School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Angela Sherry

Senior Research Fellow in Geomicrobiology



I joined Newcastle University in 2000 as a PhD student studying microbial ecotoxicogenomics. I have since undertaken a number of successful post-doctoral positions predominantly on the characterisation of microbial communities involved in anaerobic oil biodegradation, under methanogenic and sulphate-reducing conditions. More recently, my research has focused on oil bioremediation and the stimulation of hydrocarbon-degrading microbes using macro- & micro-nutrients, and nanoparticles (SmartGates). I’ve worked on UKRI, EU and industry funded research projects investigating the stimulation of microbes in reservoirs for the enhanced conversion of oil to methane and determining factors which govern the onset of oil field souring by spore-forming, thermophilic, sulphate-reducing microorganisms. I am currently supervising PhD students on projects linked to polygonal microbial mats from the Abu Dhabi sabkha, aerobic methane oxidation in marine sediments, and oil field corrosion and souring with industry collaborators.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2642-5376 (

Researcher ID: A-3293-2012 (

Scopus Author ID: 26428468200 (


2000-2005: Ph.D. in Molecular Microbial Ecology, Newcastle University.
1996-2000: 1st Class Honours in Applied Microbiology, University of Sunderland.

Research Experience

June 2018 - June 2021. Senior Research Fellow. Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences (EOPS), School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES), Newcastle University.

July 2017 – May 2018. Senior Research Fellow. Geosciences, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University (EPSRC). Deepbioengineering: Enhanced petroleum exploration and production through engineering biology.

Oct 2017 - April 2018. Senior Research Fellow. Joint Industry Project with Oil Plus and Geosciences, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University. Enhanced prediction and control of reservoir souring.

2016-2017. Principal Investigator, Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG), Newcastle University. SmartGates: a novel nutrient delivery system to enhance bioremediation of oil-contaminated sediments. 

2016-2017. Research Co-ordinator for the Institute for Sustainability (IfS), Newcastle University. 

2014-2016 Senior Research Fellow, CEG, Newcastle University (EU FP7). Kill•Spill: Integrated biotechnological solutions for combating marine oil spills.

2013-2014 Research Fellow, CEG, Newcastle University (ExxonMobil). Factors governing the onset of oilfield souring by sulfate-reducing microbes in the deep biosphere.

2013 REF2014 support to UoA7 co-ordinator Prof. IM Head.

2011-2013 Research Associate, CEG, Newcastle University (ERC). Quantifying aerobic methane oxidation in the ocean: palaeo application of a novel proxy.

2007-2011 Research Associate, CEG, Newcastle University (NERC). Crude oil oxidation without an e- acceptor; syntrophic hydrocarbon degraders work together to “crack" a tough problem.

2008-2009 Microbiology Project Manager, CEG, Newcastle University (University of Calgary & Profero Energy Inc., Canada). Stimulation of microbes in petroleum reservoirs for the enhanced conversion of oil to methane.

2006-2007 Research Associate, CEG, Newcastle University (University of Calgary and oil industry sponsors). Microbiological studies of methanogens in petroleum reservoir microbial communities.

2006-2007 Research Associate, CEG, Newcastle University (NERC urgency). Biochemical & microbial analyses of a deep saline hot water geothermal borehole in NE England.

2004-2006 Research Support Officer, CEG, Newcastle University.


Environmental Biotechnology network (EBnet) (BBSRC/EPSRC NIBB)

Geomicrobiology Network UK

International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME)

International Society for Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM)

Women in Organic Geochemistry discussion group

Earth Sciences Women’s Network (ESWN)


Research Interests

Anaerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation
Aerobic hydrocarbon biodegradation
Petroleum microbiology
Environmental Microbiology
Functional Genomics
Microbial Ecology
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
Microbial mats from Abu Dhabi sabkha

Funding, Fellowships and Esteem Indicators

2019 Enviresearch Foundation funding as Principal Investigator for The effect of molluscicide applications on agricultural soils - is pollution swapping a risk?

2019 Best Oral Presentation in Environmental Interventions: EBnet ECR conference, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield. SmartGates, a novel nutrient delivery system to enhance bioremediation of oil-contaminated sediments.

