The Website of the University of Manchester Geomicrobiology Group


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- University of Manchester

Welcome to the University of Manchester Geomicrobiology Group Homepage

 Welcome to the web pages of the Geomicrobiology group at the University of Manchester.  Housed in the Williamson Research Centre for the Molecular Environmental Science, we combine the techniques of microbiology and molecular biology with physical, chemical and modelling approaches to understand the role that microorganisms play or have played in key geological processes.  

 Fundamental work aims to identify the biogeochemical controls on mineral cycles in a range of environments; including the iron and sulfur cycles, as well as those of toxic metals including arsenic, chromium, technetium, and transuranics.  This work is facilitated by excellent infrastructure to study the biological, mineralogical and geochemical components of such cycles at a molecular scale.  Also under investigation are innovative approaches that can be used to guide natural biogeochemical cycles to drive the remediation of land and water contaminated by metals, radionuclides and toxic organics.

Recent research highlights  
Highlights of our research include

  • The mechanism of electron transfer to Fe(III) and other metals in model subsurface bacteria including Geobacter and Shewanella species
  • Biochemical/genetic characterisation of novel radionuclide reductases (e.g. for Tc(VII)) and the demonstration of equivalent processes for problematic actinides including Np(V) and Pu(IV)
  • Elucidation of the role of metal-reducing bacteria in arsenic mobilization in aquifers, and studies on the organic matter driving these transformations and bioremediation options
  • Identification of novel indirect mechanisms for microbial removal of Tc(VII), and a detailed understanding of the full redox cycle of this radionuclide and for several actinide species.
  • The formation of novel bionanominerals for high-tech applications including catalysis, cancer treatment, magnetic and energy related applications.
  • The bioreduction/bioremediation of organics, including azo dyes, pigments and persistent xenobiotics by Fe(III)-reducing bacteria. 
  • The functional diversity of metal reducing communities in a wide range of terrestrial and marine environments. 
  • The microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of radioactive waste impacted environments.

  • To read more about our ongoing work, please browse our “research” pages.