School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Nicholas Aldred

Senior Research Associate



I am a Research Fellow with interests in biological adhesion and marine biofouling processes. My main focus is investigation of the adhesion and adhesive interfaces of sessile marine organisms, such as barnacles, also developing methods to quantify and interrogate their settlement and pre-settlement behaviour. The applications of my research are in the development of synthetic bioadhesives for hi-tech applications and fouling-resistant materials for marine use.

Current position

US Office of Naval Research award (AS Clare, N Aldred, JA Finlay). Laboratory measures of the settlement behavior of barnacles and algae, and evaluation of novel antifouling coatings.

Area of Expertise



PhD, Newcastle University (2007) on: "The adhesion and adhesives of barnacles (Balanus amphitrite; Semibalanus balanoides) and mussels (Mytilus edulis)". 

B.Sc. (Hons.) in Marine Biology (2002) from The University of Wales, Bangor.

Recent Funding

  • (2017) The Leverhulme Trust (PI): "Going back to basics: reverse engineering the adhesive of the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida"
  • (2016) COST Association (Co-applicant): "ENBA: The European network of bioadhesion expertise"
  • (2016) ONR Global (PI): "Biochemical investigation of barnacle cyprid adhesive using confocal laser scanning microscopy and 2-photon microscopy
  • (2015) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory: "Production of synthetic barnacle adhesives"

Current PhD Students

  • Joshua Raine - Investigation of barnacle cyprid temporary adhesion
  • David Webb - Production of synthetic barnacle adhesives
  • Jan Kardela - Investigation of superhydrophilic antifouling coatings
  • Faizal Nadzari - Larval settlement of the tubeworm Ficopomatus enigmaticus

Former PhD Students

  • Dr Sofia Franco - Aquaculture of the stalked barnacle, Pollicipes pollicipes

Google Scholar Metrics

Author of over 40 peer-reviewed publications attracting over 200 total citations per year (H-Index = 21). 3 have over 100 citations and several appear in top multidisciplinary journals (e.g. Nature Communications, Journal of the Royal Society Interface).

Google Scholar:

Research Highlights

The oily adhesive of barnacle larvae, e.g. (

Front cover of JEB in June 2013,

Front cover of the journal Biointerphases in 2010.

Recent Invited Talks

  • Session chair and speaker, biological adhesives session at the 2017 meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology, Gothenburg, July 2017.
  • The 18th International Congress on Marine Corrosion and Fouling (ICMCF), Toulon, June 2016.  
  • The 17th International Congress on Marine Corrosion and Fouling (ICMCF), Singapore, July 2014. (Session organiser)
  • Co-organiser (scientific committee) and session chair of the 1st and 2nd International Conferences on Biological and Bio-Inspired adhesives, Lisbon May 2012 and Istanbul May 2014.
  • The 245th American Chemical Society National Meeting, New Orleans, April 2013. (Session chair)
  • Organiser of Horizon 2020 Consortium Building workshop, Newcastle, September 2012.
  • The 16th ICMCF, Seattle, July 2012.
  • The ‘Bioglue’ conference, Vienna, November 2010. (Plenary and session chair)
  • The 15th ICMCF, Newcastle, July 2010.
  • The 43rd IUPAC World Polymer Congress, Glasgow, July 2010.