Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Dr Gary Caldwell

Senior Lecturer in Applied Marine Biology

Background

Roles and Responsibilities

Marine Science Postgraduate Research Student Selector

Qualifications

  • B. Sc.(Hons 1st Class) Uni. Wales, Bangor
  • Ph. D. Newcastle University

Previous Positions

  • 2005-6. Marine Biology Teaching Fellow, Newcastle University
  • 2004. NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Calgary and Environment Canada)
  • 2003-4. Research Associate, Newcastle University, Soil Association Scotland.

Memberships


Research

Research Interests

Google Scholar profile

My research interests and activities are broad in nature. The main research themes are described below.

Algae Biotechnology

I am active in developing algae (both micro- and macroalgae) as sources of marine biofuels and bioactive products, working on aspects of algae culture, anaerobic digestion (including the recently completed £2.8 million InnovateUK-BBSRC SeaGas project), low energy harvesting systems (notably foam flotation), functional biocomposites, and for a range of ecosystem services. I also apply algae biotechnology in rather more unconventional scenarios, for example as part of our built environment - see the Euro 3.4 million H2020 project, Living Architecture.

Chemical Ecology

I have long standing interests related to plant, animal and microbial interactions which are mainly modulated by chemically driven processes, e.g. production of toxic metabolites (e.g. polyunsaturated aldehydes) and/or the production of non-toxic but otherwise biologically active compounds. I am especially interested in the role of algal-derived compounds in structuring aquatic food webs. 

Ecotoxicology and Marine Venoms

I am interested in the biological response of organisms following exposure to xenobiotics and marine venoms, particularly where multiple stressors are involved. 

Marine Microbiomes

I am currently working on characterising the microbiomes associated with hadal trench amphipods, coastal sponges, sea cucumber, seaweeds and microalgae.

Current Postgraduate Supervision

  • Leah Brown (MPhil) - Gut microbiome of deep sea (hadal depth) amphipods. Co-supervised with Dr Alan Jamieson. [pending corrections]
  • Chloe Eastabrook (PhD) - Mixture toxicity: metals, non-ionising radiation and the cyanotoxin beta-methylamino-L-alanine. Co-supervised with Dr Knut Erik Tollefsen and  Prof. Tony Clare.
  • Prayoon Enmak (PhD) - Intensifying foam flotation for harvesting microalgae. Co-supervised with Prof. Adam Harvey and Dr Jon Lee.
  • Alex Goodridge (PhD) - Novel biocatalysts to improve the degradation of macroalgae biomass. Co-supervised with Dr John Bothwell
  • Rachel Hart (MPhil) - Developing microalgae biocomposites for wastewater bioremediation. Co-supervised with Dr Maxim Kapralov.
  • Iain Hope (PhD) - RuBisCo dynamics in cold adapted algae. Co-supervised with Dr Maxim KapralovDr Jon Telling and Dr Dana Ofiteru.
  • Warm In-Na (PhD) - Developing sustainable microalgae biocomposites for carbon capture applications. Co-supervised with Dr Jon Lee.
  • Salihu Musa (PhD) - Cost effective biodiesel production from microalgae by reactive extraction in a foam column. Co-supervised with Dr Jon Lee. [pending corrections] 
  • Belinda Njumo (PhD) - Developing algae biofuel technology for Cameroon. Co-supervised with Dr Ethan Hack and Dr Thomas Howard.
  • Matthew Pickersgill (PhD) - Microalgae and wastewater treatment: an industrial case study. Co-supervised with Dr Jon Lee.
  • Natalie Waite (MPhil) - Neutral modelling of complex microbial systems. Co-supervised with Dr Will Reid.  
  • Matthew Walker (MPhil) - Algae biocomposites for wastewater treatment. Co-supervised with Dr Maxim Kapralov and Dr Jon Lee.
  • Johanna Weston (PhD) - Biogeography of halal trench amphipods. Co-supervised with Dr Alan Jamieson.

Completed PhDs: Dr Rebecca Taylor [The role of diatom aldehydes in the benthos: grazing defence or diatom signal molecule?]; Dr Hannah Dunston [Impacts of algal biotoxins on the freshwater survival of Atlantic salmon]; Dr Helen Pagett [Characterising glycans involved in barnacle gregariousness]; Dr Susan Fitzer [Multigenerational effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification on the copepod Tisbe battagliai]; Dr Thea Coward [Foam fractionation: an effective technology for harvesting microalgae biomass]; Dr Hilary Redden [Seasonal aspects relating to the potential use of macroalgae as biofuel]; Dr Alessandra Gallina [The role of polyunsaturated aldehydes in the life and biology of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi in culture and in situ]; Dr Supanut Pairohakul [Evidence for polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in the ragworm (Nereis virens) and the lugworm (Arenicola marina)]; Dr Helen Graham [Determining the impacts of ocean acidification on reproductive and developmental fitness of marine invertebrates]; Dr Alanoud Rawdhan [Ultrastructural studies of micro-algae in infochemical manipulated mass culture]; Dr Guang Gao [Developing systems for the commercial culture of Ulva species in the UK]; Dr Norlaila Mohd Zanuri [The effects of environmental contaminants and ocean acidification on reproductive success in marine invertebrates]; Dr Chelsea Brain [Bioprocessing in microalgae]; Dr Georgina Robinson [Microbial-deposit feeder aquaculture bioremediation systems]; Dr Rebecca Martin [The adhesion of the barnacle Elminius modestus (Darwin) to fouling-release coatings]; Dr Adibi Rahiman Md. Nor [The effect of seaweed aquaculture cooperatives on sustainable livelihoods in Malaysia]; Dr Sana Akram Butt [Toxicity of engineered nanoparticles to marine bivalve molluscs]; Dr Muayad Al-karawi [Development and intensification of a foam flotation system in harvesting microalgae for biofuel]; Dr Abbas Umar [The screening, fabrication and production of microalgae biocomposites for carbon capture and utilisation]; Dr Leila Zhang [Renewable energy-assessment of pretreatment and co-digestion strategies to optimize methane production from microalgae] 

Completed MPhils: Josh Raine [Responses of the diatom, Navicula incerta, to intra-specific signals and nutrient availability]; Emily O'Hara [Exploring temperature sensitivity of nematocysts and the expression of toxin genes in the sea anemone Actinia equina, with preliminary analysis of the specificity of intracapsular fluid/venom composition]; Lucy Gorman [Assessment of the bioactivity of venom from the lesser weever (Echiichthys vipera) in alternative animal models]; Ilaria Spiga [Effects of anthropogenic noise on marine fish and invertebrates]; Paul Whitworth [Microbial ecology of seaweed-fed anaerobic digesters]

Esteem Indicators

Associate Editor for Invertebrate Reproduction and Development.


Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching


  • MST1204 Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences
  • MST1205 Marine Practical Skills I
  • MST1206 Marine Microbiology and Primary Producers
  • MST2202 Applied Marine Biology (Module Leader)
  • MST2204 Research and Employability Skills
  • MST2105 Marine Practical Skills II
  • MST3102 Advanced Marine Zoology (Marine Poisons, Venoms and Toxins)
  • MST3104 Research Project: Marine Biology 


Publications