2016 - 2017 Research funding from the Institute for Sustainability, Newcastle University as Principal Investigator for SmartGates: a novel nutrient delivery system to enhance bioremediation of oil-contaminated sediments (£9.7k).

2013 - 2018 Research Fellowship, Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG), Newcastle University (£1.2k pa).

2013 - 2016 Research Fellowship, Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE), Newcastle University (£4k pa).

2013 Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (ca. €392k) CEG, Newcastle University in collaboration with Shell Oil & Gas. This award was not taken up.

2009 Geochemical Society's Paper of the Year Award for Jones et al., 2008; Nature, 451, 176-180.

Scientific poster awards: Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF), London, U.K. (2010), International Symposium on Applied Molecular Microbiology in Oil Systems (ISMOS-2), Aarhus, Denmark (2009), and ISMOS-1, University of Essex, U.K. (2007).

Session chair and co-convener of the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group (MMEG) at Newcastle University (2017 and 2006, co-convener), Bangor University (2014), and University of Warwick (2008).

Research Roles

2018 - 2019 Member of the SNES Web Working Group and co-ordinator of website content for the Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences group, SNES.

2016 - 2017 Member of the following SAgE Faculty Committees, Newcastle University: Faculty Research & Innovation Committee, Faculty Diversity Steering Group, Science & Engineering Excellence Research & Innovation Steering Group.

2015 - 2016 Researcher Chair for monthly Geosciences group meetings, CEG, Newcastle University.
2014 - 2019 Geomicrobiology Network UK Communications Officer.
2014 - 2016 Researcher representative on the HR Excellence in Research Steering Committee and the Web Portal for Researchers advisory team, Newcastle University.
2008 - 2010 Co-representative of Researcher’s Forum, CEG, Newcastle University.


Reviewer for Scientific Reports, Microbial Ecology, ISME journal, Environmental Microbiology, Organic Geochemistry, International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology, Fuel, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Microbiology, Bioengineering & Biotechnology.


PhD students:

2018-2021 1) M. Hedley. Brimstone and Treacle: Understanding oil-driven microbial souring in petroleum reservoirs. In collaboration with BP. 2) M.E.M. Sindi. Effects of physicochemical properties of injected seawater on microbial processes, corrosion and souring control strategies. In collaboration with Saudi Aramco. 3) O. Olawuyi. Sustainable enhanced bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons: beyond N and P.

2014-2018 K. Dutton. From sediment to rock: the role of microbes in early lithification of sabkha sediments. In collaboration with the Petroleum Institute/Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

2011-2015 K. Osborne. Investigating the environmental controls of hopanoid biosynthesis via functional gene analysis. 

2014 E. Bell. Knowledge build co-supervisor on sulfate-reducing Desulfotomaculum endospores and the Thermal Viability Shell. In collaboration with Exxon Mobil.

MSc students: K. Cowan (2019). A. Becker (2018), P. Karnboon (2016), G. Cueto and M. Etelej (2015), J. Chapman (2009), H. Serk (2008), L. Mckee  and S. Yahaya (2007), S. Iyer (2006).

UG students: O. Terrell & R. Clarke (2019), R. Martin & J. Rowbottom (2018), A. Crawshaw (2006).

I supervise lab-based projects on a range of topics including methanotroph communities and function in a river estuary, the effect of micronutrients on oil biodegradation, the role of spore-forming sulphate reducing microrganisms in reservoir souring, characterisation of microbial mats in a hypersaline sabkha, Abu Dhabi, biogenesis of methane from coal and biodegradation of the commonly used molluscicide, metaldehyde.


2015 & 2016  Lecturer on Sedimentary Organic Matter module (CEG8632). Microbial role in the production and preservation of sedimentary organic matter. Prepared and delivered lecture material, set exam question and assisted on geology field trip to Staithes, North Yorkshire. CEG, Newcastle University.


2015 Tutorial Study Skills for Geomatics (CEG1711). Delivered tutorial on pollution effects on ecosystem services. CEG, Newcastle University.


2015 NERC Oil and Gas CDT course. Lecture: Extra heavy oil/oil sands exploitation, economics and environmental consequences. Prepared and delivered lecture material. Durham University.


2008 Introductory lecture to MSc students on Information Molecules. CEG, Newcastle University.