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Research Team

Orkun Soyer, PI

Orkun

Soyer is an expert in the theoretical analysis of structure and dynamics of biological networks. His research in systems biology has elucidated evolutionary paths and factors leading to current day features of cellular networks and as such is linked to minimal, and evolutionarily stable design in synthetic biology. Role: Soyer's lab will focus on developing the theoretical and experimental approaches for synthetic community design and contribute to directed evolution and modelling of natural communities. OSS Lab
Angus Buckling, Co-I

Angus

Buckling is an expert in experimental microbial evolution and ecology. 
He has worked extensively on host-parasite (bacteria-phage) coevolution, social evolution and evolutionary diversification. 
He has recently started to carry out experimental evolution in natural environments to achieve more applied aims. 
Role: Buckling's lab will focus on directed evolution of microbial communities and will contribute to 
design and analysis of synthetic communities. Buckling Lab
Tom Curtis, Co-I

Tom

Curtis is an expert in the engineering of biological treatment systems. His core interest is the engineering of real open microbial systems and he has become particularly well known for his work on the engineering of the diversity and community assembly of microbial communities. Role: Curtis' lab will focus on scale-up of synthetic communities to large scale reactors and implementation of developed insights from natural communities. He will also heavily contribute to modelling, synthetic design, and directed evolution experiments. Curtis Lab

David Stuckey, Co-I

David Stuckey

Stuckey is a expert on anaerobic digestion and has developed both the novel Anaerobic 
Baffled Reactor (ABR), and the Submerged Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (SAMBR). The latter was awarded the Royal Society Brian Mercer 
Award for Innovation in 2008. Over the years he has developed the standard bioassay techniques used in the field and is internationally 
leading in the production and characterisation of Soluble Microbial Products (SMPs) in anaerobic systems. Role: Stuckey lab will 
focus on the scaling up of developed synthetic communities and transfer of insights from natural communities to applications in 
industrial reactors. Stuckey Lab
Jan Dolfing, Co-I

Jan

Dolfing is an expert on anaerobic bioreactors, syntrophic interactions and the degradation of halogenated compounds. The recurring theme in his work is the use of thermodynamics to delineate the limits and logic of anaerobic microbial processes. Role: Dolfing lab will focus on the development of mathematical models for the study of natural and synthetic communities. Dolfing Lab
David Swarbreck, Co-I

David Swarbreck

Swarbreck is an expert on computational approaches to analyse next generation sequence data for a wide variety of applications including gene prediction, transcriptomics and epigenetics. He has contributed to the analysis of human and mouse genomes for (in particular human chromosome one) and played a key role in the development of the TAIR resource as major international plant genomics database. Role: Swarbreck lab will focus on the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses of samples collected from directed evolution experiments. Swarbreck Lab
Phil Hobbs, Consultant

Phil

Hobbs is an expert in 
microbial systems used in waste treatment and biomethane production. Recently, his 
research led to the design of a commercial high technology small scale digester. This and 
his work on benchmarking commercial biomethane plants in the EU has led to a focus on process 
control for optimisation using microbial approaches. Role: Hobbs will contribute to the design 
of directed evolution experiments in serial batch reactors and experimental design of synthetic communities. Anaerobic Analytics
Rick Titball, Co-I

Rick

Titball is an expert in molecular microbiology and intracellular pathogens. He has worked extensively determining the molecular basis of virulence and has significant expertise on the construction of mutants and the overexpression of genes in environmental bacteria. Role: Titball lab will focus on the design and experimental development of synthetic microbial communities. Titball Lab
Declan Bates, Co-I

Declan

Bates is an expert in the development and application of techniques for the modelling, analysis, control and optimisation of complex dynamical systems. He has pioneered application of tools and ideas from control theory to biological systems Role: Bates lab will contribute to the development of theoretical approaches to the study of natural communities and design of synthetic ones.
 Bates Lab
David Studholme, Co-I

David Studholme

Studholme is an expert on comparative genomics and bioinformatics approaches to microbes and the evolution of emerging diseases. He contributed to the development of, now widely used, Pfam and InterPro databases. He also played a key role in establishing methods and pipelines for handling step-change in sequencing data when Illumina GA sequencing facilities first became available. Role: Studholme lab will contribute to the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data from directed evolution experiments and synthetic communities. Studholme Lab
Russell Davenport, Co-I

Russell

Davenport is an expert in the development and application of molecular tools to understand relationships between microorganisms and the processes that they mediate. His work has focussed on specific bacterial functional groups and overall diversity using quantitative, and recently, next-generation sequencing tools. Role: Davenport lab will contribute to the analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data from directed evolution experiments and synthetic communities. Davenport Lab
Mary Coates, Project Manager

Mary

Born in Leamington Spa 1978. BSc in Biological Sciences from The University of Exeter (2001). PhD from The University of Warwick (2007) working with Prof. Jim Beynon on Plant-Microbe Interactions. I have undertaken various Project Facilitator and Project Management positions within the University of Warwick since 2008.
PDRAs
Tobias Grosskopf, Matthew Wade, Pawel Sierocinski, Yu Tao, Jing Chen, Mark Alston, Evangelos Petropoulos
Technicians

Simone Zenobi (Warwick), Christopher du Wolf (Warwick), Florian Bayer (Exeter)

PhD Students

The late Xue Jiang (Warwick), Henry Porter (Warwick), Mel du Lac (Warwick, Barbara Shannon (Exeter), Peter Stilwell (Exeter), Katy Jones (Exeter).

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