School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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.
  • 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.
  • Warm In-Na (PhD) - Developing sustainable microalgae biocomposites for carbon capture applications. Co-supervised with Dr Jon Lee.
  • Alfonsina Milito (PhD, Open University) - Ovothiol, a marine antioxidant: discovery of its biological activities. Co-supervised with Dr Anna Polumbo and Christophe Brunet.
  • Salihu Musa (PhD) - Cost effective biodiesel production from microalgae by reactive extraction in a foam column. Co-supervised with Dr Jon Lee.  
  • 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..
  • Paul Whitworth (MPhil) - Microbial ecology of seaweed-fed anaerobic digesters [under examination]

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]

Esteem Indicators

Associate Editor for Invertebrate Reproduction and Development.


Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching (from 2014/15)

  • MST1101 Marine Biology (Module Leader)
  • MST1104  Marine Study Skills
  • MST2104 Marine Research and Employability Skills
  • MST2105 Marine Practcal Skills
  • MST3102 Advanced Marine Zoology (Marine Poisons, Venoms and Toxins)
  • MST3104/05/06/07 Research Project 

Recent B. Sc. (Hons) projects supervised have included:

2017/2018
  • Mixture toxicity of metal ions to microalgae.
  • The microbiome of breadcrumb sponges: influence of water quality.
  • Developing a paper-based microalgae biocomposite.
  • Can hydrogels be used to securely ship microalgae?
  • Controlled bleaching of the snakelocks anemone.
2016/2017
  • Microbial communities living within cultures of aldehyde and non-aldehyde producing strains of the diatom Skeletonema marinoi.
  • Toxin-encoding gene expression in the beadlet anemone Actinia equina in response to thermal stress.
  • Is there a specific nutrient requirement for maximal bioluminescence in Pyrocystis lunula (Dinoflagellata)?
  • Diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes and their potential effects on the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
  • The role of bacteria in two nitrate-conditioned biofuel cultures of Nannochloropsis oculata.
  • Assessing the ability of Salinisphaera shabanensis and Navicula incerta to grow on flame retardant and antifouling coatings.
2015/2016
  • Can cells of the sponge Halichondria panicea grow on glass microfibre filter paper?
  • Tissue regeneration, spine biomineralisation and Notch signalling in the sea urchin, Psammechinus milers.
  • Impact of C:N manipulation on bacterial communities in sea cucumber-based bioremediation systems.
  • Does weever fish envenomation trigger oxidative stress?
  • Does antibiotic treatment affect the growth of Ulva fronds?
  • Effects of copper on the sea anemone Actinia equina in relation to reproduction, oxidative stress and histology.
2014/2015
  • Impacts of short-term exposure to diatom-derived unsaturated aldehydes on swimming behaviours of copepods and rotifers.
  • Effects of ibuprofen, diclofenac and sildenafil citrate (Viagra) on swimming behaviour in microalgae.
  • Is heat treatment effective at degrading venom from the lesser weever fish, Echiichthys viper?
  • Effects of nutrients, salinity, light intensity and temperature on growth rate and lipid production of a newly discovered chlorophyte, Tetraselmis indica.
  • Effects of organic and inorganic chemicals on growth and lipid content of microalgae.
2013/2014
  • The effect of temperature and copper stress on the population growth and protein expression of Tisbe battagliai under chronic and acute conditions.
  • Algal-bacterial interactions: A case study using Dunaliella salina
  • Assessing the growth of Ulva lactuca under cultivationand identification of epiphytic bacteria potentially responsible for thallus degradation.
  • What is the potential for hydrothermal carbonisation deployment in the Shetland Islands? 
  • The effects of cetyl trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and ozone on microalgae harvesting and lipid extraction.
2012/2013
  • Motility analysis of microalgae exposed to environmental toxicants.
  • Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a tool for microalgae biotyping.
  • Effects of oxylipin exposure on microalgae motility.
  • Using three dimensional tracking spectroscopy to define the behavioural response of Artemia salina nauplii exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
2011/2012
  • Heterotrophic growth and lipid production in selected microalgae species.
  • Optimising culture conditions for carbohydrate yields from microalgae.
  • Incorporation of microalgae into functional microbial fuel cells.
  • Bioaccumulation of flame retardants in the marine food web. 
2010/11
  • Metabolic exudates from Skeletonema marinoi induce bio-flocculation in marine microalgae.
  • The kinetics of nitric oxide generation throughout the culture cycle of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi.
  • Exploration of the swimming techniques based on physiology and hydrodynamics of a juvenile white beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) using mimic tail design and testing.
  • The fatty acid profile of Capitella sp. for use in commercial recirculating aquaculture systems.
  • Analysis of the amino acid composition in Capitella sp. using Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography.
2009/2010
  • Optimising nutrient levels and harvesting frequency during the culture of Nannochloropsis oculata for biofuel production.
  • Anaerobic digestion of Laminaria digitata and co-digestion with glycerol.   
  • Effects of diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes on the motility of Nereis virens sperm. 
  • Activation of vesicular sperm from three species of barnacle through the elevation of seawater pH. 

Publications