Why Study Biotechnology?
Our Staff and students work with the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB), the Welsh Government-funded research capacity building project, which is focussing on biotechnological applications of extremophilic microorganisms, their enzymes and metabolites. We also offer unique opportunities for students to conduct project work under internationally recognised supervisors who are experienced staff affiliated also with CEB. Research specialisms include
- Metagenomic analysis of extreme marine environments and further microbial habitats rich in industrially-relevant enzymes,
- Genome and OMICS studies and applications of marine hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria.
- Characterizing microbial polysaccharide (lignocellulose) decomposition in terrestrial, aquatic and managed environments and the biotechnological application of novel glycosyl hydrolase enzymes. Isolation and cultivation of novel cellulolytic bacterial strains.
- Sources, ecology and fate of human microbial pathogens (bacterial and viral) in estuarine environments and their interactions with nutrients, suspended particulate material (flocs), sediments and shellfish.
- Functional and genomic analysis of bacterial species associated with Acute Oak Decline.
- Developing improved methods for quantifying the diversity and abundance microbial taxa in the environment.
- Extremophile microbiology – focusing on the diversity and application of microbial life that thrives in extremely acidic environments.
- Biomining – developing new “green” technologies for extracting metals from mineral ores.
- Bioremediation of metal- and acid-contaminated environments, coupled with developing new approaches for recovering and recycling metals from wastes.
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology
The 21st century post genomics era offers a wide range of job opportunities in the agricultural, medical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture, forensics and environmental science areas. The rapidly developing economies of China and India in particular have recognised the enormous opportunities offered by Biotechnology. Job openings in sales and marketing with companies who have a science base are also common. Some graduates will also choose to extend their knowledge base by undertaking PhD programmes in relevant areas.
Our past graduates have gone on to careers in research (both in academia and research institutes) as well as in commercial environmental consultancies, DEFRA, water authorities, scientific publishing, landscape architects and many others.
Our Research in Biotechnology
We have a vigorous research base in a number of areas, including molecular ecology, fisheries genetics, ancient DNA, evolutionary and conservation biology, biogeochemistry, bio hydrometallurgy, plant product biochemistry and (plant) stress physiology, wetland biogeochemistry, neurophysiology of crustaceans, animal responses to stress and applied microbiology. Our Biology and Zoology research activity is conducted by our research groups in the following areas: