Tim BEACON

Professor Iain Donnison

Cyfarwyddwr BEACON

isd@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Professor Iain Donnison, director of BEACON, has worked, and subsequently led research on the genetics and physiology of temperate and tropical grasses since 1994. He leads the Environmental Impact Research Theme in IBERS.

Research Interests

Molecular genetics and genome organisation of temperate and tropical grasses. Development and exploitation of genetic and genomic tools for the study of bioenergy and forage associated quality traits in Miscanthus, Lolium and related species. The main target traits for bioenergy crops are increased yield, conversion efficiency and sustainability.
My own research interests which map onto these targets are flowering time, leaf senescence and how plant chemistry affects the conversion efficiency of energy crops. Research tools that have or are being developed include bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries, genetic, trait and physical maps, the establishment of forward mutation populations, the exploitation of syntenic relationships to associate genotype to phenotype, and the development of high throughput virtual phenotyping methods including the use of infrared spectroscopy for cell wall chemistry.

Selected publications

  • Frank Hensgen, Lutz Bühle, Iain Donnison, Katrin Heinsoo, Michael Wachendorf, Energetic conversion of European semi-natural grassland silages through the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass: Energy yields and the fate of organic compounds, Bioresource Technology, Volume 154, February 2014, Pages 192-200, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2013.12.042.
  • Ifat Parveen, Thomas Wilson, Iain S. Donnison, Alan R. Cookson, Barbara Hauck, Michael D. Threadgill, Potential sources of high value chemicals from leaves, stems and flowers of Miscanthus sinensis ‘Goliath’ and Miscanthus sacchariflorus, Phytochemistry, Volume 92, August 2013, Pages 160-167, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2013.04.004.
  • John Corton, Lutz Bühle, Michael Wachendorf, Iain S. Donnison, Mariecia D. Fraser, Bioenergy as a biodiversity management tool and the potential of a mixed species feedstock for bioenergy production in Wales, Bioresource Technology, Volume 129, February 2013, Pages 142-149, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.11.001.
  • M. Mos, S.W. Banks, D.J. Nowakowski, P.R.H. Robson, A.V. Bridgwater, I.S. Donnison, Impact of Miscanthus x giganteus senescence times on fast pyrolysis bio-oil quality, Bioresource Technology, Volume 129, February 2013, Pages 335-342,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.11.069.
  • Frank Hensgen, Lutz Bühle, Iain Donnison, Mariecia Frasier, Jim Vale, John Corton, Katrin Heinsoo, Indrek Melts, Michael Wachendorf, Mineral concentrations in solid fuels from European semi-natural grasslands after hydrothermal conditioning and subsequent mechanical dehydration, Bioresource Technology, Volume 118, August 2012, Pages 332-342, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.05.035.
  • Gordon G. Allison, Catherine Morris, Susan J. Lister, Tim Barraclough, Nicola Yates, Ian Shield, Iain S. Donnison, Effect of nitrogen fertiliser application on cell wall composition in switchgrass and reed canary grass, Biomass and Bioenergy, Volume 40, May 2012, Pages 19-26,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.01.034.
  • Lutz Bühle, Frank Hensgen, Iain Donnison, Katrin Heinsoo, Michael Wachendorf, Life cycle assessment of the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) in comparison to different energy recovery, animal-based and non-refining management systems, Bioresource Technology, Volume 111, May 2012, Pages 230-239, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2012.02.072.
  • Mark P. Robbins, Geraint Evans, John Valentine, Iain S. Donnison, Gordon G. Allison, New opportunities for the exploitation of energy crops by thermochemical conversion in Northern Europe and the UK, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Volume 38, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 138-155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2011.08.001.

Tim BEACON

Melissa Mason

Cydlynydd y Prosiect

mgm@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Already having extensive experience of European funded projects via the Social Fund (ESF), Interreg and the Rural Development Plan (RDP) I thought I’d add the full set with a foray into Regional Development Funds (ERDF). 

I co-ordinate BEACON across the 3 sites and am the main interface with, among others, the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) with regard to the project

Tim BEACON

Luned Roberts

Research Scientist

lur@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Recent Publications

Bhatia, R., Dalton, S.J., Roberts, L.A., Gallagher, J.A., Bosch, M. 2014. Genetic engineering of lignocellulosic biomass in grasses: from gene function analysis to targeted in planta deconstruction. First International Workshop on Plant Synthetic Biology.

King, J., Armstead, I.P., Harper, J.A., Ramsay, L., Snape, J., Waugh, R., James, C.L., Thomas, A.M., Gasior, D., Kelly, R.O., Roberts, L.A., Gustafson, P., King, I. 2013. Exploitation of interspecific diversity for monocot crop improvement. Heredity 110 pp. 475–483. 10.1038/hdy.2012.116

Bosch, M., Roberts, L., Dalton, S., Cookson, A., Timms-Taravella, E., Allison, G., Donnison, I. 2012. Unravelling the regulatory network controlling cell wall synthesis in grasses to improve the conversation of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels. Monogram Conference 2012.

Harper, J., Armstead, I., Thomas, A., James, C., Gasior, D., Bisaga, M., Roberts, L., King, I., King, J. 2011. Alien introgression in the grasses Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) and Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue): the development of seven monosomic substitution lines and their molecular and cytological characterization. Annals of Botany 107 (8) pp. 1313-1321. 10.1093/aob/mcr083

Bosch, M., Roberts, L.A., Dalton, S.J., Robson, P.R., Donnison, I.S., Nielsen, K., Mur, L.A.J. 2011. Brachypodium as a model for studying traits relevant for the development of bioenergy grasses. 1st European Brachypodium Workshop.

Bosch, M., Roberts, L., Dalton, S., Timms-Taravella, E., Carli, J., Allison, G., Donnison, I. 2011. Genetic engineering of energy crops to improve the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels. Aspects of Applied Biology 110. Association of Applied Biologists pp. 104-104.

Tim BEACON

Joe Nunn

Research Technician

jon8@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Tim BEACON

David Thomas

Research Technician

dit@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Publications

Spicer, S., Adams, J., Thomas, D., Gallagher, J., Winters, A. 2017. Novel rapid method for the characterisation of polymeric sugars from macroalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology 29 (3) pp. 1507-1513. 10.1007/s10811-016-0995-0

Adams, J., Bleathman, G., Gallagher, J., Thomas, D. 2017. The effect of mechanical pre-processing and different drying methodologies on bioethanol production using the brown macroalgae Laminaria digitata ((Hudson) JV Lamouroux). Journal of Applied Phycology 29 (5) 10.1007/s10811-016-1039-5

Gallagher, J.A., Cairns, A.J., Thomas, D., Timms-taravella, E., Skot, K., Charlton, A., Williams, P., Turner, L.B. 2015. Fructan synthesis, accumulation and polymer traits. II. Fructan pools in populations of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) with variation for water-soluble carbohydrate and candidate genes were not correlated with biosynthetic activity and demonstrated constraints to polymer chain extension. Frontiers in Plant Science 6 864 10.3389/fpls.2015.00864

Gallagher, J.A., Cairns, A.J., Thomas, D., Charlton, A., Williams, P., Turner, L.B. 2015. Fructan synthesis, accumulation, and polymer traits. I. Festulolium chromosome substitution lines. Frontiers in Plant Science 6 486 10.3389/fpls.2015.00486

Bryant, D., Morris, S.M., Gallagher, J., Winters, A., Donnison, I., Morris, P., Harding, G., Timms-Taravella, E., Thomas, D., Leemans, D. 2014. GB Application - Bioethanol from grass.

Bailey, R., Shaw, P.A., Thomas, D.S.G., Durcan, J.A., Singarayer, J.S. 2009. Late Quaternary highstands at Lake Chilwa, Malawi: Frequency, timing and possible forcing mechanisms in the last 44ka. Quaternary Science Reviews 28 (5-6) pp. 5-6. 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.10.023

Winters, A.L., Williams, J.H.H., Thomas, D.S., Pollock, C. 1994. Changes in gene‐expression in response to sucrose accumulation in leaf tissue of Lolium temulentum L. New Phytologist 128 (4) pp. 591-600.

Tim BEACON

Emma Timms-Taravella

Senior Research Technician

eat@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Recent Publications

Purdy, S., Maddison, A., Nunn, C., Winters, A., Timms-Taravella, E., Jones, C., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Gallagher, J. 2017. Could Miscanthus replace maize as the preferred substrate for anaerobic digestion in the United Kingdom?: Future breeding strategies. GCB Bioenergy 9 (6) pp. 1122-1139. 10.1111/gcbb.12419

Gallagher, J.A., Cairns, A.J., Thomas, D., Timms-taravella, E., Skot, K., Charlton, A., Williams, P., Turner, L.B. 2015. Fructan synthesis, accumulation and polymer traits. II. Fructan pools in populations of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) with variation for water-soluble carbohydrate and candidate genes were not correlated with biosynthetic activity and demonstrated constraints to polymer chain extension. Frontiers in Plant Science 6 864 10.3389/fpls.2015.00864

Buanafina, M.M.d.O., Dalton, S., Langdon, T., Timms-Taravella, E., Shearer, E.A., Morris, P. 2015. Functional co-expression of a fungal ferulic acid esterase and a β-1, 4 endoxylanase in Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) modifies post-harvest cell wall deconstruction. Planta 242 (1) pp. 97-111. 10.1007/s00425-015-2288-2

Bryant, D., Morris, S.M., Gallagher, J., Winters, A., Donnison, I., Morris, P., Harding, G., Timms-Taravella, E., Thomas, D., Leemans, D. 2014. GB Application - Bioethanol from grass.

Bosch, M., Roberts, L., Dalton, S., Cookson, A., Timms-Taravella, E., Allison, G., Donnison, I. 2012. Unravelling the regulatory network controlling cell wall synthesis in grasses to improve the conversation of lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels. Monogram Conference 2012.

Tim BEACON

Professor John Clifton-Brown

Research Scientist

jhc@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Professor John Clifton-Brown is a biomass champion, biomass breeder, agronomist and plant physiologist, specializing in miscanthus.

Research interests

Breeding Miscanthus
GHG
Global balances of land use for food and biomass etc..

BEACON activities

Engagement in the big picture
Providing guidance on experiments and samples for analysis

Recent Publications

Davey, C., Robson, P., Hawkins, S., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Slavov, G. 2017. Genetic relationships between spring emergence, canopy phenology and biomass yield increase the accuracy of genomic prediction in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 10.1093/jxb/erx339

Maddison, A., Camargo-Rodriguez, A., Scott, I., Jones, C., Elias, D., Hawkins, S., Massey, A., Clifton-Brown, J., McNamarra, N., Donnison, I., Purdy, S. 2017. Predicting future biomass yield in Miscanthus using the carbohydrate metabolic profile as a biomarker. GCB Bioenergy 9 (7) pp. 1264-1278. 10.1111/gcbb.12418

Hastings, A.F., Mos, M., Yesufu, J.A., McCalmont, J., Schwarz, K., Shafiei, R., Ashman, C., Nunn, C., Schüle, H., Salvatore, C., Scalici, G., Scordia, D., Wagner, M., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Economic and environmental assessment of seed and rhizome propagated Miscanthus in the UK. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 1058 10.3389/fpls.2017.01058

Purdy, S., Maddison, A., Nunn, C., Winters, A., Timms-Taravella, E., Jones, C., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I., Gallagher, J. 2017. Could Miscanthus replace maize as the preferred substrate for anaerobic digestion in the United Kingdom?: Future breeding strategies. GCB Bioenergy 9 (6) pp. 1122-1139. 10.1111/gcbb.12419

Nunn, C., St. John Hastings, A.F., Kalinina, O., Özgüven, M., Schüle, H., Tarakanov, I., van der Weijde, T., Anisimov, A., Iqbal, Y., Kiesel, A., Khokhlov, N., McCalmont, J., Meyer, H., Mos, M., Schwarz, K., Trindade, L.M., Lewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Environmental Influences on the Growing Season Duration and Ripening of Diverse Miscanthus Germplasm Grown in Six Countries. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 907 10.3389/fpls.2017.00907

Jensen, E., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Thomas Jones, S., Clifton-Brown, J., Payne, R., Donnison, I. 2017. Towards Miscanthus combustion quality improvement: the role of flowering and senescence. GCB Bioenergy 9 (5) pp. 891-908. 10.1111/gcbb.12391

Kalinina, O., Nunn, C., Sanderson, R., Hastings, A.F., van der Weijde, T., Özgüven, M., Tarakanov, I., Schüle, H., Trindade, L.M., Dolstra, O., Schwarz, K., Iqbal, Y., Kiesel, A., Mos, M., Lewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Extending Miscanthus cultivation with novel germplasm at six contrasting sites. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 563 10.3389/fpls.2017.00563

Iqbal, Y., Kiesel, A., Wagner, M., Nunn, C., Kalinina, O., Hastings, A., Clifton-Brown, J., Lewandowski, I. 2017 (In press). Harvest time optimisation for combustion quality of different miscanthus genotypes across Europe. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 727

McCalmont, J., McNamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Partitioning of ecosystem respiration of CO2 released during land-use transition from temperate agricultural grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus: Ecosystem respiration under Miscanthus. GCB Bioenergy 9 (4) GCB-B-OR-16-031 pp. 710-724. 10.1111/gcbb.12380

Clifton-Brown, J., McCalmont, J., Hastings, A. 2017. Development of Miscanthus as a Bioenergy Crop. In J. Love., J. A. Bryant. (eds) Biofuels and Bioenergy. Wiley pp. 119-132.

Kiesel, A., Nunn, C., Iqbal, Y., van der Weijde, T., Wagner, M., Özgüven, M., Tarakanov, I., Kalinina, O., Trindade, L.M., Clifton-Brown, J., Lewandowski, I. 2017. Site-specific management of miscanthus genotypes for combustion and anaerobic digestion: A comparison of energy yields. Frontiers in Plant Science 8 347 10.3389/fpls.2017.00347

McCalmont, J., Hastings, A., Mcnamara, N., Richter, G.M., Robson, P., Donnison, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Environmental costs and benefits of growing Miscanthus for bioenergy in the UK. GCB Bioenergy 9 (3) pp. 489-507. 10.1111/gcbb.12294

Davey, C., Jones, L., Squance, M., Purdy, S., Maddison, A., Cunniff, J., Donnison, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. Radiation capture and conversion efficiencies of Miscanthus sacchariflorus, M. sinensis and their naturally occurring hybrid M. × giganteus. GCB Bioenergy 9 (2) pp. 385-399. 10.1111/gcbb.12331

Clifton-Brown, J., Hastings, A., Mos, M., McCalmont, J., Ashman, C., Awty-Carroll, D., Cerazy, J., Chiang, Y., Cosentino, S., Cracroft-Eley, W., Scurlock, J., Donnison, I., Glover, C., Golab, I., Greef, J., Gwyn, J., Harding, G., Hayes, C., Helios, W., Hsu, T.W., Huang, L., Jezownski, S., Kim, D., Kiesel, A., Kotecki, A., Krzyzak, J., Lewandowski, I., Lim, S.H., Liu, J., Loosely, M., Meyer, H., Murphy-Bokern, D., Nelson, W., Pogrzeba, M., Robinson, G., Robson, P., Rogers, C., Scalici, G., Schuele, H., Shafiei, R., Shevchuk, O., Schwarz, K., Squance, M., Swaller, T., Thornton, J., Truckses, T., Botnari, V., Vizir, I., Wagner, M., Warren, R., Webster, R., Yamada, T., Youell, S., Xi, Q., Zong, J., Flavell, R. 2017. Progress in upscaling Miscanthus biomass production for the European bio-economy with seed-based hybrids. GCB Bioenergy 9 (1) pp. 6-17. 10.1111/gcbb.12357

McCalmont, J., Mcnamara, N., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J. 2017. An interyear comparison of CO2 flux and carbon budget at a commercial-scale land-use transition from semi-improved grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus. GCB Bioenergy 9 (1) pp. 229-245. 10.1111/gcbb.12323

Lewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J., Trindade, L.M., Van De Linden, G., Schwarz, K., Müller-Sämann, K., Anisimov, A., Chen, C., Dolstra, O., Donnison, I., Farrar, K., Fonteyne, S., Harding, G., Hastings, A., Huxley, L., Iqbal, Y., Khokhlov, N., Kiesel, A., Lootens, P., Meyer, H., Mos, M., Muylle, H., Nunn, C., Ozguven, M., Roldán-Ruiz, I., Schüle, H., Tarakanov, I., van der Weijde, T., Wagner, M., Xi, Q., Kalinina, O. 2016. Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the European bioeconomy: Results of the EU FP7 project OPTIMISC. Frontiers in Plant Science 7 01620 10.3389/fpls.2016.01620

McCalmont, J., Davies, J., Clifton-Brown, J., Holder, A.J., Fraser, M. 2016. Miscanthus as a bedding source: A Welsh case study. SRUC and SEPA Biennial Conference - Agriculture and the Environment XI What future for our farming systems?: Environmental challenges and integrated solutions.

