Dr Joe Gallagher

Aberystwyth Projects Manager

Aberystwyth University


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.

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.


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