Prestigious honour for Dundee scientist
Published on 16 December 2021
The career of a University of Dundee researcher has been recognised with a top honour from the Microbiology Society.
Professor Geoffrey Gadd has been awarded the 2022 Marjory Stephenson Prize, which recognises his exceptional contribution to the discipline of microbiology.
Currently leading his own geomicrobiology group within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, Professor Gadd’s career has spanned more than 45 years. In that time, he has achieved considerable success in the study of metal-mineral-microbe interactions and their relevance to environmental processes and biotechnology.
Professor Gadd said, “This is a great honour from the society I joined about 45 years ago with little idea that one day someone would think that I have made a contribution to microbiology.
“Of course, any contribution made has been achieved through the excellent members of my research team, and collaborations with many lifelong friends in the UK and internationally.
“I am delighted that our research on fungi, metals and minerals has been recognised in this way.”
Professor Gadd has made notable contributions relating to fungal metal and mineral transformations through multidisciplinary research at the interface of microbiology, mineralogy and geochemistry. has also been integral to the establishment of geomycology, the study of fungi as agents of environmental change, as a recognised research area. This has furthered understanding of the accumulation of toxic metals and radionuclides by microorganisms and how they can tolerate and detoxify such pollutants.
Some of these mechanisms are used to clean-up polluted habitats in various bioremediation systems. Other research has explored fungal transformations of minerals which can lead to major deterioration problems in the built environment and of cultural heritage. The formation of novel biominerals by fungi has also provided systems for the biorecovery of valuable metals, such as cobalt, from waste waters.
His expertise and reputation have seen him invited to present lectures at more than 130 venues in over 20 countries.
The 2022 Marjory Stephenson prize lecture will be given at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Belfast in April 2022.
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