We carry out research on the geoactive properties of microorganisms in order to understand their importance in key biosphere processes and their applied potential.
Transformations of metals and minerals by microorganisms, bioweathering, and bioremediation
The Geomicrobiology Group carries out research on the geoactive properties of microorganisms in order to understand their importance in key biosphere processes and their applied potential.
The prime focus is on metal-mineral transformations with most research under the heading of geomycology, the roles of fungi as geoactive agents.
We are particularly interested in understanding:
- physiological and morphological responses to toxic metals and mineral substrates
- mechanisms of mineral dissolution
- the formation of novel mycogenic biominerals, especially carbonates, phosphates, oxides and oxalates
Research of applied significance that builds on our fundamental research includes:
- the application of metal-mineral-microbe transformations for bioremediation of metals, metalloids and radionuclides
- nuclear decommissioning
- biofertilizers (phosphate release)
- the production of mineral-based biomaterials
We are also interested in:
- the biodeterioration of rock and mineral-based structural materials including concrete and cultural artefacts
- biocorrosion of metals
Research on the functional consequences and mathematical modelling of fungal growth in heterogeneous environments is carried out with Dr Fordyce Davidson, Division of Mathematics.
Previous research has also included work with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, cyanobacteria and microalgae in relation to toxic metal accumulation, metal bioprecipitation, and investigation of the responses of soil microbial communities to metals and organic pollutants.
We are also affiliated to the Division of Molecular Microbiology.
Head of Division
The career of a University of Dundee researcher has been recognised with a top honour from the Microbiology Society.
Researchers at the University of Dundee have identified novel interaction sites on the mRNA Capping Enzyme that are essential for its activity.
Professor Geoff Gadd, Head of the Geomicrobiology Group, has received the 2020 British Mycological Society John Webster Fungal Biology Research award.
Image credit: a lanthanum oxalate biomineral produced by the soil fungus Aspergillus niger (image by Xia Kang)