Professor Dan Eastwood
Professor
Biosciences
Telephone: (01792) 513003
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About Me

I am interested in understanding how higher fungi grow, exploit resources in their environment and make mushrooms. I mainly employ molecular tools (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics) in my research combined with traditional microbiological and biochemical analysis.

I have been involved in many genome research programmes of saprotrophic wood decay fungi working closely with the Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, California, and led the dry rot fungus (Serpula lacrymans) sequencing project. The main findings have focused on the evolution of wood decay mechanisms, particularly the convergent evolution of the brown rot decay mode.

My current research uses genome sequenced saprotrophs to study the interaction between competing fungi during wood decay, considering the succession from primary through to tertiary decomposers and how environmental change might affect these processes.

I have worked extensively with the cultivated button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, investigating mushroom development in response to environmental triggers, regulation of postharvest quality, flavour development and controlling mushroom virus X disease. I built on this expertise to assess the potential of wood decay fungi in a novel low input biorefinery model to generate high value chemical products from lignin decomposition.

I also supervise research students investigating the control of invasive plants, particularly Japanese knotweed, and the interaction between rare sand dune-inhabiting orchid species and rhizosphere microorganisms. Since joining Swansea University, I have enjoyed working with colleagues on diverse projects from the mechanisms of killing by entomopathogenic fungi, fish transcriptomics and diseases of crustaceans.

Areas of Expertise

  • Fungal Biology
  • Genomics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Transcriptomics
  • Agaricus bisporus
  • Serpula lacrymans
  • Wood decomposition
  • Biofuels and biorefineries

Publications

  1. & Viral Agents Causing Brown Cap Mushroom Disease of Agaricus bisporus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81(20), 7125-7134.
  2. & Environmental regulation of reproductive phase change in Agaricus bisporus by 1-octen-3-ol, temperature and CO2. Fungal Genetics and Biology 55, 54-66.
  3. & Carbohydrate utilization and metabolism is highly differentiated in Agaricus bisporus. BMC Genomics 14(1), 663
  4. Comparative genomics of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora and Phanerochaete chrysosporium provide insight into selective ligninolysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(14), 5458-5463.
  5. The Paleozoic Origin of Enzymatic Lignin Decomposition Reconstructed from 31 Fungal Genomes. Science 336(6089), 1715-1719.

See more...

Teaching

  • BIO104 Cellular & Microbial Biology

    This module will provide a broad introduction to fundamental concepts in cell biology, including the biochemistry and structure of the cell, cell diversity, and the organization of cells into tissues. Students will gain practical experience in handling and culturing microorganisms, microscopy and histological techniques.

  • BIO235 Molecular Ecology

    Molecular ecology is an emerging field that takes advantage of the latest advances in molecular genetics to answer a varied range of theoretical and practical questions in ecology including conservation genetics, behavioural ecology, phylogeography, adaptation, hybridization and speciation. Through a combination of theoretical lectures, laboratory practicals and class discussions we will consider the application of a range of molecular and statistical tools to problems such as species conservation, biological invasions, wildlife forensics or fisheries.

  • BIO239 Ecological Microbiology and the Cycles of Life

    This module provides an introduction into how microbes impact the world we see around us. Lectures and laboratory-based practicals will explore how microbes occupy almost every environment on the planet and drive the elemental cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous) on which all life relies. Lectures will cover microbial diversity and adaptations to extreme environments, elemental cycling in terrestrial and aquatic systems, and interactions with plants and animals. Practicals will develop this learning to investigate specific ecological examples of dynamic microbial communities.

Supervision

  • The role of epigenetics versus genetic diversity on disease resistance and social behaviour in self-fertilising fish species. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
    Other supervisor: Professor Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
  • Whose wood is it anyway? Interspecific interactions between saprotrophic Agaricomycetes and the impact on wood decomposition (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ed Dudley
  • An investigation into adaptation and host range evolution in entomopathogenic fungi (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Tariq Butt
  • Entomopathogenic Fungal Metabolites: Prospecting for Therapeutics (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Tariq Butt
    Other supervisor: Dr Ed Dudley
  • Resource competition, context dependent interactions, co-existence and succession of decomposer communities in variable environments (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • Impact of aquatic invasive species (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
    Other supervisor: Professor Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • 'The Use of Sustainable Biochar Compost in the Remediation of Contaminated Land' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Professor Alayne Street-Perrott
  • '''''Exploring the Diseases of Juvenile Edible Crabs (Cancer pagurus L.)''''' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Andrew Rowley
  • 'Japanese Knotweed s.l. Taxa and Introduced Petasites Species: Ecology and Control' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Alayne Street-Perrott

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Director - Department of Biosciences

    2013 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2012 Present Senior lecturer Swansea University
2011 2012 Lead Tutor APT Bioscience Swansea University
2008 2011 Senior research fellow University of Warwick
2004 2008 Postdoctoral research fellow University of Warwick
1998 2003 Postdoctoral research fellow at Horticulture Research Int. Wellesbourne, Warwickshire
1993 1997 Ph.D. Environmental Microbiology University of Liverpool
1991 1993 First Class B.Sc. (Hons.) Microbiology University of Liverpool