Davey, C., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Clifton-Brown, J., Jensen, E., Donnison, I., Slavov, G. 2016. Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in Miscanthus. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV.

Clifton-Brown, J., Schwarz, K., Hastings, A. 2015. History of the development of Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop: from small beginnings to potential realisation. Biology and Environment 115 (1) 13 pp. 45-57. 10.3318/BIOE.2015.05

Purdy, S., Maddison, A., Cunniff, J., Donnison, I., Clifton-Brown, J. 2015. Non-structural carbohydrate profiles and ratios between soluble sugars and starch serve as indicators of productivity for a bioenergy grass. AoB PLANTS 7 plv02 10.1093/aobpla/plv032

Purdy, S.J., Cunniff, J., Maddison, A.L., Jones, L.E., Barraclough, T., Castle, M., Davey, C.L., Jones, C.M., Shield, I., Gallagher, J.A., Donnison, I.S., Clifton-Brown, J.C. 2015. Seasonal Carbohydrate Dynamics and Climatic Regulation of Senescence in the Perennial Grass, Miscanthus. Bioenergy Research 8 (1) pp. 28-41. 10.1007/s12155-014-9500-2

Ings, J., Mur, L.A.J., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Bosch, M., Robson, P.R. 2014. Revealing the Molecular and Physiological Responses to Water Deficit in the Bioenergy Crop Miscanthus x giganteus. Plant Biology Europe - FESPB/EPSO 2014 Congress.

Slavov, G.T., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S., Jensen, E. 2014. Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. New Phytologist 201 (4) pp. 1227-1239. 10.1111/nph.12621

Slavov, G.T., Nipper, R., Robson, P.R., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Donnison, I.S., Jensen, E.F. 2014. Genome-wide association studies and prediction of traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in Miscanthus sinensis. Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference.

Clifton-Brown, J.C., Purdy, S.J., Hayes, C.M., Ashman, C.R., Jones, L.E., Farrar, K., Huang, L.S., Gallagher, J.A., Glover, C.M., Hinton Jones, M.E., Jensen, E.F., Loosley, R.M., Maddison, A.L., McCalmont, J.P., Nunn, C., Robson, P.R., Slavov, G.T., Warren, R.D., Webster, R.J., Youell, S.J., Donnison, I.S., Davey, C.L., Jones, C.M., Barraclough, T., Castle, M., Cunniff, J., Cracroft-Eley, W., Greef, J.M., Hastings, A., Harding, G., Lewandowski, I., Meyer, H., Mos, M., Nelson, W., Richter, G., Rodgers, C., Schwarze, K., Squance, M., Swaller, T., Shield, I., Xi, Q., Karp, A., Flavell, R. 2014. Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding. International Bioenergy Conference 2014.

Tim BEACON

Dr Judith Thornton

Low Carbon Manager

jut13@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Judith Thornton is Low Carbon Manager within the Beacon project. She works with companies interested in developing environmental building products, particularly those containing plant materials. Judith has a longstanding interest in natural building materials. She taught on the Architecture and Sustainability MSc courses at the Centre for Alternative Technology for many years and also spent time in Leeds University (Civil Engineering), University of Padova (Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering) and Cardiff University (Welsh School of Architecture). Judith was a water and sewage consultant specialising in small scale treatment systems. She co-authored the AECB Water Efficiency Standard along with Nick Grant and also wrote “Choosing Ecological Water Supply and Treatment”. She is also qualified in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and is keen to ensure that the environmental benefits of scientific advances within biorefining are properly quantified.

Research Interests

Construction materials used to be entirely sourced from the local environment, and many were based on plant materials. Whilst bio-based materials continue to be used for many applications (e.g. timber), many building components are now produced from fossil-fuels (e.g. insulation materials), or from materials with high energy costs (e.g. cement). The life cycle energy costs of modern buildings continue to be dominated by energy in use as opposed to the embodied energy in construction; it is vital to improve standards of insulation and airtightness in both new build and the existing housing stock. However, we will increasingly need to turn to bio-based materials in the future. Historically, the choice of plant material for building products was based on local opportunity, as opposed to necessarily picking what we would now consider to be the most appropriate plant for a given purpose. Whilst the usual targets for plant breeders have been food crops, we now have an opportunity to develop new bio-based materials for the construction industry based on a solid understanding of the physical properties of plants and their underpinning genetics.

BEACON Activities

  • Work with the straw bale building industry on novel straws, degradability and measuring decay
  • Development of insulative vapour open plasters for housebuilding
  • Substitutes for hemp in cast bio-aggregate wall insulation

Future Plans

  • How plant breeding can contribute to product development for the construction industry
  • Methods for preventing decay in bio-based building materials

Publications

Clifton-Brown, J., Hastings, A., Mos, M., McCalmont, J., Ashman, C., Awty-Carroll, D., Cerazy, J., Chiang, Y., Cosentino, S., Cracroft-Eley, W., Scurlock, J., Donnison, I., Glover, C., Golab, I., Greef, J., Gwyn, J., Harding, G., Hayes, C., Helios, W., Hsu, T.W., Huang, L., Jezownski, S., Kim, D., Kiesel, A., Kotecki, A., Krzyzak, J., Lewandowski, I., Lim, S.H., Liu, J., Loosely, M., Meyer, H., Murphy-Bokern, D., Nelson, W., Pogrzeba, M., Robinson, G., Robson, P., Rogers, C., Scalici, G., Schuele, H., Shafiei, R., Shevchuk, O., Schwarz, K., Squance, M., Swaller, T., Thornton, J., Truckses, T., Botnari, V., Vizir, I., Wagner, M., Warren, R., Webster, R., Yamada, T., Youell, S., Xi, Q., Zong, J., Flavell, R. 2017. Progress in upscaling Miscanthus biomass production for the European bio-economy with seed-based hybrids. GCB Bioenergy 9 (1) pp. 6-17. 10.1111/gcbb.12357

Wootton-Beard, P., Xing, Y., Durai Prabhakaran, R.T., Robson, P., Bosch, M., Thornton, J., Ormondroyd, G., Jones, P., Donnison, I. 2016. Review: Improving the impact of plant science on urban planning and design. Buildings 6 (4) 10.3390/buildings6040048

Tim BEACON

Colin Potter

Research Technician

colin.potter@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

I am an experienced Chartered Chemist with a demonstrated history of working in analytical chemistry. I am a research professional with a strong background in Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS),  Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and many other aspects of chemical analysis. I joined Bangor University early in 2017 after 30 years in industry, working mainly for Bayer Crop Science.

Tim BEACON

Carol Dery

Marketing and Communications Officer

cad22@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Following her undergraduate degree in archaeology, and research into food in the Roman period, Carol spent many years in publishing as editor, copy-editor, copy-writer and proofreader. Joining the Law Department at Aberystwyth University in 2011, her growing interest in marketing led to positions in Marketing & Student Recruitment and Digital Marketing, and she will shortly be completing an MSc in Marketing. She has previously worked in IBERS on low carbon energy (LCEE) and soils (PROSOIL) projects, before joining BEACON in 2016, where she manages marketing activities, communications, publications, social media and organises events, including workshops and conferences.

Publications

Dery, C. A. (2007). ‘Reading the Body: Materia Medica in the Founders’ Library’, in The Nature and Culture of the Human Body. Trivium 37 (ed. P. Mitchell), pp. 93-138.
Dery, C. A. (2000). ‘Milk and Dairy Products in the Roman Period’, in Milk: Beyond the Dairy. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1999 (ed. H. Walker), pp. 117-125.
Dery, C. A. (1998). ‘Fish as Food and Symbol in Ancient Rome’, in Fish: Food from the Waters. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1997 (ed. H. Walker), pp. 94-115.
Dery, C. A. (1997). ‘Food and the Roman Army: Travel, Transport and Transmission’, in Food on the Move. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1996 (ed. H. Walker), pp. 84-96.
Dery, C. A. (1996). ‘The Art of Apicius’, in Cooks and Other People. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 1995 (ed. H. Walker), pp. 111-117.

Tim BEACON

Carol Jones

Clerical Administrator

beacon@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Carol is responsible for all administrative duties relating to the BEACON project at Bangor University.

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Stevie Scanlan

Stevie.scanlan@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Tim BEACON

Tracey Roberts

Local Management Group Member

Tracey.roberts@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Tracey co-ordinates the BEACON Project on behalf of the School of Chemistry at Bangor University.

Tim BEACON

Professor Béla Paizs

Chemist and Principal Investigator

b.paizs@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

06/92 MSc in Chemistry, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary
06/98 PhD in Chemistry (summa cum laude), Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary


Recent Academic Positions

09/09–09/12  Group leader, Computational Proteomics Group, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
10/12– Professor of Chemistry, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.


Number of Publications: 78; Lectures at Meetings/Conferences: 41; Number of citations: ~3700; h-index: 34

Research Interests

Mass spectrometry and its applications in proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, glycomics and petroleomics; computational chemistry, ion spectroscopy, ion mobility spectrometry, mass spectrometry related bioinformatics.


Services offered by the Paizs lab at Bangor University

Sample preparation for mass spectrometric analysis of plant extracts
Separation of complex mixtures using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
Analysis of complex mixtures using mass spectrometry (MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS)


Instrumentation

Agilent 1100 Series LC coupled to API 4000 triple quadrupole mass spectrometer
Surveyor LC coupled to LCQ Deca ion trap mass spectrometer


Awards and Honours

Heisenberg-fellowship of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), 2009
Biemann Medal, American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2011


Editorial and Professional Service

Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 2011 –
Member of the Editorial Board, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 2012 –
Member of the Executive Committee of the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS), 2014 –

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Professor Mike Beckett

Head of Chemistry

m.a.beckett@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Research Interest

Inorganic and analytical chemistry – aspects of main group chemistry, particularly Si and B.

Service offered by the Beckett lab at Bangor University

Interactions with companies seeking help with inorganic or analytical chemistry problems. He has a strong background on the use of multi-element NMR spectroscopy and and using it in the application in measurement of Lewis acidity.

Instrumentation

The School has two NMR instruments (400 MHz and 500 MHz) which were purchased under BEACON and are available for use BEACON+.

Background

Professor Mike Beckett is Head of the School of Chemistry at Bangor University, and Director of Teaching for the College of Pure and Applied Sciences.  He is researching materials chemistry in areas related main group (boron, silicon) chemistry.  He has published  over 100 articles and has co-written a text book ('Periodic Table at a Glance', Wiley, 2006).

He was appointed to a lectureship at Bangor University in 1989. Previously, he was Lecturer at Staffordshire University, and before that he held post-doctoral research positions at Exeter University (with Prof E.W. Abel), QMC, London (with Prof B. Aylett) and Leeds University (with Prof N.N. Greenwood and Prof J.D. Kennedy).

He is a Titular Member (2018-19) of IUPAC (Division VIII) and he is leading an IUPAC funded task group on nomenclature of boron hydride systems.  He has been appointed to the International advisory committees of major International Conferences (Imeboron and Euroboron).

BEACON Activities

Currently working with Dr Al-Dulyammi on projects associated with formulation of crop micronutrients and bio-stimulation products. Silicon can act as abiostimulants in agriculture crops. The silicon has to be bioavailable and methods using plant extracts etc in the formulation of agricultural feeds, to enhance bioavailablity, is being investigated.

Future Plans

Investigation of boron as a micronutrient / biostimulant and its bioavailablity.
Inorganic analysis.

Recent Publications (2015-2017)

A new polyborate anion, [B7O9(OH)6]3-: self assembly, XRD and thermal properties  of  s-fac-[Co(dien)2][B7O9(OH)6].9H2O, M.A. Altahan, M.A. Beckett, S. J. Coles, and  P.N. Horton, Inorg. Chem Commun., 2015, 59, 95-98.

K(I)-M(II) (M = Co, Mn) heterometallic-(perfluorinated)organic frameworks containing rare inorganic layered K-O-M linkages: synthesis, crystal structures and magnetic properties, Q. Yan, X-C. Huang, J. Zhong, J. Gao, S.-C. Chen, M.-Y. He, Q. Chen, and M.A. Beckett, J. Coord. Chem. 2015, 68, 2691-2702.

Pentaborate(1-) salts templated by substituted pyrrolidinium cations: synthesis, structural characterization, and modelling of solid-state H-bond interactions by DFT calculations, M.A. Beckett, S.J. Coles, R.A. Davies, P.N. Horton and C.J. Jones, Dalton Trans, 2015, 44, 7032-7040. doi. 10.1039/c5dt00248f. (Open Access).

A new decaoxidooctaborate(2-)anion, [B8O10(OH)6]2-: synthesis and characterization of [Co(en)3][B5O6(OH)4][B8O10(OH)6].5H2O (en = 1,2-diaminoethane), M.A. Altahan, M.A. Beckett, S.J. Coles and P.N. Horton, Inorg Chem., 2015, 54, 412-414, doi:10.1021/ic5027834.

Polyborate anions templated by cationic transition-metal complexes: [Co(diNOsar)2[B3O3(OH)4]Cl5.4.75H2O, M.A. Altahan, M.A. Beckett, S.J. Coles, and P.N. Horton, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon, 2016,  191, 572-575.

DFT studies on hexaborate(2-) and heptaborate(2-) anions,  R.A. Davies, M.A. Beckett, and C.L. Jones, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon, 2016, 191, 633-637

Synthesis and characterization of templated pentaborate(1-) salts: X-ray structure of [(2-HOCH2 CH2)C4H7NMeH][B5O6(OH)4].0.3H2O, C.L. Jones, M.A. Beckett, S.J. Coles, and P.N. Horton, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon, 2016, 191, 628-630.

Recent advances in crystalline hydrated polyborates with non-metal or transition-metal complex cations, M.A. Beckett, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2016, 323, 2-14 [Invited review].

Synthesis, XRD studies and NLO properties of [p-H2NC6H4CH2NH3][B5O6(OH)4].1/2H2O and NLO properties of some related pentaborate(1-) salts, M.A. Beckett, S.J. Coles, P.N. Horton, C.L. Jones and K. Kruger, J. Clust. Sci., 2017, 28, 2087-2095.

Synthesis and characterization of polyborates templated by cationic copper(II) complexes: structural (XRD), spectroscopic, thermal (TGA/DSC) and magnetic properties, M.A. Altahan, M.A. Beckett, S,J. Coles and P.N. Horton, Polyhedron, 2017, 135, 247-257
 

Tim BEACON

Dr Martina Lahmann

Organic chemist

m.lahmann@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Research Interest

Synthetic carbohydrate and glycoconjugate chemistry, glycobiology/glycoimmunology, glycodendrimers, carbohydrate protein-interactions, antiadhesives as alternative approach to antibiotics, bioactives from plants and marine organisms.

Services offered by the Lahmann lab at Bangor University

Structure analysis by NMR (e.g. of glycosides, oligosaccharides, saponins) from plant extracts and other sources
Preparative separation of multicomponent mixtures by Flash-chromatography
Simple derivatisation of single compounds, preparation of reference materials

Instrumentation

Bruker 500 MHz and Bruker 400 MHz instruments. Wet lab facilities.

Background

02/93: Dipl rer nat – chemistry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
09/97: Dr rer nat (PhD) - chemistry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
09/05: Docent – venia legend, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden

Recent Academic Positions

9/07-1/11:  Lecturer in organic chemistry, Bangor University, Bangor, UK

2/11-present: Senior Lecturer in organic chemistry, Bangor University, Bangor, UK

Awards and Honours

Elected participant of the Swedish Summer Institute for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning 2005 (Council of the Renewal of Higher Education, S)

Editorial and Professional Service

Member of the Academic Editorial Board, PLOS ONE, 2011–present

Publications

Number of Publications: 41;  Number of citations: ~1100; h-index: 17

https://www.bangor.ac.uk/chemistry/ml/index.php#publications

Tim BEACON

Dr Juma’a Al-Dulayymi

Organic chemist

chs00c@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

I am a Research Teaching Fellow of the University and I have been and remain involved in a number of aspects of research in chemistry and biochemistry that have drawn on my wide expertise in complex, multiple-step organic synthesis. I have an extensive record of peer-reviewed publications covering my specialist fields of which over 85% have been published during my time in Bangor and working in the field of natural products and their derivatives. I am involved with international programmes of research directly related to the treatment of tuberculosis and asthma involving collaborative work with research groups in Belgium, Germany and South Africa as well as UK based research groups and companies. As part of this on-going and internationally respected work, our research group at Bangor has synthesised key components in the cell wall of the causative factor of TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Other work was involved the isolation and modification of saponins isolated from indigenous Welsh plants.

Research Interests

• Organic synthesis of novel compounds
• De novo synthesis of natural products
• Modification of natural products by organic synthesis to increase action or efficacy
• Handling of unstable natural and synthetic compounds
• Use of spectroscopic methods to identify the structure of novel compounds
• Various chromatographic separation techniques at analytical and preparatives

Background

1981 :  M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry, Baghdad, Iraq.
1991:  Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne., UK

BEACON Activities

The group is focused on 3 key activities: the identification of new natural products from local plants, their use in the synthesis of high value (natural or semi-synthetic) compounds and the development of novel products using silica or boron.

