinning the links between diet-responsive gut anaerobes and health, including response to bile acids and antimicrobial activity against pathogens

Ajay Iyer (2016-2021)The Revalorisation Potential of Invasive Scottish Plants

Timo Kramer (2016-2021) Molecular and Physiological characterisation of Pectinatus frisingensis

Galiana Lo (2019 and due to complete end of 2021) Mining and modelling the human gut microbiome to elucidate its metabolic potential (working title)



Course coordinator for Honours Microbiology (MC4014, option 1)

Lecturing and tutorials for MSc Clinical nutrition for disease prevention course (PU5541)

Tutorial for MSc Nutrition course (RR5502)


Supervision of MSc student projects

Duncan Tolometti, MSc Microbiology (2020). Characterisation of abundant and under-researched bacterial species isolated from the human colon

Shruti Pai, MSc Clinical Nutrition (2021). Fermentation of mannans and mannan-oligosaccharides by representative human gut bacteria with the potential to promote health


Supervision of Honours projects

Robert Hellersmith, Microbiology (2021). The secondary metabolite producing potential of specialist and generalist gut bacteria.

Olivia Stehr, Microbiology (2021). Characterisation of new isolates of the under researched Anaerotignum genus isolated from the human gut




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 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Effects of rumen and gut microorganisms and their metabolites on the growth and survival of Escherichia coli O157

Award Date: 20 Dec 2000


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