Dr James Abbott

Data Analysis and Bioinformatics Group Manager

Computational Biology, School of Life Sciences

Senior Lecturer

DArcy Thompson Unit, School of Life Sciences

James Abbott
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+44 (0)1382 381941


James Abbott specialises in the field of computational biology – the application of computational methods to addressing biological questions. He has a long-term interest in raising awareness of how computational methods can progress biological understanding, with a track record in delivering training and contributing to outreach activities in these areas.

His career began in plant molecular biology, obtaining a PhD at the University of Dundee, before moving into the computational field. His entire post-doctoral career has been working within ‘core’ bioinformatics teams, which work to provide collaborative expertise in computational methods to a broad range of projects. Following three years at Zeneca Agrochemicals/Syngenta, James moved to Imperial College London in 2005, where he worked initially as a bioinformatics software developer, and later as lead bioinformatician within the Bioinformatics Data Science Group. He returned to Dundee in 2018 to take up the position of Data Analysis Group manager, and from June 2022 has held a split role between Data Analysis Group manager and a teaching position as Senior Lecturer in Bioinformatics.


Being involved in a core resource provides exposure to a huge variety of biological problems and questions, which has seen James working in projects ranging from assembly and annotation of bacterial isolates through to identifying genetic factors associated with Human disease.  Although working across a board area, James’ work has tended to focus on genomic projects, primarily in the plant and microbiological areas, where he has contributed to projects such as the Blumeria graminis sequencing project, the tomato genome sequencing project, and latterly moving into metagenomics. Here is has been recently working with Dr. Davide Bulgarelli on the rhizosphere microbiota, having previously been involved in studies involving the human gut microbiota.

View full research profile and publications


James is module manager for, and contributes teaching to, the following modules

  • BS32010 - Applied Bioinformatics
  • BS42003 – Advanced Bioinformatics
  • BS52007 – Advanced Technologies

He also contributes to

  • BS10018 – Core Skills in the Life Sciences
  • BS20100 – Introductory Programming for the Life Sciences
  • BS31005 – Genetics