P1- Extraction of actives from local Squill varieties.
P2- Semi-synthesis of brassinolides and analogues
P3- Development of new silicic-boron foliar materials.

Future Plans

• Establish a platform for silicic and boron materials
• Expand the synthesis of high value (natural or semi-synthetic) compounds

Publications

1.  Reaction of 2 aminobenzthiazole and 3 amino 5 methylisoxazole with isothiocyanates. H.H.Al Nima, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and O.K.Hashim, J. Iraqi. Chem. Soc., 1986, 11,13.

2.  A novel method for the preparation of β,γ  unsaturated carbonyl compounds.A. Khalaf, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Mustaffa, J.H.Ali and A.K.Hasheem, J.Iraqi.  Chem. Soc. 1988,13:1, 159 172.

3.  Highly functionalised carbenes and cyclopropenes from tetrahalocyclopropanes. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird.  Tetrahedron Letts., 1988, 6147.

4.  The stereoselectivity of ring opening of 3 substituted cyclopropenes and intermolecular trapping of derived vinyl carbenes. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and W.Clegg. Tetrahedron Letts., 1988, 6149.

5.  A novel route to optically active dihydropyrans and 3 methylenetetrahydrofurans. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird,  Tetrahedron Letts., 1989, 253.

6.  Substituent effects in the generation and trapping of 1,2 dichloro 3,3 dialkylbut 2 en1 ylidenes.  Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and H.H.Hussain, Tetrahedron Letts., 1989, 2009, 4.

7.  A highly stereoselective generation and trapping of 1,2 dichloro 3 methyl 4 phenylbut 2 enylidenes. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and W.Clegg.  J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. 1989, (1), 1799.

8.  Generation and trapping of vinylcarbenes at ambient temperatures: a route to functionalised vinyl and allylidenecyclopropanes. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird. Tetrahedron, 1989, 7601.

9.  Optically active dihydropyrans and 3 methylenetetrahydrofurans from cyclopropenyl ethanol derivatives. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird, Tetrahedron, 1990, 5703.

10. Synthetic and mechanistic aspects of the cyclopropenes to vinylcarbene rearrangement. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and H.H.Hussain. Strain and its implications in Organic Chemistry, 1989, 117 120.

11. Synthesis of 1 chloro 2 vinyl 1H phosphirenes by trapping of vinylcarbenes with phosphaalkynes. H. Memmesheimer, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, T.Wetting and M.Regitz, Syn. Lett, 1991, 433.

12. An  unusual anion promoted hydrogen shift. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird, Tetrahedron Letts., 1992, 835.

13. An unusual example of stereoelectronic control in the ring opening of 3,3 disubstituted 1,2 dichloro cyclopropene. M.S.Baird, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, H.Rzepa and V.Thoss. J.Chem.Soc., Chem. Comms, 1992, 1323.

14. The stereochemistry of ring opening of 3 alkyl 1,1 dihalocyclopropenes to vinyl carbenes at ambient temperature. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and H.L.Fitton.  Tetrahedron Letts., 1992, 4803.

15.  Degradation studies under neutral and basic condition on Ciprofibrate, an orally active hypolipidemic agent containing a (4 alkoxyaryl) 1 1 dichlorocyclopropane unit. Juma’a, R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, S.J.Byard, G.Carr, G.J.Ellames, J.W.Firth, J.M.Herbert, M.A.Donald, P.R.Vojvodic and L.M.Wrench., J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. II 1993, 43.

16.  A 1,2   silicon shift in cyclopropylidenes leading to 1 trialkylcyclopropenes M.S.Baird, C.M.Dale and Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1993, 1373.

17. Highly functionalised methylenecyclopropanes from cyclopropenes. M.S.Baird, M.F. Shortt , H.H.Hussain and Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1993, 1945.

18.  Unusual chemo and stereo selectivities in the reactions of 1,2 dichlorocyclopropenes with nitrile oxides, M.S.Baird, X. Li, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, A.I.Kurdjukov and V.A.Pavlov, J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1993, 2507.

19. 1,2 dibromoalk 2 enylidenes by ring opening of 1,2 dibromo 3 alkylcyclopropenes at ambient temperatures, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird , H. L.Fitton and L.Rajaram. J.Chem.Soc., Perkin Trans. I, 1994, 1633.

20. The stereochemistry of a cyclopropene vinyl carbene rearrangement. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, L.Rajaram and W.Clegg. J. Chem. Res. (S), 1994, 344.

21. A direct and a formal trapping of propa 1,2 dienylidene. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and M.S.Baird. Tetrahedron Letts., 1995, 3393.

22. A generation and trapping of 1,2 Dibromo 3 methyl but 2 en 1 ylidenes. A.R.Al Dulayymi, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and L.Rajaram. Tetrahedron, 1995, 8371.

23. 1,2,2 tribromocyclopropanecarboxylic acid and derivatives valuable intermediates for Foure carbon cyclopropane and cyclopropene synthons. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, A.R.Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, S.D.Harkins, E.Roberts and G.Koza. Tetrahedron, 1996, 3409.

24.  Dipolar cycloaddition of a phosphorynitrile oxide to functionalised cyclopropenes. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, V.A.Pavlov and A.I.Kurdjukov. Tetrahedron, 1996, 8877.

25.  Stucture based interference with insect behaviour cyclopropene analogues of pheromones containing Z alkenes, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, M.J.Simpson, S.Nyman and G.R.Port. Tetrahedron, 1996,12509.

26. Synthesis of inhibitors of fatty acid desaturases. Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, C.M.Dale, B.Greham, M.Shortt and M.J.Simpson. Synthesis in Lipid Chemistry, 1996, 1-14.

27. A simple and efficient hydrodehalogenation of 1,1-dihalocyclopropanes. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, I.G.Bolesov, V.Tveresovsky and M.Rubin, Tetrahedron Letts., 1996, 8933.

28.  Synthesis of putative Δ6- , Δ12- and Δ15- desaturase inhibitors. J.R.Al Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, C.M.Dale, B.Greham and M.F.Shortt. Tetrahedron, 1997, 1099.

29.  Simple Four and Five Carbon Cyclopropane Synthesis Intermediates. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, A.R.Al-Dulayymi, M.S. Baird and G. Goza. Journal of Organic Chemistry USSR, 1997, 33, 867.

30.  A flexible route to [4.1.1] propellanes. A.R.Al-Dulayymi, Juma’a R.Al-Dulayymi and M.S.Baird. Tetrahedron Letts,. 1997, 6755.

31. The synthesis of both enatiomers of lactobaccilic acid and mycolic acids analogues. G.Coxon, S.Knobl, E.Roberts, M.S.Baird, Juma’a  R. Al-Dulayymi, G.S.Besra, P.J.Brennan, and D.E.Minnikin, Tetrahedron Letts., 1999, 6689.

32.  A flexible route to [4.1.1] propellane; A.R.Al-Dulayymi, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and M.S.Baird. Tetrahedron, 2000, 1115.

33. The cycloaddition of cyloproprenes to enones. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, H.H.Hussain, B.J.Alhourani, A.Y.Alhabashna, S.J.Coles and M.B.Hursthouse, Tetrahedron Letts., 2000, 4205.

34.   The hydrodehalogenation of 1,1-dibromocyclopropanes by Grignard reagents promoted by titanium compounds. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, I.G.Bolesov, V.Tveresovsky and AV.Nizovtsev, J. Chem. Soc.Perkins Trans 2, 2000,1603.

35.  The synthesis of single enantiomers of meromycolic acid. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and E.Roberts, Tetrahedron Letts., 2000, 7107.

36.  Salicylate 5-hydroxylase from Ralstonia spp. Strain U2: a monooxygenase with close relationships to and Shard electron transport proteins with naphthalene dioxygenase. N. Zhou, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and P.Williams. Journal of Bacteriology, 2002.1547.

37.  Accumulation of 2-aminophenoxazin-3-one-7-carboxylate during growth of Pseudomonas Putida TW3 on 4-hydroxyaminobanzoate lyase (PnbB). M.A.Hughes, M.J.Baggs, Juma’a R Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and P.Willams. Applied and Enviromental Microbiology,  2002, 4965.

38. The synthesis of a single enantiomer of a major a-mycolic acid of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Juma’a R Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and E.Roberts, J. Chem. Soc.,  Chemical. Communications, 2003, 228.

39. Effective and selective mild catalytic hydrodehalogenation of halocyclopropanes:  preparative capabilities and mechanistic aspects; A. Nizovtesv, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, I.G.Bolesov and V.V.Tverezovski. Kinetics and Catalysis, 2003, 44:2.

40. The synthesis of (11R, 12S)-Lactobacillic and its enantiomer: G.D.Coxon, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, S.Knobl, E.Roberts and D.E.Minnikin, Tetrahedron: Asymmetry, 2003,14, 1211.

41.  The absolute stereochemistry of grenadamide: Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and K.Jones, Tetrahedron, 2004, 60, 341.

42.  Synthesis and properties of methyl 5-(1' R, 2'S)-(2-octadecylcycloprop-1-yl) pentanoate and other ω-19 chiral cyclopropane fatty acids and esters related to mycobacterial mycolic acids. G.D.Coxon, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, C.Morehouse, P.J.Brennan, G.S.Besra, M.S.Baird, and D.E.Minnikin. Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2004, 127, 35.

43.  The synthesis of a single enantiomer of a major a-mycolic acid of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird and E.Roberts, Tetrahedron, 2005, 61, 11939.

44. The synthesis of one enantiomer of the α-methyl-trans-cyclopropane unit of mycolic  acids, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, H.M.Mohammed, E.Roberts and W.Clegg. Tetrahedron, 2006, 62, 4851.

45. The synthesis of a single enantiomers of meromycolic acids from mycobacterial wax esters., Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, E.Roberts and D. E. Minnikin. Tetrahedron, 2006, 62, 11867.

46. The first synthesis of  single enantiomers of the major methoxymycolic acid  of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M.S.Baird, E.Roberts, M.Dreysel and J.Verschoor. Tetrahedron,  2007, 63, 2571,

47. The first unique synthetic mycobacterial cord factor, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, Maximiliano Maza-Iglesias, M.S.Baird, Seppe Vander Beken and John Grooten; Tetrahedron Letts., 2009, 50, 3702.
     
48. The first synthesis of single enantiomers of the keto mycolic acids, G. Koza, C. Theunissen,  Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird. Tetrahedron, 2009, 65, 10214.

49. The synthesis of a single enantiomers of protected trans-alkene containing mycolic acid, G. Koza, R. Rowles, C. Theunissen, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird, Tetrahedron Letts., 2009, 50, 7259.

50.  The first synthesis of epoxy-mycolic acids,  Dakhil Z. Al-Kremawi, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird. Tetrahedron Letts., 2010, 51, 1698.

51. Molecular structure of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence factor,  mycolic acid, determines the elicited inflammatory pattern., S.V.Beken, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, T.rt, T.Naessens, G.Koza, M.M.Iglesisa, R. Rowles, C.Theunissen, J. De Medts, E.Lanckacker, M.S.Baird and J.Grooten; European Journal of Immunology, 2011, 41, 450.

52.  The synthesis of a major α’-mycolic acid of Mycobacterium smegmatis, Maged Muzael, Gani Koza, Juma’a R Al Dulayymi, Mark S. Baird, Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2010, 163, 678.
    
53.  Structure-function relationships of the antigenicity of mycolic acids in tuberculosis patients, M. Beukes, Y. Lemmer, M. Deysel, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, M. S. Baird, G. Koza, M. M. Iglesisa, R. R. Rowles, C. Theunissen, J. Grooten, G. Toschi, V.V. Roberts, L. Pilcher, S. V. Wyngaardt, N. Mathebula, M. Balogun, A. C. Stoltz and J. Verschoor, Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2010, 163, 800.
 
54.  Diastereomeric cyclic tris-allenes, Hussain H. Mustafa, Mark S. Baird, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and V. V. Tverezovskiy; J. Chemical Society, Chem. Commun.,  2013, 49, 2497.

55. Thiol modified Mycolic acids, M. M. Balogun, E. H. Huws, M. M. Sirhan, A. D. Saleh, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, L. Pilcher, J. A. Verschoor and Mark S. Baird;  Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2013, 172-173, 40-57.

56. The synthesis of methoxy and keto mycolic containing methyl-trans-cyclopropanes, G. Koza, M. Muzael, R. R. Schubert-Rowles, C. Theunissen, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird; Tetrahedron, 2013, 69, 6285.

57. Tandem rearrangements of a cyclic bis-allene, Hussain H. Mustafa, Mark S. Baird, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and V. V. Tverezovskiy; Tetrahedron, 2014, 70, 1502.

58.  A nine carbon homologating system for skip-conjugated polyenes, Hussain H. Mustafa, Mark S. Baird, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and V. V. Tverezovskiy; Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2014, 183, 34-42.

59.  Synthetic epoxy-mycolic acids, Dakhil Z. Al-Kremawi, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird. Tetrahedron, 2014, 70, 7322

60.  Synthetic trehalose di- and mono-ester of α-, Methoxy-, and Keto-mycolic acids, Juma’a R. Al-Dulayymi, Maximiliano Maza-Iglesias, M.S.Baird, Rwoa’a T. Hameed, Klarah S. Baols, Majed Muzael, and Ahmad D. Saleh; Tetrahedron, 2014, 70, 9836.

61. Mycolyl arabino glycerols from synthetic mycolic acid, M. O. Mohammed, Mark S. Baird and Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi; Tetrahedron Lett., 2015, 56, 3268.

62. Synthetic trehalose esters of cis-alkene and diene α’-mycolic acids of Mycobacteria, S. G. Taher, M. Muzael, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird; Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2015, 189, 28.

63. Synthesis of glucose monomycolates based on single synthetic mycolic acids, M. M. Sahb, Juma’a R. Al Dulayymi and Mark S. Baird; Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, 2015, 190, 9.

Tim BEACON

Dr Hongyun Tai

Chemist

h.tai@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Research Interest

• Organic synthesis: Design and synthesis of reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer agents, new functional (macro)monomers, and other functionalized macromolecules
• Polymer synthesis via chemical or enzyme catalyzed ring opening polymerisation, condensation polymerisation, living/controlled free radical polymerisations (for example atom transfer free radical polymerisation (ATRP) and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerisation (RAFT))
• Functionalisation of polymers by click chemistry and bioconjugate techniques
• Development and engineering of synthetic and natural polymers for biological and environmental applications, such as polysaccharides, polyesters, PEG based polymers and hybrid hydrogels for wound healing and drug delivery
• Development of biodegradable polymers, functional polymeric biomaterials, stimuli responsive polymers, dendritic/hyperbranched polymers, photocrosslinked or chemical crosslinked hydrogels for biological and biomedical applications.

Service offered by Dr Tai’s lab at Bangor University

• Isolation of biopolymers from natural resources, such as plants and algae
• Polymer synthesis and polymer modifications by functionalization/grafting/blending
• Characterisation and analysis of synthetic and natural polymers by GPC, NMR, FTIR, DSC and TGA

Instrumentation

Agilent PL-50 GPC, NMR, FTIR, DSC and TGA

Background

2005 Ph.D. in Chemistry, the University of Nottingham, UK

Recent Academic Positions

2009-present: Lecturer, School of Chemistry, Bangor University, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.

Publications:

Number of citations: 720; h-index: 16
Journal papers 36; Book chapters 2; Presentations (Poster and Oral) at Meetings/Conferences: 45

https://www.bangor.ac.uk/chemistry/ht/index.php#publications

Awards and Honours

EPSRC Research Fellowship (2007-2011)

Memberships

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MSRC)
Fellow of High Education Academy (FHEA)

BEACON Activities

• Provide analytical services on synthetic and natural polymers to SMEs in the region
• Develop collaborating R&D projects to assist SME on innovation and new product development
• Seek further funding opportunities
• Disseminate research findings by publishing papers and presenting at meetings/conferences

Tim BEACON

Dr Daniel Evans

Chemist

daniel.evans@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University


Background

I obtained my PhD in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, preparing a model system representative of the biologically active guanine natural product cylindrospermopsin, under the guidance of Dr Patrick Murphy.

The success of this work led to a two year postdoctoral position at the school of chemistry in Bangor. This role was concerned with the development of a stereoselective total synthesis of cylindrospermopsin and the preparation of guanidine containing heterocycles for use in the synthesis of related natural products.

Research Interests

• Biologically active natural products
• Organic synthesis of novel compounds
• Chemical modification of natural products
• Preparative and analytical chromatographic techniques

Beacon Activities

I am a Research Officer (Synthetic Chemistry).

