Team


SYNBIOGAS Consortium:

Coordinator: Prof. James McDonald
E-mail: j.mcdonald@bangor.ac.uk
Tel: +44 01248 383077.

Bangor University, HES, Wales, United Kingdom


James McDonald

James McDonald

Professor of microbial ecology at Bangor University and Coordinator of SYNBIOGAS Project.
Current research themes include microbiome analysis of biomass-degrading microorganisms for biofuels and biotechnology, high-throughput methods for the detection of human pathogens in aquatic environments, and microbiome analysis of the complex tree disease, Acute Oak Decline.
His group applies a combination of microbiological culture techniques and contemporary ‘omics’ technologies (e.g. genomics, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics) to address these research themes.

David Jones

David Jones

Professor in Soil and Environmental Science at Bangor University and a Professorial Chair position at the University of Western Australia. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow held jointly between Cornell University and the US Department of Agriculture in the USA (with Prof Leon Kochian). He also carried out postdoctoral work under Prof Simon Gilroy at Penn State University (now Madison, WI). A major focus of his research is on understanding below-ground processes with specific focus on nutrients and human pathogen behavior in water-food-soil-plant-microbial systems.

Abdelaziz El Houari

Abdelaziz El Houari

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Microbial Ecology at Molecular Ecology Group, Bangor University, UK.
PhD in anaerobic microbiology-molecular biology at the University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour in France studying the production and elimination of sulfides produced during the anaerobic digestion of sludge from wastewater treatment plants. Followed by a postdoc in University of Poitiers (France) studying the molecular stress of the human gut microbiota. My main expertise is culture and isolation of anaerobic microorganisms, in addition to the characterization of the microbiota communities using both culture-based and/or multi-omics approaches from the anaerobic environments such us human gut, anaerobic digesters sludges, wastewater, and landfills.

Peter Golyshin

Peter Golyshin

Prof Peter Golyshin is interested in the environmental genomics of microorganisms. He performed the first omics-based studies in marine obligate hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria that play a key role in marine oil degradation worldwide. He pioneered activity-based metagenomic enzyme discovery in cow rumen, earthworm gut and deep-sea environments. His other significant achievements include the determination of the chaperonin-based cold adaptation in E. coli and Oleispira. His lab has isolated and described >10 microbial taxa at the level of the genus and above and performed culture-independent analysis of deeply branching microbial phyla from extreme habitats. His current activities focus on mining (meta)genomes for enzymes of industrial relevance from extremophiles and biodegradation of organic pollutants (including plastics) in the environment.

Alexander Lakounine

Alexander Lakounine

Professor In Enzyme Discovery and Application at School of Natural Sciences in Bangor University. Earned a M.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology at the Moscow State University in 1978. He then joined the Institute of Basic Biological Problems (former Institute of Photosynthesis) in Pushchino (Russia) where he studied nitrogen and hydrogen metabolism in photosynthetic bacteria with Dr. Ivan Gogotov. In 1987, he got his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Institute of Microbiology (Moscow, Russia) for his work on regulation and enzymology of nitrogen fixation in Rhodobacter. He then continued his work as a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Basic Biological Problems (Pushchino, Russia) in the field of microbial nitrogen and hydrogen metabolism. From 1992 to 2002, Alexander worked as a post-doctoral fellow and research associate with Dr. Patrick Hallenbeck at the University of Montreal where he studied enzymology and genetics of nitrogen fixation in Rhodobacter.In 2002, a desire to explore the anticipated wealth of purified unknown proteins produced by structural proteomics efforts led Alexander to his present position of research associate and group leader of enzyme genomics.

Marco Distasso

Marco Distasso

Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB) at Bangor University (Wales). He obtained a master degree in Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Bari in Italy. He has been working since 2014 at Bangor University as Research Technician in the research group of Prof. Peter Golyshin. He completed his PhD in 2019 working on the Innovate UK-funded project “Biotechnology for anti-weeds”, which aimed to establish the enzymatic synthesis of a natural herbicide for efficient weed control. His activities focus on metagenomics of extreme environments for mining novel enzymatic diversity, characterisation and improvement of microbial enzymes of industrial relevance. Marco is also currently involved in the co-funded NERC project “Plastic vectors”.

Samuel Wright

Samuel Wright

Research Technician at the Biocomposites centre. Bangor.

Main area of study: purification, modification and analysis of resorcinolic compounds for use in biotransformations, with an aim of nature identical herbicides.

Aix-Marseille Université, HES, France


Bernard Henrissat

Bernard Henrissat

Head of the Carbohydrate-active enzymes database (CAZy)-Marseille
Bernard Henrissat has been recognized as a leading authority in enzyme research for decades. In particular, his work on establishing an enzyme classification system and the CAZy open-source database has helped thousands of researchers to analyse amino acid sequences in enzymes. This has been invaluable in discovering similarities and differences that enable researchers to rapidly identify potentially valuable enzymes in many different organisms,” explains Claus Felby, Senior Vice President for Biotech, Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Henrissat has especially worked on carbohydrate-active enzymes, which are involved in producing, metabolizing and recognizing complex carbohydrates in the body. These enzymes are crucial in developing biobased industrial processes that use biomass for producing fuels, chemicals and materials.

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Nicolas Terrapon

Assistant Professor and head of Glycogenomics team-Marseille
Working on establishing the relationships between the aminoacid sequence of carbohydrate-active enzymes and their precise specificity. This work find developments in various areas, from the exploration of the gut microbiota to the search of novel enzymes for biofuel production or for the conversion of blood groups.

Bastian Hornung

Bastian Hornung

Bastian Hornung is a postdoctoral researcher, specialized in computational omics research.
He did his PhD in the Netherlands at Wageningen University, working on mostly intestinal meta-omics, followed by a postdoctoral position at the Leiden University Medical Center, where he worked on metagenomics of the fecal transplant, as well as on plasmids and antimicrobial resistance of Clostridium difficile.
Currently he is working at the CAZy team at the AFMB, focusing on the evolution of glycosylhydrolases and their annotation.

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Vincent Lombard

Research engineer

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung UFZ, REC, Germany

Sabine Kleinsteuber

Sabine Kleinsteuber

Senior Scientist at the UFZ Department of Environmental Microbiology and head of the Group Microbiology of Anaerobic Systems (MicAS) in Leipzig.
Her research area is microbial ecology of anoxic environments, with particular focus on engineered systems such as anaerobic digesters, wastewater treatment plants and bioreactors for the microbial conversion of organic waste into valuable products. The research aims to optimize biotechnological processes based on complex microbial communities and to harness the metabolic potential of anaerobic microbes for novel bioprocesses in the context of the circular economy. The MicAS group combines anaerobic cultivation and lab-scale bioreactor operation with molecular methods for community profiling and multi-omics approaches to explore metabolic functions and interactions in natural, enriched and engineered microbial consortia.

Rodrigo Colpo

Rodrigo Colpo

Ph.D. candidate working with metabolic network models, with a background in computation, bioinformatics, and physics. I have a keen interest in writing down as computer code the chemical interactions inter- and intra-microorganisms.

Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales, LE, United Kingdom

Anthony Roberts

Anthony Roberts

Landfill and Landfill Gas/Climate change Technical Specialist for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) which is the leading environmental regulator for industries and the natural environment across Wales. Acting industry lead for the anaerobic digestion industry and the landfill industry looking at the practical applications and the delivery aspects of inoculum and site leachate including gas production mechanics and methods of assessment and delivery in situ.

Main industry liaison for applied aspects of the SYNBIOGAS programme and the provision of varied samples from the AD and Landfill Sector within the programme.

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