Areas of Expertise
- Entomopathogenic fungi
- Fungal genetics and biochemistry
- Insect chemoreception
- Chemical ecology of arthropod vectors
This module provides 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. Life is more abundant than what we can see with our eyes. Plants, animals and humans are a small minority among living organisms because there is no niche on earth which is not colonized by microbes (i.e., archaea, bacteria, fungi, protists, and viruses). As part of this module, you will learn that microbes were the first form of life on earth, support all kinds of life, and play a vital role in shaping the planet. Students will gain practical experience in handling and culturing microorganisms, microscopy and spectroscopy.
¿Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution¿ was the title of a 1973 essay by the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky. The module links fundamental understanding of molecular processes in the cell to principles of genetics and inheritance to a broader appreciation of evolution and how it shapes the natural world around us.
Natural product biotechnology lectures will start by introducing how nature can be used to provide solutions to societal sustainability issues such as climate change, global food security, pollution and developing the bioeconomy. Nature has a storehouse of structurally diverse organic molecules with a range of biological activities which directly or indirectly impact on our lives. Lectures will cover how algae, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals can be used to develop natural products for a range of industrial applications including for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fertilisers, biofuels, bioplastics, pesticides, bioremediation materials, enzymes and research tools. Lectures will also cover how metabolite profiling, genomics and bioinformatics can be used to help discover and develop natural products for industrial application.