Publications

• Preparation of an ABC tricyclic model of the cylindrospermopsin alkaloids via a biomimetically inspired pathway, D. M. Evans, P. J. Murphy, P. N. Horton, M. B. Hursthouse, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 20744.
• Iodocyclisation reactions of Boc- and Cbz-protected N-allylguanidines, Z. Al Shuhaiba, D. H. Davies, M. Dennis, D. M. Evans, M. D. Fletcher, H. Franken, P. Hancock, J. Hollinshead, I. Jones, K. Kähm, P. J. Murphy, R. Nash, D. Potter, R. Rowles, Tetrahedron., 2014, 70, 4412.
• The cylindrospermopsin alkaloids, D. M. Evans, P. J. Murphy, The Alkaloids: Chemistry and Biology, 2011, 70, 1.
• A biomimetic approach to the cylindrospermopsin alkaloids, D. M. Evans, P. J. Murphy, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 3225.
• Cyclisation reactions of bis-protected guanidines, C. Albrecht, S. Barnes, H. Böckemeier, D. Davies, M. Dennis, D. M. Evans, M. D. Fletcher, I. Jones, V. Leitmann, P. J. Murphy, R. Rowles, R. Nash, R. A. Stephenson, P. N. Horton, M. B. Hursthouse, Tetrahedron Lett., 2008, 49, 185.

Tim BEACON

Dr Alison Jones

Chemist

chs60e@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

2002 BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry, University of Wales Bangor, Bangor, Wales.

2006 PhD in Organic Chemistry (The Synthesis of Dynamic Combinatorial Libraries of Peptidomimetic Receptors by Alkene Metathesis), University of Wales Bangor,  Bangor, Wales.

 

Since completing my studies I have worked in the School of Chemistry at Bangor University on various projects. These have included synthetic organic chemistry for the separation and modification of compounds and characterisation of the materials obtained using a number of analytical techniques. In addition I have also worked on projects carrying out ELISA bioassays for the detection of antibodies in serum samples and the synthesis of unnatural amino acids using biochemical processes.

Tim BEACON

Dr Alan Hughes

Chemist

alan.hughes@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Research Interest

My area of interest is polymer synthesis and characterisations as well as hydrogels.

Services offered by Dr Tai’s lab at Bangor University

• Isolation of biopolymers from natural resources, such as plants and algae
• Polymer synthesis and polymer modifications by functionalization/grafting/blending
• Characterisation and analysis of synthetic and natural polymers by GPC, NMR, FTIR, DSC and TGA

Instrumentation

Agilent PL-50 GPC, NMR, FTIR, DSC and TGA

Background

2009 BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Bio-molecular Science (Bangor University).
2014 PhD Chemistry (Bangor University)

Recent Professional Appointments

2014-2015 Polymer Technologist/Chemist-Biocomposites Centre Bangor University

Memberships

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Tim BEACON

Damon Hammond

Process Engineering Technician

ddh@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

I am a former Royal Navy marine engineering artificer.  I served on HMS Fearless and Intrepid, and my technical specialisms in the Navy were refrigeration and air-conditioning, and steam propulsion plants.
I left the Navy in 2003, and came to Aberystwyth and read English Literature, and Environmental Earth Science, and Environmental Monitoring and Analysis.   My dissertation for the Environmental Monitoring masters’ course was on the use of biochar from commercial, domestic and industrial sources as a possible remediant for mine-contaminated waters and material.

 

Qualifications

• OND and apprenticeship in Marine Engineering (HMS Caledonia)
• BA (first)  English Literature (Aberystwyth)
• MA Literary Studies (Aberystwyth)
• BSc (first) Environmental Earth Science Aberystwyth)
• MSc Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (Aberystwyth)

 

BEACON Activities

I have recently taken up a post as a process-engineering technician on the prototype biochar pyrolysis plant and its associated equipment.

Tim BEACON

Sian Thomas-Jones

Gwyddonydd Ymchwil

stj@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Tim BEACON

Paul William Baker

Research Officer

paul.baker@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

I obtained a PhD working with actinomycetes that show similar morphological characteristics to fungi with defined substrate and aerial mycelium but are classified as bacteria.  Since then I have been working with a variety of different microorganisms such as methylotrophs (methane consuming bacteria), sulphate reducing bacteria, Shewanella sp. (anaerobic microorganisms), environmental viruses, microorganisms adapted to microgravity and marine fungi.   Currently, I am working with wood degrading fungi that comprise of two distinct groups, white fungi that degrade lignin in wood using lignin degrading enzymes and brown rot fungi that are typically involved in cellulose degradation with wood.

My research experience has enabled me to work in collaboration with scientists searching for enzymes with biotechnological applications at Novo-Nordisk, scientists developing strategies to overcome microbial corrosion at Nippon Steel and scientists investigating problems of microbial contamination occurring in the water systems aboard space vehicles at NASA.  Currently, I am working with Kevin Wall from Farmceutical Applications who is developing new bioproducts from lignocellulose materials with commercial applications.
 

Research Interests

Degrading lignocellulose substrates using fungi to form bioproducts that are concentrated during the degradation process or are formed by the fungi.

Developing a commercial method for the production of fungal enzymes.

Working with the mushroom industry to culture new types, improve cultivation and develop new products.

Obtaining an insight into the mechanisms of lignin degradation by white rot fungi.

 

BEACON Activities

Currently degrading lignocellulose materials to search for new bioproducts in collaboration with Farmaceutical Applications.  Involved in basic mushroom growth experiments that would be of interest to Blawd Ac Ati and Mushroom Garden that are involved in the supply of UK grown Shitake mushrooms Blawd Ac Ati is in the process of rapidly expanding its productivity. 

Otherwise involved in basic academic research to obtain a greater understanding into the degradation processes of fungi, enzyme production and to develop new product ideas.  Results from these studies will be published in peer reviewed journals.

 

Future Plans

  • Identify new products found associated with lignocellulose breakdown and obtain more commercial involvement
  • Continue working with Blawd Ac Ati and The Mushroom Garden
  • Disseminate research output to the wider audience

 

Publications

  • Baker, P.W., Dobson, A.D.W. and Marchesi J.  ( 2012)  In Situ extraction of RNA from marine-derived fungi associated with the marine sponge, Haliclona simulans.  Mycological Progress 11, 953-956.
  • Baker, P.W., J. Kennedy, J. Morrissey, F. O’Gara, A.D.W. Dobson and J.R. Marchesi. (2010) Endoglucanase activities and growth of marine-derived fungi isolated from the sponge Haliclona simulans. J. Appl. Microbiol. 108: 1668-1675.
  • Baker, P. W, J. Kennedy, A.D.W. Dobson and J.R. Marchesi. (2009) Phylogenetic diversity and antimicrobial activities of fungi associated with Haliclona simulans isolated from Irish coastal waters. Mar.Biotechnol. 11: 540-547.
  • Kennedy, J., P. Baker, C. Piper, P.D. Cotter, M. Walsh, M.J. Mooij, M.B. Bourke, M.C. Rea, P.M. O’Connor, R.P. Ross, C. Hill, F. O’Gara, J.R. Marchesi and A.D.W. Dobson. (2009) Isolation and analysis of bacteria with antimicrobial activities from the marine sponge Haliclona simulans  isolated from Irish waters. Mar. Biotechnol. 11: 384-396.

 


 


 

Tim BEACON

David Davenport Hughes

Research Technician

david.hughes@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

I am a chartered analytical chemist and have recently completed studying the effects of chlorination on dissolved organic carbon molecules during water treatment processes for my PhD. Previously I was employed by the Eastman Chemical Company as a senior analytical development chemist, specialising in the validation and development of GC and HPLC methods for products and processes.  During my period as laboratory manager for London Scandinavian Metals I carried out a research project into the formation and breaching of oxide layers on fine aluminium particulates.
I have experience of using AA, ICP, ELSD, SEC, SEM and particle sizing techniques and I have published a number of methods in the United States Pharmacopeia.
 

Publications

Hughes, D.D., Holliman, P.J., Jones, T., (2013) Temporal variation in dissolved organic carbon concentrations in upland and lowland lakes in north Wales. Water and Environmental Journal,  Vol 27. Issue 2.
Delpha, I., Jones, T., Monteith, D.T., Hughes, David.D., Baures, Estelle., Freeman, C., Olivier, T. (2013)  The impact of heavy rainfall events on the formation of Disinfection by Products in contrasting potable waters. Science of the Total Environment.
Tang, R., Clark, J.M., Bond, T., Graham, N., Hughes, D., Freeman, C. (2013) assessment of potential climate change impact on peatland dissolved organic carbon release and drinking water treatment from laboratory experiments. Environmental Pollution. Vol 173.
M. Peacock., A.Burdenb., M. Cooper., C. Dunn., C. D. Evans., N. Fenner .,C.Freeman., R. Gough., D. Hughes., S. Hughes., T. Jones., I. Lebron., M. West.,P Zielin´ ski. (2013) Quantifying dissolved organic carbon cocentrations in upland catchments using phenolic proxy measurements. Journal of Hydrology. Vol 477.
Holliman, P.J., Hughes, D.D.  (1999) Studies of post- production ageing effect in atomised aluminium powder. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. Vol 1, issue 17.
 

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Dr Mike Hale

BEACON Scientist

m.d.hale@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

I have many years research experience with wood decaying fungi, sometimes to prevent decay using environmentally benign systems and at other times to promote decay and produce various products and transformations as a result of their activities. I have also worked on a variety of edible fungi both from decaying lignocellulosics and mycorrhizal fungi, including truffles. For a number of years I have also been involved in fungal tree diseases, their detection and the effects of climate change and genetics on disease.

 

Research Interests

Chemical and biological modification / transformation of wood and lignocellulosics. Production and use of enzymes in bioprocessing. Lignin breakdown. Antifungal compounds and fungal competition.

 

BEACON Activities

Isolation and characterisation of fungi with conventional and novel activities for use in bioprocessing.
Products of fungi grown on lignocellulosics (e.g. wood, Miscanthus, industrial by-products).
Production of high value products from white rot and other wood decay fungi.

 

Publications

AHMAD, M. N., HALE, M. D., ABDUL KHALIL, H.P.S. AND SURYANI S. (2013). Changes in extractive content on wood surfaces of chengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii) and effects on performance Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 25(3), 278–288.


HAMID, N.H. AND HALE, M.D.C. (2012). Decay threshold of acetylated rattan against white and brown rot fungi. International Wood Products Journal, 3 (2), 96-106


KADIR, R. AND HALE, M.D.C. (2012).  Comparative termite resistance of twelve Malaysian timber species in laboratory tests. Holzforschung, 66 (1), 127-130. DOI: 10.1515/HF.2011.116


SUFFIAN, M, ORMONDROYD, G. AND HALE, M.D.C. (2010). Comparisons of particleboard produced from Acacia hybrid and a UK commercial particleboard furnish from recycled wood. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 22 (3), 227-236


GONZÁLEZ-PEÑA, MM AND HALE, M. D. C. (2010). Rapid assessment of physical properties and chemical composition of thermally-modified wood by mid-infrared spectroscopy. Wood Science and technology, 45 (1), 83-102


LOICK, N, HALE, M D, DAVEY L. JONES, D L, AND HOBBS, P J. (2009) Bioremediation of poly-aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contaminated soil by composting.  Critical Reviews In Environmental Science and Technology, 39 ( 4), 271-332.


GONZÁLEZ-PEÑA, MM AND HALE, M. D. C. (2009). Colour in thermally modified wood of beech, Norway spruce and Scots pine. Part 1: Colour evolution and colour changes. Holzforschung, 63 (4), 385-393.


GONZÁLEZ-PEÑA, MM AND HALE, M. D. C. (2009). : Colour in thermally modified wood of beech, Norway spruce and Scots pine. Part 2: Property predictions from colour changes. Holzforschung, 63 (4), 394-401.


GONZÁLEZ-PEÑA, MM CURLING, SF AND HALE, M. D. C. (2009). On the effect of heat on the chemical composition and dimensions of thermally-modified woods. Polymer degradation and stability, 94 (12), 2184-2193


BLOM, J, VANNINI, A. VETTRAINO A.M., HALE, M.D.C. AND GODBOLD, D.L. (2009). Ectomycorrhizal community structure in a healthy and a Phytophthora-infected chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) stand in central Italy. Mycorrhiza, 20 (1), 25-38
 

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Campbell Skinner

Life Cycle Analyst

c.j.skinner@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

 Campbell is a Life Cycle Assessment analyst at the BioComposites Centre, Bangor University. He has worked extensively with LCA and carbon footprinting, in fields ranging from agriculture and horticulture, to bio-based product development and bio-refining. He has successfully led a number of previous LCA-based research projects and commercial contracts. Prior to joining the centre, Campbell worked at the University’s School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography specializing in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and was project manager at the University’s carbon footprinting consultancy, Footprints4Food.
 

Research Interests

I am interested in all aspects of environmental accounting, corporate social responsibility and sustainability management in general.  My role within BEACON focuses on understanding the environmental profiles of bio-based products, especially as compared to established fossil fuel-based alternatives.                    
 

BEACON Activities

Life Cycle Assessment analysis based at the BioComposites Centre in Bangor

 

Recent Publications

Book chapters

Skinner C (in press) Designing with the life cycle in mind. In: Ormondroyd GA, Morris A (eds.) Designing with natural materials, CRC Press.

Ormondroyd GA, Spear MJ, Skinner C (2016) The opportunities and challenges for re-use and recycling of timber and wood products within the construction sector. In: Kutnar A, Muthu SS (eds.) Environmental impacts of traditional and innovative forest-based bioproducts. Environmental footprints and eco-design of products and processes, vol 7. Springer, pp 45-103. ISBN 9789811006531; 9789811006555

Journal and conference articles

Skinner C, Stefanowski BK, Heathcote D, Charlton A, Ormondroyd GA (2016) Life cycle assessment of pilot-scale wood fibre production using mechanical disc refining at different pressures. International Wood Products Journal, 7(3): 149-155. DOI:10.1080/20426445.2016.1200825

Skinner C, Laflin N, Heathcote D, Elias RM, Charlton A (2016) Thermo-mechanical pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for the production of bio-composite materials. In: COST Action FP1306 3rd MC Meeting and 2nd Workshop: Valorization of lignocellulosic biomass side streams for sustainable production of chemicals, materials & fuels using low environmental impact technologies. Dubrovnik, Croatia 4-6 April 2016.   

Martin L, Skinner C, Marriott RJ (2015) Supercritical extraction of oil seed rape: energetic evaluation of process scale. Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 105:55-59. DOI: 10.1016/j.supflu.2015.04.017

Hu J-B, Skinner C, Ormondroyd GA, Pizzi GTA, Thevenon M-F (2015) Life cycle assessment of a novel tannin-boron association for wood protection. In: COST Action FP 1407 1st Conference: Life Cycle Assessment, EPDs and modified wood. Koper, Slovinia 25-26 August 2015.

Reports

Charlton A, Skinner C, Baker P, Tomkinson J, Chesworth M, Wilkinson C, Hanslip Z, Richards D, Kelly S,  Zein S (2017) Plants to Products BBSRC NIBB - Proof of Concept award (HD-RD0300E): Evaluation of the thermo-mechanical pulping of biomass to facilitate release of fermentable sugars for advanced biofuel production. Final project report.

Conference and seminar presentations

Skinner C (2017) Life Cycle Assessment and modified wood. FP1407 Training school: Service life of modified wood: Understanding Test Methodologies. Bangor University, 3rd April 2017.

Skinner C (2015) Energy monitoring at pilot-scale: adding detail to ‘black box’ data. At: COST Actions FP1407 WG 2 and FP1303 joint meeting:  LCA of wood modification processes: where are the weaknesses in inventories? ETHZ Zürich, 3rd Dec 2015.

Skinner C (2015) Energy evaluation in supercritical CO2 extraction. At: UKCSS & CO2Chem joint workshop: Integrated life cycle approaches for understanding carbon dioxide utilisation and sequestration pathways. University of Sheffield, 4th Mar 2015.

Skinner C (2015) Environmental assessment: carbon, water and more. At: Enhanced Utilisation of Alcoholic Beverage By-products. Bangor University, 22nd Jan 2015.

Skinner C (2011) Sustainability in the food chain: carbon & water footprinting. At: Eurofruit Congress Southern Hemisphere. Lima, 10th Nov 2011.

Tim BEACON

Dr Mike Morris

Rheolwr Datblygu Busnes

tem@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

A multidisciplinary scientist, and expert analytical chemist, with supplementary industrial experience ranging from medical sciences, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, gas sensor technology, biodiversity, soil science and multivariate modelling to the biorefining of high sugar ryegrasses to fuel ethanol and higher value platform chemicals.

Education:

  • 2000 - Ph.D University of East London. Thesis title: ‘The use of phospholipid fatty acid profiles to determine the diversity of soil microbial communities on managed woodland stands'.
  • 1989 - M.Sc. Analytical Biochemistry, University of Dundee. Thesis title: ‘Identification of coagulase negative staphylococci isolated from CAPD patients by numerical analysis of whole cell fatty acid methyl ester profiles’.
  • 1984 - B.Sc.(Hons.) Medical Sciences (IIii), University of Bradford

Employment experience:

  • Medical bacteriology (pathology) – 4.5 years.
  • Analytical Chemistry – method development analyst in pharmaceutical development and formulation and agrochemical process and formulation development – 6.5 years.
  • Post-doctoral researcher – development of electronic nose sensor system for soil quality – 3 years.
  • Research scientist – analytical development and metabolomic modelling and analysis – 2.5 years.
  • Research scientist – development of high-sugar ryegrass biorefining – 6 years.
     

