Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Staff Profile

Dr Lucy Eland

Research Associate


I am an RA at the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. I am working on the Portabolomics Project, funded by EPSRC and am based in the ICOS group labs in the Devonshire Building.

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). I later worked on the NUFEB project.

Research Interests

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


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 Portabolomics project. I am part of the Synthetic Biology team led by Professor Anil Wipat and work in the ICOS wet labs at the Devonshire Building. 

I was formerly working on the Newcastle University, Frontiers in Engineering Biology project http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nufeb/ .I was 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 to give us a better understanding of degradation pathways.


  • Poster presentation at SBUK, Bristol, November 2018
  • Poster presentation at SB7.0, Singapore, June 2017
  • 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 Mara's, 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