Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology

Staff Profile

Dr Lucy Eland

Research Associate

Background

I am an RA at the School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, UK. I am working on the Frontiers of Engineering Biology Project, funded by EPSRC and am based in both the wet labs at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Newcastle University and the School  of Computing Science.

I studied for an undergraduate degree in Zoology at Durham University and then moved to the School of Civil Engineering and Geoscience, Newcastle University to do a Masters in Environmental Engineering. I also did my PhD in Environmental Engineering, looking at the application of molecular biology techniques to photosynthetic organisms in Waste Stabilization Pond systems (low cost wastewater treatment).

Research Interests

  • Molecular Biology techniques
  • Microfluidics
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Engineered biological systems
  • Synthetic biology
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Waste Stabilization Ponds
  • Low cost wastewater treatment for developing countries


Research

I am a biologist and did my PhD in Environmental Engineering, looking at methods for the study of microbial ecology in Waste Stabilization Pond systems. These systems exploit the processes of mixed bacterial and algal communities to treat wastewater and are mainly used in developing countries. Field work for the project involved collaborations with two universities, Universidade Federal do Ceará, in Fortaleza, Brazil and CINARA, Universidad del Valle, in Cali, Colombia, and allowed me to spend a month in each of the universities.

 I am currently working on the Newcastle University, Frontiers in Engineering Biology project http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nufeb/ . I am part of the Synthetic Biology team led by Professor Anil Wipat and split my time between Computing Science (Claremont Tower) and the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology laboratories (The Baddiley-Clark Building).

I am particularly interested in the degradation of Estrogen compounds in wastewater treatment plants and am optimising methods for whole genome sequencing of known estrogen degraders, which coupled with bioinformatics tools will give us a better understanding of degradation pathways. Microscopy and microfluidics methods for measurement and understanding of bacterial activated sludge dynamics are a key part of my current project.

Conferences

  • Oral presentation at the ASM conference on 'The Individual Microbe: Single-Cell Analysis and Agent-based Modeling' in Washington DC, USA, in March 2016
  • Two presentations and a poster at the International Water Associations, 10th Specialist group conference, on Wastewater Pond Technology, August 2013, Colombia
  • Poster presentation, Algal Biotechnology, Biofuels and Beyond, UCL, February 2012
  • Presentation at Agua 2011, Ecosystems and Society conference, in Cali, Colombia, November 2011
  • Presentation and member of conference organising committee, Post Graduate research conference, Newcastle University, June 2011
  • Poster,  IWA conference ‘Microbes in Wastewater and Waste Treatment’, Goa, India, January 2011
  • Poster at Professor Duncan Maras, Valedictory Symposium - The Global Public Health Crisis. School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, January 2011
  • Oral presentation, Molecular Microbial Ecology Group (MMEG) conference in Warwick, UK in December 2010

Outreach and engagement

  • Science table at Science Uncovered 2016 event at the Great North Museum Hancock, September 2016
  • Magazine article 'How microbes are solving the pollution of the sexual revolution', for the Society of Applied Microbiologys publication 'Microbiologist'.

Publications