Research Interests

  • Since late 2006 I have worked on the bioconversion of high-sugar perennial rye-grasses (HSPRG) (Lolium perenne) developed through conventional breeding over a 30 year period by the grass breeders at IBERS (previously IGER).
  • From 2009 to 2012 I was the lead research scientist on the Grassohol project that examined the economic viability of a biorefinery based on an HSPRG feedstock. While this work was necessarily directed toward the production of ethanol for road fuel use I am particularly interested in developing a portfolio of added value products from this and other biomass feedstocks. These include novel polymerics, platform chemicals (including lactic & succinic acid), proteins, lipids, oils and waxes, and bioactive compounds.
  • I am Interested in developing scale up processes and procedures and the application of novel technologies to both primary feedstock processing and downstream extraction and clean-up procedures.
  • I am also interested in bioprospecting of new feedstocks for novel compounds and development in analytical and/or new high performance filtration technologies for this purpose.
  • Through my work on the biorefining of high sugar rye-grasses I am also very keen to promote the possibilities and benefits of this feedstock and the numerous potential value streams it is capable of delivering.
  • I am also keen to identify mechanisms by which we can add value to current process wastes to enable them to become new potential feedstocks.         
     

BEACON Activities

Throughout 2011 I was responsible for the design and acquisition of the BEACON pilot facility and the equipment it contains, most of which was based around the existing Grassohol process.


As one of two business development managers employed within BEACON I am responsible for the development of outreach activities aimed at satisfying the results and target outputs as defined by our funders the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). This involves both the promotion of the activities of the project and identification and development of collaborative projects (associated with biorefining or allied processing technologies) with Welsh companies from a wide range of market sectors.  Interaction with companies outside Wales is also possible where there is a possibility of inward investment or if those companies are working with an existing Welsh company.
 

Future Plans

I am keen to help develop a wider network of businesses and researchers with complementary and synergistic activities that will help build the knowledge based bio-economy and make more use of all the biorenewable resources available. 
 

Recent Publications

  • Bryant, D.N., Morris, S.M., Leemans, D., Taylor, S., Carvel, J., Todd, R.W., Logan, D., Lee, M., Garcia, N., Ellis, A., Gallagher, J.A. (2011) Modelling real-time simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose and monitoring organic acid accumulation on-line using dielectric spectroscopy  (Bioresource Technology; 102(20):9675-82.
  • Morris S.M., Bryant D.N., Thomas D.S., Fish S. and Gallagher J.A. Grassohol - Conversion of high sugar grasses to alcohol based transport fuel. 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (Seattle, USA,  May 2-5, 2011).
  • Bryant, D.N., Morris, S.M., Leemans, D., Fish, S., Taylor, S., Carvel, J., Garcia, N., Ellis, A., Gallagher, J.A. Application of dielectric annular spectroscopy for on-line monitoring of enzymatic hydrolysis of perennial rye-grass fibre. 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (Seattle, USA,  May 2-5, 2011).
  • Gallagher, J.A., Turner, L.B., Farrar, K., Skot, L., Bryant, D.N., Timms-Taravella, E., Morris, S.M., Farrell, M., Thomas, A., Donnison, I.S. Improving water soluble sugar content in perennial rye-grass: Developing grasses for production of biofuels and bulk chemicals. 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals (Seattle, USA, May 2-5, 2011).
  • Martel, C.M., Parker, J.E., Jackson, C.J., Warrilow, A.G., Rolley, N., Greig, C., Morris, S.M., Donnison, I.S., Kelly, D.E., Kelly, S.L. (2011)  Expression of bacterial levanase in yeast enables simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of grass juice to bioethanol. Bioresource Technology, 102 (2):1503-8.
  • Martel, C.M., Warrilow, A.G., Jackson, C.J., Mullins, J.G., Togawa, R.C., Parker, J.E., Morris, S.M., Donnison, I.S., Kelly, D.E., Kelly, S.L. (2010) Expression, purification and use of the soluble domain of Lactobacillus paracasei beta-fructosidase to optimise production of bioethanol from grass fructans. Bioresource Technology, 101 (12), 395-402
  • Webb, K.J., Jensen, E.F., Heywood, S., Morris, S.M., Linton, P.E., Hooker, J.E. (2010) Gene expression and nitrogen loss in senescing root systems of red clover (Trifolium pratense) Journal of Agricultural Science 148, 579-591
  • Fraser, M. D., Theobald, V. J., Griffiths, J. B., Morris, S. M., Moorby, J. M. (2009). Comparative diet selection by cattle and sheep grazing two contrasting heathland communities.  Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 129 (1-3), 182-192
  • Morris, S.M., Jackson, C.J., Gallagher, J.A., Kelly, S.L., Donnison, I.S. (2008). High Sugar Perennial Rye Grass as a Bioethanol Feedstock. An Alternative Use for Forage Grasses. In: Proceedings of the 16th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, 2-6th June 2008, Valencia, Spain. ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, Florence, Italy, pp.60-66.
  • Parveen, I., Moorby, J. M., Hirst, W. M., Morris, S. M., Fraser, M. D. (2008). Profiling of plasma and faeces by FT-IR to differentiate between heathland plant diets offered to zero-grazed sheep. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 144 (1-2), 65-81
  • Fraser, M. D., Theobald, V. J., Morris, S. M., Moorby, J. M. (2008). Diet selection and herbage intake by cattle and sheep grazing two contrasting heathland communities. General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, "Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production", Uppsala, Sweden, 9-12 June, 2008

Tim BEACON

Dr Adam Charlton

BEACON Project Manager - Bangor University

adam.charlton@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Cefndir

Mae Adam wedi canolbwyntio’n ddiweddar ar fioburo a datblygu technolegau ffracsiynu ac echdynnu newydd ar gyfer biomas ac mae hyn wedi arwain at fuddsoddi sylweddol mewn ymchwil a phrojectau ar y cyd â diwydiant ar wahanol agweddau ar fioburo. 
Mae Adam yn cydlynu cyfraniad Prifysgol Bangor i BEACON, cynllun pum mlynedd, £20 miliwn dan nawdd yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, i sefydlu Canolfan Rhagoriaeth Bioburo yng Nghymru, ac efe sy’n gyfrifol am reoli  Canolfan Trosglwyddo Technoleg Biogynhyrchion a Bioburo’r Ganolfan Biogyfansoddion a leolir ym Mona, Ynys Môn.
 

Tim BEACON

Professor Steven Kelly

Professor of Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology

S.L.Kelly@swansea.ac.uk

Swansea University

Background

Professor Steven Kelly was born in Cardiff and studied in the newly founded Genetics Department in Swansea until 1983 undertaking his BSc and a PhD involving yeast genetics. He learned yeast genetic engineering with Paul Nurse and gained a Lectureship in Sheffield University Krebs Institute, moving to a Chair at Aberystwyth in 1997 where he was lead for molecular biology and Director of the Wolfson Laboratory of Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity. In 2004 he moved to Swansea University to act as Chair of Research during the period of early establishment of the School of Medicine and the building of the Institute of Life Science and led the Biomedical Sciences submission in RAE 2008 to a 2.65 score.

Research Interests

Professor Kelly has acted on the International Advisory Board for several conferences and has chaired two international symposia in Swansea in 2005 and 2006. He continues to work closely with industry that has included BP, Shell, GSK, Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Zeneca, Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, Viamet, Mars, Foundation for Water Research and has supervised eleven CASE research studentships. Research in Swansea has been supported by the research councils and FP6. He is Swansea PI on a National Institutes of Health (USA) Programme Grant (2004- ) with M Waterman at Vanderbilt concerning P450 functional genomics in streptomycetes, that was renewed in 2008 and recently obtained a second on antifungal drug resistance with D. Rogers in Memphis. Current interests include molecular microbial research, functional genomics, translational medical microbiology and chemical biology research with over three hundred publications.

BEACON Activities

  • Swansea Science Director
  • Member of Swansea Local Management Group

Future Plans

Develop links to:

  • exploit microbial use of biomass to produce chemical entities of use to industry and pharma.

Publications

http://www.p450swansea.co.uk./

History in the Making College of Medicine Swansea University 10th Anniversary 2004 - 2014

Tim BEACON

Professor Diane Kelly

Professor of Microbiology and Infection

D.Kelly@swansea.ac.uk

Swansea University

Background

Professor in Microbiology and Biotechnology. Professor Kelly has more than 20 years’ experience working within the cytochrome P450 (CYP) field with respect to biodiversity and biotechnology, especially concerning fungal CYPs and sterol biology.

Research Interests

A significant part of research effort has been concerned with the metabolic pathway leading to sterols and within EUROFAN (an EU programme set up within the yeast community in Europe to elucidate the function of all of yeast genes), Diane was invited to be part of the Lipid Node to determine alterations in sterol biosynthesis in gene-disrupted strains. Within the Transatlantic Yeast Gene Deletion Project involving EUROFAN II she was responsible for gene disruptions and strain verification as the UK laboratory involved in this historic project. It was the first time every gene of an organism had been specifically deleted to determine its contribution to viability and readily observable phenotype. The paper in Nature (>1900 citations) is important not only in yeast genetics, but also a paradigm of post-genomic approaches that is now integral to her own research in the area of CYPs.

CYPs are part of a superfamily of as yet unknown size, but in some microorganisms represent over 1% of the genes. Discovering their function is a major task as these are of biotechnological interest for making drugs and in their role as drug targets. Their general function is in cellular biosynthetic reactions such as in fatty acid, steroid and prostaglandin synthesis and in secondary metabolism (natural product synthesis) in plants and microbes. Human cytochromes P450 are of central importance in the metabolism of carcinogens, drugs and pesticides. Present research maintains a focus on CYPs involved in sterol metabolism, defining function for so-called “orphan” genes and studies related to antimicrobial action and antimicrobial drug resistance.

More recently Professor Kelly was invited to lead an international team (Eurofung, FP6) to identify all CYPs present in A. nidulans with the aim of defining function using a bioinformatics approach.

BEACON Activities

  • Chair Swansea Local Management Group
  • Science project design and management

Future Plans

Develop links to:

  • exploit microbial use of biomass to produce chemical entities of use to industry and pharma.

Publications

http://www.p450swansea.co.uk./

History in the Making College of Medicine Swansea University 10th Anniversary 2004 - 2014

Tim BEACON

Dr Andrew Warrilow MRSC

Senior Research Associate

A.Warrilow@swansea.ac.uk

Swansea University

Background

Andrew is Senior Research Officer in the Centre for Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity at Swansea University and part of the LMG for the Beacon Project. He graduated in Biochemistry at Aberystwyth University and undertook his PhD in Plant Biochemistry followed by a postdoctoral position at Long Ashton Research Station.

Research Interests

He has worked on cytochrome P450 and sterol biosynthesis since 1998 in Aberystwyth and Swansea Universities and has more than twenty related publications. He is primarily involved in protein biochemistry, purification, enzymology, assay development and optimisation.

BEACON Activities

  • Member of Swansea Local Management Group
  • Lead scientist for protein biochemistry

Future Plans

Develop links to:

  • exploit microbial use of biomass to produce chemical entities of use to industry and pharma.

Publications

http://www.p450swansea.co.uk

History in the Making College of Medicine Swansea University 10th Anniversary 2004 - 2014

Tim BEACON

Dr Rob Elias

Director, Biocomposites Centre

bcs801@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

  • Research background in materials chemistry and industrial manufacturing experience.
  • Studied the chemical modification of plant fibres for a range of applications in construction and looked at the production of resin systems for gluing wood substrates.
  • Worked in industry as a Technical Manager for a large MDF/PB mill.
  • Experienced in product development and technical services.
  • Spent last 12 years working in Research and Development at the BioComposites Centre. Director of centre and oversee management of 20 staff members.
  • Current research is focussed on development of sustainable materials for a range of applications in construction, plastics, resins and coatings, chemicals and composites.

Research Interests

  • Interested in looking at co-products from biorefinery, developing new bioplastic products and looking for new range of biobased additives for incorporation into range of materials.
  • Interested in developing new packaging products that are smart and can be used to increase shelf life.
  • Looking at the development of products using range of fibres from agri crop or wood based materials

BEACON Activities

  • Management of Bangor University’s BEACON team
  • Participant in workpackage on looking at standard methods for biomass characterisation
  • Participant in looking at impact of future changes in legislation on product innovation
  • Developing contacts with local companies

Future Plans

  • Development of new bioplastics based on lactic acid precursors from rye grass
  • Development of construction materials based on co-product fibres generated by biorefinery
  • Interested in working on seaweed as source of chemical feedstocks for cosmetic and industrial applications
  • Interested in developing new bioresins
  • Seeking to develop EU funded projects

Publications

  • Irle and Elias. 1994. Quality MDF; An Academic Approach. Inst. of Wood Science Journal
  • Elias, R. and Irle, M. A. 1996. The acidity of stored Sitka spruce chips. Holz als Roh-und Werkstoff, vol 54. pp65-68.
  • R.-C.Sun, G. L. Jones, R. M. Elias, and J. Tomkinson. 1999. Isolation of polysaccharides and Lignin from Medium Density Fibreboard Effluent Water. Cellulose Chemistry and Technology, vol 33, pp239-250.
  • Elias, R M. 2003. Alternative uses for forage crops. Crop Quality: Its role in sustainable livestock production. Aspects of applied Biology. Vol 70. pp 45- 51
  • Elias and Earl. 1997. Technical Advantages of Utilising Recycled Wood in Particleboard Production. Proceedings of Wood, the Ecological Material, 4th Eurowood Symposium,Trätek, Sweden.
  • Elias. 1999. New Product Development Processes and Future Strategies of CSC Forest Products: A Guide for Academia.Proceedings of The Third European Panel Products Symposium. Key Note Address. Llandudno, Wales
  • Hughes and Elias 2001. Trade Information for the UK Forestry and Forest Products Industry. Proceedings of The Third European Panel Products Symposium. Llandudno, Wales.
  • Elias, Hughes and Norton 2002. Renewable Feedstock for Sustainable Materials, BioProducts, and their importance to Wales. A Scoping Study. Report for the Wales Innovation Relay Centre, Cardiff.
  • Elias 2004. Recognising de-inking waste as a raw material for construction products. Mini-Waste II- Recognising Waste as a Resource. 2nd Annual Conference, 9th/ 10th November 2004 Lakeside Conference Centre, Central Science Laboratory, York
  • Elias R.M., Lloyd Jones, G., Goroyias, G and Fan, M. 2006. Recognising De-inking Waste as a Raw Material for Construction Products. PITA Papermaking Conference 14th/15th of March 2006, Bradford.
  • Fowler, Hughes and Elias 2006. Biocomposites - technology, environmental credentials and market forces. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Elias and Lloyd Jones 2006. Microrelease, a new recycling solution. National Furniture Conference 2006. FIRA International, Warwick, UK.
  • Spear, Fowler, Hill and Elias. 2006.. Hot Oil and Resin Treated Timber: Resistance To Decay By Brown Rot Fungi. ECOWOOD Conference 2006 (pending)
  • Charlton A; Elias R; Fish S, Fowler, P and Gallagher J. 2009 The biorefining opportunities in Wales: Understanding the scope for building a sustainable, biorenewable economy. Chemical engineering research and design 8 7 pp1147–1161

Tim BEACON

Dr Patrick J. Murphy

Senior Lecturer-Chemistry

p.j.murphy@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

I am a graduate of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (BSc 1983, PhD 1986). After postdoctoral work at Salford University I was appointed as a lecturer at Bangor 1990 and promoted to a senior lecturer in 1998. My research has centred on the development natural products chemistry, both isolation and synthesis including the development of new synthetic methodology. Major achievements include the synthesis of the anti-cancer agent goniofufurone using non-classical Wittig methodology and the synthesis of the sponge metabolite crambescidin 359 using a novel biomimetic methodology. Our funding has included EU (ESF and CRAFT schemes), the TCS and KTP schemes and the British Council. Industrial collaborations include AstraZeneca, ICI, GSK, Pfizer, Excelsyn, Morvus, Phytoquest, Menai Organics, RE Specialty Chem, Alzeim and Ig-Innovations. I have also established collaborations with colleagues within the University including Dr Loretta Murphy (enzyme inhibition), Prof. Igor Perepichka (molecular electronics) and Dr Chris Gwenin (new anti-cancer agents and treatment strategies). External collaborations include Prof. Amnon Hizi (Tel-Aviv University, Anti-HIV agents) and Prof. Fabio Ponticelli (Siena University, photochemistry), Dr Gregory Chasse (QMC, Neutron scattering studies), Prof. Roberto Berlinck (Sao Paulo, marine natural products), Prof. André G. Tempone (Sao Paulo, parasitic diseases).

Specific projects in which I have collaborated with industry in the area of plant chemistry and plant metabolites include:

  • The total synthesis of the anticancer plant metabolite goniofufurone from Goniothalamus giganteus (With GSK)
  • Isolation of plant steroids from waste material obtained formed in the manufacture of olibanum oil (frankincense) from Boswellia sacra (with Frutarom (UK) Ltd)
  • Developing a method for the detection and quantification of the galantamine in daffodil bulbs (with Alzeim and Ig-Innovations)
  • Synthesis of inactive analogues of (-)-trans-?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to determine its mode of action
  • Synthesis of the bioactive guanidine alkaloids enduracididine (Lonchocurpus sericeus) and nitensidines D and E (Pterogyne nitens) as potential anticancer agents
  • Isolation of alkaloids and fatty acids from bluebell seeds (With Dr V Thoss and Dr M Lahmann)
  • Growth and isolation of antifungal metabolites from Allium fistulosum (Welsh onion)

Publications

1   Characterization of the Hydrides in Stryker’s Reagent: [HCu{P(C6H5)3}]6: Bennett, E. L.; Murphy,
P. J.; Imberti, S.; Parker, S. F.; Inorg. Chem., 2014, 53, 2963–2967 DOI: 10.1021/ic402736t
2   Iodocyclisations reactions of Boc- and Cbz-protected N-allylguanidines Zainab Al Shuhaib, D. H.
Davies, M. Dennis, D. M. Evans, M. D. Fletcher, H. Franken, P. Hancock, J. Hollinshead, I. Jones, K. Kähm, P. J. Murphy, R. Nash, D. Potter, and R. Rowles. Tetrahedron, 2104, 70, Pages 4412 doi:10.1016/j.tet.2014.03.087       
3   Preparation of an ABC tricyclic model of the cylindrospermopsin alkaloids via a biomimetically
inspired pathway, Daniel. M. Evans, Peter N. Horton, Michael B. Hursthouse and Patrick. J.
Murphy, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 20744–20751 DOI: 10.1039/c4ra03031
4   How the Surface Structure Determines the Properties of CuH, Bennett, Elliot. L; Wilson, T.; Murphy, P. J.; Refson, K.; Hannon, A. C.; Imberti, S.; Callear, S. K.; Chass, G. A.; Parker, S. F.; Inorg. Chem., 2015, 54, 2213-2220. DOI: 10.1021/ic5027009
5   Anti-parasitic Guanidine and Pyrimidine Alkaloids from the Marine Sponge Monanchora arbuscula, Santos, M. F. C.; Harper, P. M.; Williams, D. E. Mesquita, J. T.; Pinto, E. G.; da Costa-Silva, T. A. Hajdu, E.; Ferreira, A. G.; Santos, R. A.; Murphy, P. J. Andersen, R. J.; Tempone, A. G.; Berlinck, R. G. S.; J. Nat. Prod., 2015, 78, 1101-1112. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00070
6   Structure and spectroscopy of CuH prepared via borohydride reduction: Bennett, Elliot L.; Wilson,     Thomas; Murphy, Patrick J.; Refson, Keith; Hannon, Alex C.; Imberti, Silvia; Callear, Samantha K.; Chass, Gregory A.; Parker, Stewart F., Acta Cryst. 2015, B71. doi:10.1107/S2052520615015176
7   Marine guanidine derivatives affect the redox biology of Leishmania infantum and downregulate cytokines of macrophages, A. G. Tempone, L. F. Martins, E. L. Bennett, G. P. Black, P. J. Murphy Planta Med, 2015, 81, PM_165. doi:10.1055/s-0035-1565542
8   Synthesis, applications and mechanistic investigations of C2 Symmetric Guanidinium salts Allingham, M. T.; Bennett, E. L.; Davies, D. H.; Harper, P.M.; Howard-Jones, A. Mehdar, Y. T. H. Murphy, P. J.; Dafydd A. Thomas, Tetrahedron, 2016, 72, 496-503. doi:10.1016/j.tet.2015.11.058

Number of Publications: 100; Number of citations: ~1800; h-index: 25


Editorial and Professional Service

Fellow of the RSC
CChem
EPSRC chemisty panel member

BEACON Activities

Group leader with special interest in natural product isolation, synthetic modification. A general interest in isolation and synthesis or modification of naturally occurring metabolites, and to investigate their novel antimicrobial, anticancer, antiviral, antioxidant or anti-parasitic activity. An interest in polar water soluble natural products which have been largely overlooked in traditional screening methods. Peptide chemistry, isolation of novel biologically active peptides and the synthesis of their peptoid analogues for therapy.

Future Plans

Microalgae, blue green algae and cyanobacteria
Isolation of bioactives from microalgaes and identify them (if unknown) and to appraise activity such as anti-fungal and antimicrobial activity. Possible company: Algaecytes (www.algaecytes.com) in collaboration with Adam Charlton, Radek Bragança and Loretta Murphy.

Daffodil alkaloids
Higher plants and microorganisms produce a wide array of natural products many of which have found direct application as clinically active drugs or have been the inspiration to medicinal chemists who have designed novel pharmaceuticals. The potential for drug discovery within the plant base in Wales and the UK is considerable as there remains a large number of unexploited diverse structural types within relatively common plants. We are interested in the isolation and structural determination of these novel structures as well as their application as potential pharmaceuticals. Daffodils are a source of a diverse range of alkaloids which are largely unexploited as pharmaceutical precursors with galantamine being the exception as this has been studied and has some potential for the treatment of early stage alzheimer's disease. Access to large quantities galantamine and also the less well studies alkaloids is desirable and will allow the preparation of analogues of these compounds.

Squill Extracts
Squill (Urginea maritima) is used in a number of anti-cough preparations such as Covonia (from Thorntonross), but it’s is traditionally sourced from the wild in India and Northern Africa. The present project aims at checking if the profile of the actives of the UK-growth squill is similar or different than the ones usually used by industry.

Novel antibacterial agents
The isolation of new metabolites and plant extracts will be useful for antibiotic drug discovery. An access to naturally occurring novel chemical diversity will help find new, diverse compounds to combat the evolving superbug crisis.

Tim BEACON

Dr Dave Preskett

Scale-up/Development Chemist

d.preskett@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

After ten years of extensive operational experience in forestry in Europe I returned to academia to obtain my second degree in BSc Forestry and Forest Products at Bangor. I made use of my time to study chainsaw lubrication with vegetable oils and at the same time being involved in research of forestry products at the BioComposites Centre.

Following a two year period of service with Forest Research, I returned to the BioComposites Centre in a research programme where I developed a range of bio-lubricants and solvents in collaboration with an industrial partner based on vegetable oils and their derivatives at tonne scale, judged as excellent by the funding providers.

This then led to a highly successful post-graduate research programme in the School of Chemistry, a post-doctoral position at the School in the field of non-timber forest products and co-inventorship of two patents in the area.

A three and a half year period followed as a groundsman and gamekeeper on a large estate in North Wales that drew upon my practical skills set, during which time I was occasionally engaged on a quasi-consultancy basis with Bangor in the commercialisation of my research outcomes.

I was appointed to my current position as a scale-up/development chemist in Beacon in November last year.

Research Interests

  • Vegetable oils and fatty acids, especially uncommon fatty acids
  • Identification of waste streams and valorisation opportunities in natural products processing
  • Secondary plant metabolites – extraction, analysis and formulations into novel bioactive products (e.g. biopesticides, pharma- cosmeta- and nutraceutical applications)
  • Forestry residues, non-timber forest products and unutilised indigenous plants

BEACON Activities

  • Developing small scale extraction protocols
  • Operational activities in wet chemistry laboratory for large scale solvent extraction
  • Procurement of samples for extraction
  • Preparation and analysis of samples
  • Exploitation of IP with a number of companies including a multi-national in various applications
  • Engaging with BEACON partner companies
  • Developing Welsh supply chains to deliver plant extracts for formulation into commercial products by end-users

Future Plans

I am passionate about my work in the area of natural products and derivatives, especially those that are unexplored or their application is unrecognised.

My immediate future plan is to build up our capacity on Anglesey and to help exceed rather than just meet our metrics across BEACON.

Looking further ahead, I would like to:

  • Foster further the strategic alliances I have developed with research colleagues, institutions and commercial organisations
  • Continue my professional development in both chemistry and forestry by assimilating new methods of working, ideas and technologies
  • Develop novel technologies based on natural products to meet global challenges facing populations worldwide

Publications

  • Baird, M.S.; Preskett, D. Method, European patent EP2235150. 2007.
  • Baird, M.S.; Preskett, D. Composition and Method, European patent EP2234479, 2007.
  • Preskett D. High value products from unused, indigenous plants. PhD thesis, Bangor University, 2007.
  • Preskett, D. The suitability of food grade cooking oil to act as a biodegradable chainsaw lubricant in forestry and arboriculture. In: Hadfield, M. and Ciantar, C. (Eds.) In: Proceedings, Tribology in Environmental Design 2000. Professional Engineering Publishing, London, 2000.
  • Preskett, D. Bio- or cooking oils? Arboricultural Association Newsletter, 108, 21–25, 2000.

Tim BEACON

Dr Sreenivas Rao Ravella

Senior Fermentation Scientist

rsr@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

My first degree was in Microbiology, followed by a PhD in Microbiology (fermentations). After a few years of Postdoc work at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, India, I moved to the UK. I joined IGER in 2007 as research scientist (fermentations) and worked at North Wyke - what is now Rothamsted Research. I joined IBERS in Feb 2012, as a fermentation scientist -part of the BEACON team- which focuses on biorefinery products and pilot scale fermentations.

I am interested in characterisation of microorganisms especially yeasts from extreme environments for biorefinery products. Expertise in fermentations, Design of Experiments (DOE) concepts especially Taguchi method applied to biotech processes and process optimization. Involvement in several research programmes led to 35 international referred journal publications.

Projects

Scientist – BEACON biorefining EU project.
Co- Principal Investigator: Climate-KIC Innovation: Adaptation and Mitigation through Bio-Succinate Innovation (ADMIT Bio-SuccInnovate) and xylitol production (Value -14 Million Euro) -2013.
Principal Investigator: Climate-KIC Pathfinder: Sustainable Biogas Process Optimisation & Implementation Strategies (Biogas2Market) - 2013.
Co-PI: Academic Expertise for Business (A4B): Knowledge Transfer and Collaborative Industrial Research. Sustainable Ryegrass Products (STARS) -2013.
Principal Investigator: Mycological contaminants of the diets of ponies (2011).
Co-PI: ‘Evolution of organisms associated with methanogenic communities during the initiation of bioenergy fermentation’ that included advance 454 pyrosequencing and functional gene analysis (Illumina) studies a project with The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), UK (2012).
Member of BBSRC Masters training grant with Exeter University (BB/H020667/1) (2010-2011).
Co-Investigator: Benchmarked several biogas plants throughout Europe: EU AGRO-BIOGAS (513949) - European Biogas Initiative to improve the yield of agricultural biogas plants, funded by EU FP6 programme. Developed Early warning system for biogas plants transferred to several biogas plants in Europe (2007-2010).
Researcher: Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, involved in EPS (Extracellular polymeric substances) research part of the North Wyke UK BBSRC strategic programme (2008-2012).
Member: BBSRC India partnering award: (2008-2011).
Outstanding performance award by Rothamsted Research in 2009.
 

Reviewer: Journal of Applied Microbiology, Letters in Applied Microbiology, Carbohydrate polymers, Biomass Bioenergy, Bioresource technology, Process biochemistry, Microbial Ecology, Agronomy for Sustainable Development.

Research Interests

Microbial Biotechnology especially bi refinery products, microbiology, xylose utilizing yeasts and fermentation optimizations.

BEACON Activities

Currently I am a Fermentation Scientist, working as part of the BEACON team at IBERS.

Future Plans

Research including the scientific developments needed to underpin the BEACON Programme especially fermentations and optimization of processes.

Recent Publications

  • Ravella SR, Donavan N, Shivaji S, Arunasri K, James SA, Bond CJ, Roberts IN, Hobbs PJ. (2011) Candia northwykensis sp. nov., a novel yeast isolated from the gut of the click beetle Melanotus villosus Current Microbiology 63: 115-20
  • Ravella SR2. , James SA, Bond CJ, Roberts IN, Cross K, Retter A, Hobbs PJ (2010) Cryptococcus shivajii sp nov.: A Novel Basidiomycetous Yeast Isolated from Biogas Reactor. Current Microbiology 60:12-16
  • Ravella SR, Quinones TS, Retter A, Heiermann M, Amon T, Hobbs PJ (2010) Extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production by a novel strain of yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. Carbohydrate Polymers 82:728-732
  • Rao R S, Kumar C, Prakasham R, Hobbs P J. (2008) The Taguchi methodology as a statistical tool for biotechnological applications: A critical appraisal. Biotechnology Journal, (3): 510-523.
  • Prakasham R S, Sathish T, Brahmaiah P, Rao C S, Rao R S, Hobbs P J. (2009) Biohydrogen production from renewable agri-waste blend: Optimization using mixer design. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, (34): 6143-6148.
  • Prakasham RS, Rao RS, Hobbs PJ. (2009) Current trends in biotechnological production of xylitol and future prospects. Current Trends in Biotechnology and Pharmacy, (3): 8-36.
  • Subba Rao C, Madhavendra S S, Sreenivas Rao R, Hobbs P J, Prakasham R S. (2008) Studies on improving the immobilized bead reusability and alkaline protease production by isolated immobilized Bacillus circulans (MTCC 6811) using overall evaluation criteria. Appl Biochem Biotechnol, (150): 65-83.
  • Subba Rao C, Sathish T, Mahalaxmi M, Suvana Laxmi G, Sreenivas Rao R, Prakasham RS. (2008) Modelling and optimization of fermentation factors for enhancement of alkaline protease production by isolated Bacillus circulans using feed-forward neural network and genetic algorithm. Journal of Applied Microbiology, (104): 889-898.
  • Suvana Laxmi G, Subba Rao C, Sreenivas Rao Ravella, Hobbs PJ, Prakasham RS. (2009) Enhanced production of xylanase by a newly isolated Aspergillus terreus under solid state fermentation using palm industrial waste: A statistical optimization. Biochemical Engineering Journal (48): 51-57.R. Sreenivas Rao, Bhaskar Bhadra and S. Shivaji. (2008) Isolation and characterization of ethanol producing yeasts from fruits and tree barks. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 47: 19-24.
  • Bhaskar B, Pawan Kumar S, R. Sreenivas Rao, S Shivaji. (2008) Blastobotrys serpentis sp. nov., isolated from the intestine of Trinket snake (Elaphe sp., Colubridae) FEMS Yeast Research, 8: 492-498.
  • S. Shivaji, Bhadra, B., R. Sreenivas Rao., Suman P. (2008) Rhodotorula himalayensis sp. nov., a novel psychrophilic yeast isolated from Roopkund lake of the Himalayan mountain ranges, India. Extremophiles, 12: 375-381.
  • Bhaskar Bhadra, R. Sreenivas Rao, Pawan Kumar S, Sarkar, P, S Shivaji. (2008) Yeasts and Yeast like Fungi associated with the bark of Trees: Diversity of Yeasts and identification of Yeasts producing Extracellular Endoxylanases. Current Microbiology, 56: 489-494.
  • Ch. Subba Rao, T. Satish, M. Maha Laxmi, R. Sreenivas Rao, R. S. Prakasham. (2008) Modelling and optimization of fermentation factors for enhancement of alkaline protease production by isolated Bacillus circulans using feed-forward neural network and genetic algorithm. Journal of Applied Microbiology,104: 889-898.
  • Ch. Subba Rao, S.S. Madhavendhra, R. Sreenivas Rao. Phil Hobbs, R.S. Prakasham. (2008) Enhancement of alkaline protease production by immobilised Bacillus circulans: parameter optimization using Overall Evaluation Criteria. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 150: 65-83.

Tim BEACON

Selwyn Owen

Business Development Manager

gao4@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Cefndir

Mae Selwyn yn gweithio fel Rheolwr Datblygu Busnes ar fenter bioburo BEACON - prosiect a gefnogir gan Gronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop. Mae diddordeb Selwyn dros y tair blynedd diwethaf wedi bod yn y marchnadoedd gwastraff, biomas ac ynni adnewyddadwy. Yn ei rôl flaenorol, bu’n cynorthwyo cwmnïau i nodi technolegau strategol gwastraff-i-ynni (nwyeiddio, pyrolysis a threulio anaerobig). Gweithiai Selwyn yn flaenorol i ysgol fusnes flaenllaw yn Sgandinafia. Yma, roedd ei waith yn cynnwys prosiectau cynaliadwyedd penodol i gwmnïau a phrosiectau ynni adnewyddadwy a gafodd eu hariannu gan yr UE, gyda ffocws ar ranbarth datblygol Dwyrain Canol Gogledd Affrica (MENA). Bu Selwyn yn rheoli ac yn cydlynu gwasanaethau cymorth busnes ar gyfer cwmnïau technoleg cychwynnol yn y Ganolfan Deori Optoelectroneg yng Ngogledd Cymru, sy’n ganolfan flaenllaw yn Ewrop. Mae hefyd wedi gweithio fel ymgynghorydd i gwmnïau sy’n cychwyn arni a chwmnïau bach a chanolig mewn llywodraeth leol. Mae Selwyn wedi teithio’n helaeth i bob cwr o’r byd yn rhinwedd ei swyddi. Mae'n cynnal diddordeb brwd mewn gwledydd a diwylliannau tramor ac mae’n awyddus i ddatblygu busnes a chysylltiadau rhyngwladol.

 Diddordebau Ymchwil
 

Cydweithrediadau amrywiol a chynghreiriau strategol; biotechnoleg ac ynni adnewyddadwy

 Gweithgareddau BEACON
 

Datblygu Busnes – hwyluso cydweithrediad diwydiant â’r byd academaidd

 

Tim BEACON

Paul Wyn Jones

Research Technician in Biorefining Engineering

paj@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

I graduated from Cardiff University with a II(i) Hons in applied biology in 1992. This was followed by 4 years research on Biotransformations in single and mixed organic solvents at Aberystwyth University. Then I became the food microbiologist at NFF Bakeries, Aberystwyth testing all along the production line.

I moved to IGER, Aberystwyth joining the grass breeding team helping with national trials of grass and clover and then spent 8 years working with Phytoquest, Aberystwyth isolating novel compounds from natural products to be used in various assays. After a short contract with the Grassahol project researching bioethanol I joined the Beacon project in November 2011.

Research Interests

  • Biorefining
  • Phytochemistry

BEACON Activities

I am a Research Technician for BEACON, responsible for helping with the day to day running of the new pilot laboratory facility including both primary and secondary processing areas. Also to assist with any other research as required.

Future Plans

  • To help make Beacon a success!
  • To carry on further within this field

Tim BEACON

Dr Joe Gallagher

Aberystwyth Projects Manager

jbg@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Dr Joe Gallagher is a Project Initiator in the Biorenewables and Environmental Change Division, IBERS, AU. He is an expert in the area of grass carbohydrates and the principle aim of his research is to understand carbohydrate metabolism in grasses to improve crop performance and increase substrate supply for a range of down-stream applications including biorefining. Dr Gallagher also has experience in the processing and fermentation of feedstocks to a range of products. He co-coordinates the fermentation group within the Biorenewables and Biorenewables Programme, which is involved in determining fermentation quality of our extensive germplasm collections and investigating how changes in chemical composition resulting from feedstock breeding programmes affect fermentability. He is also involved in optimising bioconversion processes through the use of recombinant enzymes from plants, fungi and bacteria as well as genetic manipulation of fermenting organisms. Dr Gallagher leads the Bio-conversion and Biorefining Group, working on the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and the isolation and production of both fine and bulk chemicals. He is employed on a UK BBSRC strategic programme and is part of the BBSRC Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC). He is also a project leader in the Biorefining Centre of Excellence ‘BEACON’. Dr Gallagher lectures on biorenewables (AU, MSc course) and is project manager and PI on a number of externally funded grants in the area of biorefining (e.g. http://www.grassohol.org).

Research Interests

  • Carbohydrate metabolism in grasses
  • Aspects of biorefining including harvesting, storage, pre-processing, bioconversion and product isolation.
  • Metabolic engineering of microbes
  • Production and screening of metagenomic libraries sourced from a range of environments.

BEACON Activities

  • Pre-processing and processing of feedstocks.
  • Production of fine and bulk chemicals from a range of feedstocks
  • Metabolic engineering of microbes.
  • Identification of novel microbes with industrial applications.
  • Production and screening of metagenomic libraries for novel enzymes.

Publications

Relevant Publications:

  • Farrar, K., Bryant, D. N., Turner, L. B., Gallagher, J. A., Thomas, A., Farrell, M., Humphreys, M. O., Donnison, I. S. (2011). Breeding for bio-ethanol production in Lolium perenne L.: association of allelic variation with high water-soluble carbohydrate content  Bioenergy Research, (in press)
  • Bryant, D. N., Morris, S. M., Leemans, D., Fish, S. A., Taylor, S., Carvell, J., Todd, R. W., Logan, D., Lee, M., Garcia, N., Ellis, A., Gallagher, J. A. (2011). Modelling real-time simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass and organic acid accumulation using dielectric spectroscopy  Bioresource Technology, 102, (20), 9675-9682
  • Adams, J. M. M., Toop, T. A., Donnison, I. S., Gallagher, J. A. (2011). Seasonal variation in Laminaria digitata and its impact on biochemical conversion routes to biofuels  Bioresource Technology, 102, (21), 9976-9984
  • Adams, J. M. M., Ross, A. B, Anastasakis, K., Hodgson, E. M., Gallagher, J. A., Jones, J. M., Donnison, I. S. (2011). Seasonal variation in the chemical composition of the bioenergy feedstock Laminaria digitata for thermochemical conversion  Bioresource Technology, 102, (1), 226-234
  • Mur, L. A. J., Aubry, S., Mondhe, M., Kingston-Smith, A. H., Gallagher, J. A. , Timms-Taravella, E., James, C. L., Papp, I., Hortensteiner, S., Thomas, Howard, Ougham, H. J. (2010). Accumulation of chlorophyll catabolites photosensitizes the hypersensitive response elicited by Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis  New Phytologist, 188, (1), 161-174
  • Charlton, A., Elias, R., Fish, S., Fowler, P., Gallagher, J. A. (2009). Biorefining opportunities in Wales: Understanding the scope for building a sustainable, biorenewable economy using plant biomass  Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 87, (9), 1147-1161
  • Adams, J. M., Gallagher, J. A. , Donnison, I. S. (2009). Fermentation study on Saccharina latissima for bioethanol production considering variable pre-treatments  Journal of Applied Phycology, 21, (5), 569-574
  • Cairns, A. J., Turner, L. B., Gallagher, J. A. (2008). Ryegrass leaf fructan synthesis is oxygen dependent and abolished by endomembrane inhibitors New Phytologist, 180, (4), 832-840

Tim BEACON

Dr Jessica Adams

BEACON Scientist

jaa@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

  • BSc Medical Microbiology (Hons.), University of Edinburgh
  • PhD Microbial biotechnology (BBSRC CASE), University of Manchester.

In November 2007 I began a post-doctorate researcher position funded by SUPERGEN –Bioenergy (EPSRC) working on the fermentation of selected seaweeds to produce bioethanol at IGER Aberystwyth (subsequently merged to IBERS, Aberystwyth University). From March 2009 I have been employed under the ISPG (BBSRC) at IBERS, Aberystwyth University working on the saccharification and fermentation of Miscanthus and other biomass crops and since December 2010 have spent part of my time on BEACON (ERDF) on macroalgae, novel micro-organisms and products from apple pomace.

Research Interests

Climate change, fuel security and economics are driving the use of renewable technologies.  All technologies may be used to generate electricity or heat either directly or indirectly, but only biomass is capable of producing liquid fuels for use as a transport fuel.  Most of these sources come into direct conflict with food production, whereas marine biomass is currently an under-exploited resource with the potential to produce large amounts of biofuel without adversely affecting food supplies.

My work to date has been demonstrating the importance of seasonal variation in the composition of the macroalgae species Laminaria digitata and the effect of this on biofuel production.  Bio-oil, -ethanol and –methane have been produced in addition to chemical composition analysis (see Adams et al., 2011 and Adams et al., 2011 in Bioresource Technology).

Future work will consider the production of higher value products and compounds from macroalgae and other selected feedstocks prior to the production of biofuels from the residues.

Within the ISPG programme I am considering different pretreatments on genetically variable Miscanthus material taken from collections within the Miscanthus breeding programme at IBERS. Material is subsequently saccharified using enzyme blends and fermented to ethanol to provide further information regarding inhibitor production by the processes.

BEACON Activities

I am employed for 60% of my time on BEACON, split between a number of projects. 

I am leading the project considering alternative uses of pomace, the residue fibre, pips, skin and stalk of apples following juicing. 

I am also involved in two other projects: one on commercial applications of compounds derived from macroalgae; the other on microbial decomposition of biomass for sugar release and organic acid production using novel sources of microorganisms.  This latter project will be predominantly the focus of a BEACON PhD student, Magda Dudek, who I will be co-supervising with Dr Joe Gallagher.

I am also providing support for a number of other projects in the area of biorefining and particularly fermentation, reflecting my expertise and interests in these areas.

Publications

Details of recent papers can be seen at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/ibers/staff/staff-list/jaa/

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Dr Ifat Parveen

BEACON Scientist

ifp@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

I received my PhD at the University of Bath (England, UK), in 2001 on a thesis entitled "Novel Hypoxia-Selective Prodrugs of Radiosensitisers and Chemosensitisers" under the supervision of Professor Mike D. Threadgill Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology) and Dr. William J. D. Whish (Department of Biology and Biochemistry). I joined IGER in 2002 as the post-doctoral researcher on a BBSRC-LINK project (Phytochemical library from British plants 2002-2004) with a pharmaceutical industrial partner (Molecular Nature Ltd.) on the isolation and identification of natural plant products. This gave me the opportunity to expand my skills into natural product chemistry enhancing my PhD studies in which I trained as a synthetic medicinal chemist focusing on design, synthesis and evaluation of drugs for cancer therapy. In 2004, I was made principal investigator on a metabolomics project to develop a pre-mortem diagnostic test for transmissible spongiform encepathalopathy (TSE) diseases in sheep and cattle. I have since also worked on a project concerned with utilising a metabolomics approach to improve animal health and performance. In April 2009, I joined the Biorenewables and Environmental Change division at IBERS.

Research Interests

  • Recovery and conversion of secondary plant metabolites with biorefinery potential.
  • Recovery and purification of secondary metabolites with medicinal potential.
  • Development of chemical synthesis of alternative biofuels from perennial grass feedstocks.

Current work involves the synthesis of cell wall ferulate dimers which could be used with the aim of generating monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognise the presence of dehydroferulate esters. The availability of these antibodies will provide a valuable tool for screening of energy grass germplasm collections to identify those genotypes with low abundance of diferulates, thus determining the saccharification potential. This then enables hydrolysis to be tailored specifically to target the crosslinking of diferulates to polysaccharides. This work is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Maurice Bosch. Synthesis of target substrates to develop screening ‘tool kits’ for quantifying individual enzymes in novel germplasm and mapping populations. In conjunction with this objective, I have also synthesised potential substrates of enzymes in order to determine metabolic pathways within germplasm to be screened.

BEACON Activities

The overall aim of the Beacon project is to identify plants with increased biorefining potential and to develop renewable sources of compounds that have possible applications for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, agricultural, food and non-food industries. My specific role is ‘The recovery and conversion of complex organic plant compounds with bio-refining potential’. After chemotype population separation, detailed chemical analysis (non-polar and polar profiling) will be carried out in order to differentiate chemistries of various feedstocks. Chemical composition will be correlated with genotypes that differ in traits such as yield fermentability and thermochemical conversion. All chemical compounds or classes of compounds will then be directed towards their best commercial end use as either high value chemicals or conversion and investigated for linkage to other biorefining traits (fermentation and thermochemical conversion).These plants are exploited in order to develop new genotypes to improve yield fermentability and thermochemical energy. The Beacon project seeks to utilise complex chemical compounds identified during the process of profiling and classifying test germplasm.

Future Plans

To use the knowledge and expertise gained during this project to develop some of the interesting molecules for commercial application.

We would also be interested in investigating correlation between biorefining traits (yield fermentability and thermochemical energy) and soluble chemistries

Recent Publications

  • Parveen, I.; Threadgill, M. D.; Hauck, B.; Donnison, I.; Winters, A. Isolation, identification and quantitation of hydroxycinnamic acid conjugates, potential platform chemicals, in the leaves and stems of Miscanthus x giganteus using LC-ESI-MSn. Phytochemistry 2011, 72, (18), 2376-2384.
  • Parveen, I.; Threadgill, M. D.; Moorby, J. M.; Winters, A. Oxidative phenols in forage crops containing polyphenol oxidase enzymes. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2010, 58, 1371-1382.
  • Parveen, I.; Winters, A.; Threadgill, M. D.; Hauck, B.; Morris, P. Extraction, structural characterisation and evaluation of hydroxycinnamate esters of orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) as substrates for polyphenol oxidase. Phytochemistry 2008, 69, 2799-2806.

Tim BEACON

Dr Gordon Graham Allison

BEACON Scientist

goa@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

I have worked as a scientist in Aberystwyth since 1991. I graduated in biochemistry at the University of Dundee in 1984 and obtained a PhD in microbiology from the University of Swansea in 1991on the uptake and metabolism of purines by marine micro-algae.  My research interests have included the molecular engineering of condensed tannin composition in forage legumes and the identification of plasma metabolite biomarkers of spongiform encephalopathies in preclinical cattle and sheep.

Research Interests

My research looks at the complex effect of plant cell wall composition on conversion efficiency to heat, power, chemicals and liquid fuels. It has focused largely on biomass crop species e.g. Miscanthus, switchgrass, reed canary, willow and perennial forage grasses.

The goals of my research include expanding understanding of cell wall biology in energy crop species and facilitating the breeding of energy grass varieties of a composition better matched to specific end uses. I use many analytical techniques to characterise cell wall and specialise in developing high through put assays based on infrared analysis and multivariate mathematics.

BEACON Activities

Analysis of feed stock and residue composition and analysis of complex data sets. Future Plans

  • Interact with BEACON partners and industry to use advanced analytical and chemometric techniques to underpin projects.

Publications

  • Mayorga, O., Kingston-Smith, A., Kim, E.-J., Allison, G., Wilkinson, T. J., Heggarty, M. J., Theodorou, M., Newbold, C. J. and Huws, S., Frontiers in Microbiology (2016) doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01854, Temporal metagenomic and metabolomic characterization of fresh perennial ryegrass degradation by rumen bacteria
  • Corton, J., Fraser, M., Bridgwater, A., Wachendorf, M., Buhle, L., Hodgson, E., Allison, G., Patel, M. & Donnison, I., Applied Energy (2016) 177 852-862, Expanding the biomass resource: sustainable oil production via fast pyrolysis of low input high diversity biomass and the potential integration of thermochemical and biological conversion routes
  • Cameron, S. J. S., Lewis, K. E., Beckmann, M., Allison, G. G., Ghosal, R., Lewis, P. D. and Mur, L. J., Lung Cancer (2016) 94 88–95 The metabolomics detection of lung cancer biomarkers in sputum
  •  Upham, P., Klapper, R. and Allison, G. G., Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (2015) 2 70–80, Who owns the future? Reflections on patenting, private value accrual and societal disbenefit in the context of biofuel technology transfer
  • Webb, J., Cookson, A., Allison, G., Sullivan, M. L. and Winters, A., Frontiers in Plant Science (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00700, Polyphenol oxidase affects normal nodule development in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
  • Yates, S., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Chernukin, I., Lowe, M., Allison, G., Ruttink, T., Abberton, M., Jenkins, G. I. and Skot, L., BMC Genomics (2014) 15 453, De novo assembly of red clover transcriptome based on RNA-Seq data provides insight into drought response, gene discovery and marker identification
  •  Da Costa, R., Lee, S., Allison, G., Hazen, S., Winters, A. and Bosch, M., Annals of Botany (2014) 116 1265-1277, Genotype, development and tissue derived variation of cell wall properties in the lignocellulosic energy crop Miscanthus
  •  Belanche, A., Weisbjerg, M., Allison, G., Newbold, C. and Moorby, J., J. Dairy Sci (2014) 97 2361-2375, Measurement of rumen dry matter and neutral detergent fiber degradability of feeds by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Slavov, G. T., Nipper, R., Robson, P., Farrar, K., Allison, G. G., Bosch, M., Clifton-Brown, J. C., Donnison, I. S. and Jensen, E., New Phytologist (2014) 201 1227-1239, Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis
  • Belanche, A., Weisbjerg, M., Allison, G., Newbold, C. and Moorby, J., J. Dairy Science (2013) 96 7867-7880, Estimation of feed crude protein concentration and rumen degradability by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Slavov, G. and Allison, G. G. and Bosch, M., Frontiers in Plant Science (2013) DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00217, Advances in the genetic dissection of the Miscanthus cell wall
  •  Webb, K. J., Cookson, A., Allison, G.; Sullivan, M. and Winters, A., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2013) 31 7421-7430, Gene expression patterns, localisation and substrates of polyphenol oxidase in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)
  • Slavov, G., Robson, P., Jensen, E.,Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Allison, G., Hawkins, S., Thomas-Jones, S., Ma, X.-F., Swaller, T., Flavell, R., Clifton-Brown, J. and Donnison, I., GCB Bioenergy (2013) 5 562-571, Contrasting geographic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis
  • Allison, G. G., Morris, C., Lister, S. J., Barraclough, T., Yates, N., Shield, I. and Donnison, I. S. Biomass and Bioenergy (2012) 40 19-26. Effect of nitrogen fertiliser application on cell wall composition in switchgrass and reed canary grass
  • Robbins, M.P., Evans, G., Valentine, J., Donnison, I.S. and Allison, G.G. (2012) Progress in Energy and Combustion Science 38 138-155. New opportunities for the exploitation of energy crops for combustion in Northern Europe and the UK
  • Valentine, J., Clifton-Brown, J.,  Hastings, A.,  Robson, P., Allison, G. and Smith, P. (2012), Global Change Biology Bioenergy (2012) U 1-19, Food vs. fuel: the use of land for lignocellulosic ‘next generation’ energy crops that minimise competition with primary food production

Tim BEACON

Dr Elaine Jensen

Energy Crop Scientist

fft@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

My enthusiasm for plant biology is inspired by environmental issues and a desire to understand and contribute towards sustainability, both within agriculture and life in general. In my final year BSc project I explored the important legume-rhizobia relationship, which provides an environmentally friendly source of nitrogen to plants. I continued this investigation into my PhD, looking at the genetic mechanisms underlying the interaction between the plant and bacteria. Since 2007 I have been part of the large biorenewables programme in IBERS, developing our scientific knowledge of energy crops such as Miscanthus. From 2007 to 2012 I investigated the impact of flowering time on yield and quality traits in Miscanthus, as well as the factors promoting flowering, such as photoperiod and temperature (BBSRC responsive-mode grant). More recently I have received NRN-LCEE funding to develop a network around the phytoremediation of contaminated mine spoil in Wales, using energy crops.


Research Interests

• Phytoremediation (restoration of contaminated land) using energy crops such as Miscanthus and reed canary grass (Phalaris), and the subsequent utility of these crops in sustainable energy provision.
• Improving/promoting sustainability, including the social science side of our response to sustainability issues
• Plants for power, liquid fuels, and as fossil fuel replacements for platform chemicals, including laboratory plastics.


BEACON Activities

• Developing the use of energy crops in the remediation of heavy metal contaminated land.
• Exploring the qualitative aspects of bioenergy for combustion – determining what is important in feedstock quality to facilitate sustainable energy provision for domestic and commercial power, how feedstock vary in quality and how they can be improved.
• Raising awareness of the importance of plants in a sustainable future.


Selected Publications

• Davey C, Nipper R, Robson P, Farrar K, Clifton-Brown J, Jensen E, Donnison I, Slavov G (2016).  Selection and Genome-Wide Prediction of Phenology and Biomass Yield in Miscanthus.  Plant and Animal Genome Conference XXIV, San Diego, California, United States of America, 09/01/2016-13/01/2016.
• Jensen E, Robson P, Farrar K, Thomas Jones S, Clifton-Brown J, Payne R, Donnison I (2016).  Towards Miscanthus combustion quality improvement: the role of flowering and senescence.  GCB Bioenergy 10.1111/gcbb.12391.
• Slavov G T, Nipper R, Robson P, Farrar K, Allison G G, Bosch M, Clifton-Brown J C, Donnison I S, Jensen E(2014).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis.  New Phytologist 201 (4) pp 1227-1239.  10.1111/nph. 12621.
• Slavov G T, Nipper R, Robson P R, Farrar K, Allison G G, Bosch M, Clifton-Brown J C, Donnison I S, Jensen E F(2014).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in Miscanthus sinensis.  Plant & Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, United States of  America, 10/01/2014-15/01/2014. pp W422. Other
• Clifton-Brown J C, Purdy S J, Hayes C M, Ashman C R, Jones L E, Farrar K, Huang  L S, Gallagher J A, Glover C M, HInton Jones M E, Jensen E F, Loosley R M, Maddison A L, McCalmont J P, Nunn C, Robson P R, Slavov G T, Warren R D, Webster R J, Youell S J, Donnison I S, Davey C L, Jones C M, Barraclough T, Castle M, Cunniff J, Cracroft-Eley W, Greef J M, Hastings A, Harding G, Lewandowski I, Meyer H, Moss M, Nelson W, Richter G, Rodgers C, Schwarze K, Squance M, Swaller T, Shield I, Xi Q, Karp A, Flavell R (2014).  Recent advances in Miscanthus science and breeding.  International Bioenergy Conference 2014, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 11/03/2014-13/03/2014.
• Robson P, Jensen E, Hawkins S, White SR, Kenobi K, Clifton-Brown J, Donnison I, Farrar K. (2013) Accelerating the domestication of a bioenergy crop: identifying and modelling morphological targets for sustainable yield increase in Miscanthus. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (14), 4143-4155.  http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/21/jxb.ert225.full
• Gancho T. Slavov, Rick Nipper, Paul Robson, Kerrie Farrar, Gordon G. Allison, Maurice Bosch, John C. Clifton-Brown, Iain S. Donnison and Elaine Jensen (2013).  Genome-wide association studies and prediction of 17 traits related to phenology, biomass and cell wall composition in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis.  New Phytologist doi: 10.1111/nph.12621.  Click for publication
• Paul R.H. Robson, Kerrie Farrar, Alan P. Gay, Elaine F. Jensen, John C. Clifton-Brown and Iain S. Donnison (2013). Variation in canopy duration in the perennial biofuel crop Miscanthus reveals complex associations with yield. Journal of Experimental Botany 64 (8): 2373-2383.
http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/12/jxb.ert104.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=aiR8x8ELMIztbzE
• Elaine Jensen, Paul Robson, John Norris, Alan Cookson, Kerrie Farrar, Iain Donnison and John Clifton-Brown (2012). Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulation. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/ers346
• Gancho Slavov, Paul Robson, Elaine Jensen, Edward Hodgson, Kerrie Farrar, Gordon Allison, Sarah Hawkins, Sian Thomas-Jones, Xue-Feng Ma, Lin Huang, Timothy Swaller, Richard Flavell, John Clifton-Brown and Iain Donnison (2012). Contrasting geographic patterns of genetic variation for molecular markers vs. phenotypic traits in the energy grass Miscanthus sinensis. Global Change Biology – Bioenergy doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12025
• Elaine Jensen, Paul Robson, John Norris, Alan Cookson, Kerrie Farrar, Iain Donnison* and John Clifton-Brown. 2012. Flowering induction in the bioenergy grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus is a quantitative short-day response, whilst delayed flowering under long days increases biomass accumulation. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/ers346 http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/11/23/jxb.ers346.full.pdf+html
• Ma Xue-Feng, Elaine Jensen, Nickolai Alexandrov, Maxim Troukhan, Liping Zhang, Sian Thomas-Jones, Kerrie Farrar, John Clifton-Brown, Iain Donnison, Timothy Swaller, Richard Flavell. 2012. High resolution genetic mapping by genome sequencing reveals genome duplication and tetraploid genetic structure of the diploid Miscanthus sinensis. PLoS ONE 7 (3); e33821.
• Jensen, Elaine, Farrar, Kerrie, Thomas-Jones, Sian, Hastings, Astley, Donnison, Iain, Clifton-Brown, John (2011). Characterisation of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus. Global Change Biology –Bioenergy (3): 387-400
• Jensen, E. F., Squance, M., Hastings, A., Thomas-Jones, S., Farrar, K., Huang, L., King R., Clifton-Brown, J., Donnison, I. (2011). Understanding the value of hydrothermal time on flowering in Miscanthus species Aspects of Applied Biology, 112, 181-189. Biomass and Energy Crops IV, Booth, E. Green, M. Karp, A. Shield, I. Stock, D. Turley, D.
• Robson, P. R. H., Kelly, R., Jensen, E. F., Giddings, G. D., Leitch, M., Davey, C., Gay, A. P., Jenkins, G., Thomas, Howard, Donnison, I. S. (2011). A flexible quantitative methodology for the analysis of gene-flow between conventionally-bred maize populations using microsatellite markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 122, (4), 819-829.
• Webb, K. J., Jensen, E. F., Heywood, S., Morris, S. M., Linton, P. E., Hooker, J. E. (2010). Gene expression and nitrogen loss in senescing root systems of red clover (Trifolium pratense). Journal of Agricultural Science 148,(5), 579-591.
• Clifton-Brown, J. C., Robson, P. R. H., Allison, G. G., Lister, S. J., Sanderson, R., Morris, C., Hodgson, E., Farrar, K., Hawkins, S., Jensen, E. F., Jones, S. T., Huang, L., Roberts, P. C., Youell, S. J., Jones, B. R., Wright, A., Valentine, J., Donnison, I. S. (2008). Miscanthus: breeding our way to a better future. Aspects of Applied Biology, 90 199-206 Biomass and Energy Crops III, Booth, E.Green, M.Karp, A.Shield, I.Stock, D.Turley, D.

Tim BEACON

Dr David Bryant

BEACON Co-Investigator

dgb@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

I specialise in applied biochemistry and molecular biology with the main emphasis of my research focussing on the enzymatic release and bioconversion of plant cell-wall carbohydrates to bio-renewable platform chemicals such as ethanol and/or lactic acid. Having returned to academia, I am now deploying the knowledge and experience gained in the biopharmaceutical industry to developing novel approaches for biorefining and bioconversion of renewable, sustainable feed stocks in collaboration with small to medium sized enterprises. My PhD research at Durham University was funded by the BBSRC and Bayer Crop Science, Lyon focussed on understanding pesticide detoxification in food crops, weeds and plant fungal pathogens.

Research Interests

  • Biorefining and bioconversion processes.
  • Cloning and expression of recombinant proteins and their application in a biorefining tool kit.
  • Enzymology of plant cell-wall deconstruction.
  • Pretreatment technologies to enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass.
  • Application of dielectric capacitance probes to monitor carbohydrate release during simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose.
  • Modelling saccharification and fermentation parameters for the production of bio-renewable fuels and platform chemicals.
  • Metabolic engineering of bacteria for the production of bio-renewable fuels and chemicals.
  • Optimisation of bioconversion using Design of Experiments (DoE) methodologies.

PhD Studentships

Mr Alun T. Hughes researching - "Improvements to plant bio-refining through metabolic engineering"

New PhD studentship in enzyme design - "Improving thermostability and catalytic activity of lipases through computation modelling" - this studentship has now been appointed and is no longer available.

Selected Publications

  • Bryant DN, Morris SM, Harding G, Fish S, Donnison IS, Gallagher JA (2012) An on-farm, pilot scale process for biorefining Lolium perenne (var. Aber Magic) to bio-ethanol and multiple commodity value streams. J. Vis Exp. (accepted for publication)
  • David N. Bryant, Elliot Firth, Naheed Kaderbhai, Stephen Taylor, Stephen M Morris, Daniel Logan, Naroa Garcia Andrew Ellis, Steven M. Martin, Joe A Gallagher (2012) Monitoring real-time enzymatic hydrolysis of Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) by dielectric spectroscopy following hydrothermal pre-treatment by steam explosion. Accepted in press, Bioresource Technology, August 2012. 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.09.021
  • Bryant David N, Stephen M Morris, David Leemans, Stephen Taylor, John Carvel, Robert W. Todd, Daniel Logan, Matthew Lee, Naroa Garcia, Andrew Ellis and Joe A Gallagher. (2011) Modelling real-time simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose and monitoring organic acid accumulation on-line using dielectric spectroscopy. Bioresource Technology. 102. 9675-9682.
  • Farrar K, Bryant D, Turner L, Gallagher J, Thomas A, Farrell M, Allison G, Humphreys MO and Donnison IS. (2011) Breeding for Bio-ethanol Production in Lolium perenne L.: Association of Allelic Variation with High Water-Soluble Carbohydrate Content. October.
  • Cummins Ian, Bryant David N and Edwards Robert (2009). Safener responsiveness and multiple herbicide resistance in the weed black-grass (Alopecurus myosuroides). Plant Biotechnology. 7(8):807-20.

Patents

  • David N. Bryant, S. M. Morris, Graham Harding, Steven Fish, Iain S. Donnison, Joe A. Gallagher et al. (2012) Biofuel from Grass. Patent Application Number 1214338.4. Filing Date: 10 August 2012.

Conferences and abstracts

  • David N Bryant, Stephen M Morris, David Leemans, Stephen Taylor, John Carvel, Robert W. Todd, Daniel Logan, Matthew Lee, Naroa Garcia, Andrew Ellis and Joe A Gallagher. (2011) Enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose; the challenge of determining feedstock depletion and biomass growth on-line during simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. Invited speaker at Biofuels in the Uk: Challenges and opportunities. The Institute, East Finchley, London, N2 8LL, United Kingdom.
  • David N Bryant, Stephen M Morris, David Leemans, Stephen Taylor, Steve Fish, John Carvel, Robert W. Todd, Daniel Logan, Matthew Lee, Naroa Garcia, Andrew Ellis and Joe A Gallagher (2011) Application of dielectric annular spectroscopy for on-line monitoring of enzymatic hydrolysis of perennial rye-grass fibre. Speaker at the 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. A specialized conference of the Society for Industrial Microbiology. Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington.
  • Monitoring fibre breakdown in real time by capacitance – application to platform chemical and biofuel production. David N Bryant, Stephen M Morris, David Leemans, Stephen Taylor, Steve Fish, John Carvel, Robert W. Todd, Daniel Logan, Matthew Lee, Naroa Garcia, Andrew Ellis and Joe A Gallagher (2011) Speaker at the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) conference, National Museum of Wales & Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff.
  • Joe A. Gallagher, Lesley B Turner, Kerrie Farrar, Leif Skot, David N. Bryant, Emma Timms-Taravella, Mike S Morris, Markku Farrell, Ann Thomas and Iain S Donnison (2011) Improving water soluble sugar content in perennial rye-grass: Developing grasses for production of biofuels and bulk chemicals. 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. A specialized conference of the Society for Industrial Microbiology. Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington.
  • Stephen M. Morris, David N. Bryant, Dave S Thomas, Steve Fish and Joe A. Gallagher (2011) Grassohol - Conversion of high sugar grasses to alcohol based transport fuel. 33rd Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. A specialized conference of the Society for Industrial Microbiology. Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington.

Tim BEACON

Beacon Team Member

Dr Ana Winters

Principal Investigator

alg@aber.ac.uk

Aberystwyth University

Background

Ana Winters is a senior research scientist with knowledge and experience in a wide range of fields covering plant molecular biology and biochemistry concerned with the sustainable production of forage. She has carried out studies on gene expression and identification of genes associated with carbohydrate accumulation in forage grasses. Her work on microbial utilisation of plant carbohydrates during ensilage lead to the development of a novel silage inoculant incorporating selected bacterial strains and resulted in a successful patent application. Enzymes involved in breakdown of plant carbohydrate polymers have been isolated and sequenced by her and others. These are now being exploited for bioconversion of plant feed stocks to commercial products. She has published extensively on the role of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity in the utilisation of forage protein. Output from studies on PPO include; identification of novel PPO genes in red clover, perennial ryegrass, meadow fescue, cocksfoot and Miscanthus in addition to characterisation of unique properties of red clover PPO enzyme. Other areas of interest include the effects of naturally occurring sugar analogues on carbohydrate hydrolytic enzyme activity. More recently her research and has focussed on post-harvest deterioration in bioenergy crops with emphasis on phenol-oxidising enzyme activity and phenol substrates in grasses

Research Interests

My current research interests are in post-harvest stabilisation of energy crops, saccharification of lignocellulose and profiling of soluble phenols in plant extracts.

BEACON Activities

  • Developing methodology for recovery of proteins and sugars from plant feedstocks for application in a biorefinery.
  • Identification of plant feedstocks with biorefining potential.
  • Isolation and characterisation of secondary compounds with potential application in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Future Plans

  • Scale-up of lab scale processes
  • Profiling of fermentation broths for secondary products with industrial application.

Publications

I Parveen, I., Threadgill, M. D., Hauck, B., Donnison, I. Winters, A. L. (2011). Isolation, identification and quantitation of hydroxycinnamic acid conjugates, potential platform chemicals, in the leaves and stems of Miscanthus × giganteus using LC-ESI-MSn. Phytochemistry 72, 2376

Parveen, I., Threadgill, M. D., Moorby, J. M., Winters, A. L. (2010). Oxidative phenols in forage crops containing polyphenol oxidase enzymes. Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry 58, 1371-1382.

Winters, A. L. , Heywood, S., Farrar, K., Donnison, I. S., Thomas, A., Webb, K. J. (2009). Identification of an extensive gene cluster among a family of PPOs in Trifolium pratense L. using a large insert BAC library. BMC Plant Biology, 9, 94

Lee, M. R. F., Theobald, V. T., Tweed, J. K. S., Winters, A. L., Scollan, N. D. (2009). Effect of feeding fresh or conditioned red clover on milk fatty acids and N utilisation in lactating dairy cows Journal of Dairy Science, 92, 1136-1147

Winters A. L., Minchin, F. R., Michaelson-Yeates, T. P. T., Lee, M. R. F., Morris, P. (2008). Latent and active PPO in red clover (Trifolium pratense) and use of a low-PPO mutant to study the role of PPO in proteolysis reduction. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56, 2817-2824