Dr Sreenivas Rao Ravella

Senior Fermentation Scientist


Aberystwyth University


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.


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.