The Applied & Environmental Microbiology (AEM) research group in the School of Biology investigates microbes and microbial processes of fundamental commercial and environmental importance. Commercial applications range from natural products discovery, such as the first-in-class antibiotic Abyssomicin C produced by a marine actinomycete, to methods of reducing food spoilage, microbes involved in biofuel production, creation of novel antimicrobials and uses of microbes in bioremediation of polluted environments. We also work on a range of environmentally important pathogens and host-pathogen interactions in a range of diseases including those in plants and coral reef environments.
Our research laboratories are based in the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), Devonshire Building, and include well-equipped molecular laboratories for PCR and qPCR amplification, cloning and analysis of a range of gene targets, and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). Microbiological laboratories are equipped to Category 2 standard. We have in-house facilities for fluorescence and light microscopy and easy access to central facilities for confocal and electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, proteomics and microarray facilities.
Specific projects we are involved with include: