GEMM- Group for Extreme & Marine Microbiology

GEMM (Group for Extreme and Marine Microbiology) focuses on several aspects of microbial diversity and ecology in marine and extreme environments, including adaptations to environmental extremes, biotechnological applications, and potential astrobiological implications.

Current & Recent Research Lines

  • EDEN: Exploration of the Diversity of Extremophiles in the North of England
  • CHASECabo Verde Hypersaline Environments: Analysis, Survey and Exploration (in collaboration with the Jean Piaget University, Cabo Verde).
  • Development of the Halophilic Archaea Phenotypic Information Explorer (HAPIE) Database (in collaboration with KAUST- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia).
  • Microbiology of Salt Marshes in the UK: Insights into Life in Gradient-rich Environments.
  • The relationship between subsurface processes and vegetation in developing natural and managed re-alignment saltmarshes
  • Bacterial presence and load of Cyanistes caeruleus (Blue Tit) nest boxes, the vegetative material chosen for nest construction and any anti-bacterial metabolites they may contain
  • New Insights into Microbial Carbonate Biomineral production.
  • Culture, isolation, characterisation and bioplastic production of halophilic bacteria in Cheshire salt environments

Additional Collaboration in International Research Consortia

  • PPOSS- Planetary Protection of the Outer Solar System.
  • MEXEM – Mars Exposed Extremophile Mixture- a space experiment to investigate the capability of anaerobic organisms to survive on Mars.

Group Members

André Antunes (PI)

Current Postgraduate Team Members:

  • Marta Filipa Simões (Junior Research Fellow)
  • Andrew Devaynes (PhD: conclusion in 2018; Edge Hill University, UK)
  • Priyanka More (PhD: conclusion in 2019; Edge Hill University, UK)
  • Emma Waddington (PhD: conclusion in 2020; Edge Hill University, UK)

Current Undergraduate Students:

  • Matthew Kelbrick
  • George Gray
  • Molly Barsby
  • Tatiana Infante
  • Raquel Agavi Benito
  • Philippa Lotus

Previous Members

2017-2018:

  • Ahmed Shibl- Visiting Post-doctoral fellow
  • Ghofran Othoum- Visiting PhD student (KAUST- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia).
  • Hélio Rocha- Visiting PhD student/Research Intern (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Ruth Hardman- Visiting Masters student (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
  • Catherine Cooney- MRes student
  • Katy Andrews- Research Intern

2016-2017:

  • Adam Gillespie- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Alexander Crisp- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Catherine Cooney- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Katherine Iveson- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Matthew Brearley- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Nathan Fleetwood- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Ryan Pearce- Undergradauate Dissertation Student
  • Vlada Drotsevitch- Research Intern

External Collaborations

  • Open University (UK)
  • University of Essex (UK)
  • University Jean Piaget (Cabo Verde)
  • KAUST- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia)
  • PPOSS Consortium
  • MEXEM Consortium

Publications (since 2016)

Papers in International Scientific Periodicals with Referees:

 
Othoum, G. K., Bougouffa, S., Razali, R. M., Bokhari, A., Alamoudi, S., Antunes, A., Gao, X., Hoehndorf, R., Arold, S. T., Gojobori, T., Hirt, H., Mijakovic, I., Bajic, V. B., Lafi, F. F., Essack, M. (2018). In Silico Exploration of Red Sea Bacillus Genomes for Natural Product Biosynthetic Gene Clusters. BMC Genomics (submitted).
Devaynes, A., Antunes, A., Bedford, A. & Ashton, P. (2018). Progression in the bacterial load of Blue tit occupied nest boxes during the breeding season and its potential impact upon hatching or fledging success. J Ornithology (submitted).
Kaartvedt, S., Antunes, A., Røstad, A. & Klevjer, T. A., Vestheim (2016). Zooplankton at deep Red Sea brine pools. J Plankton Res. 38(3), 679-684.
Antunes, A., Stackebrandt, E. & Lima, N. (2016). Fueling the Bio-economy: European Culture Collections and Microbiology Education and Training. Trends in Microbiology. 24(2), 77-79.

Book Chapters:

Antunes, A. (2018). The order Haloplasmatales, In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Edited by B. Whitman. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons (submitted).
Antunes, A. (2018). The family Haloplasmataceae, In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Edited by B. Whitman. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons (submitted).
Göker, M. & Antunes, A. & (2018). The genus Haloplasma, In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Edited by B. Whitman. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons (submitted).
Antunes, A., Kaartvedt, S. & Schmidt, M. (2018). Geochemistry and Life at the Interfaces of Brine-filled Deeps in the Red Sea, In: The Red Sea II, Springer Earth System Sciences 2017. Springer: Berlin (in press).
Antunes, A., Simões, M. F., Crespo-Medina, M., Vetriani, C. & Shimane, Y. (2017). The genus Salinisphaera, In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Edited by B. Whitman. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Antunes, A., et al. (2016). Bioprospecting Archaea: focus on extreme halophiles, In: Bioprospecting: Success, Potential and Constraints. Springer: Berlin.
Antunes, A. (2017). Extreme Red Sea: Life in the Deep-Sea Anoxic Brine Lakes, In: Red Sea VI Proceedings. Edited by A. Agius , E. Khalil & E. Scerri. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill.
Antunes, A (2016). The genus Halorhabdus, In: Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Microbiology, 3rd Edition. Edited by B. Whitman. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Posters:

Antunes, A., Fernández-Martínez, L., Ashton, P. & Jukes, A. (2018). Innovative Assessments in Microbiology: The Bio-animation Project Experience- The Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
More, P., McGenity, T. & Antunes, A. (2018). First Insights into the Microbial Diversity of the RSPB Marshside Saltmarsh- The Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
Kelbrick, M. & Antunes, A. (2018). The Cheshire Salt District: An Unexplored Source of Halophiles with Biotechnological Potential- The Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
Loftus, P. & Antunes, A. (2018). Genomic-based Insights into the Production of CaCO3 Biominerals by Bacillus and IdiomarinaThe Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
Gray, G., Barsby, M., Kelbrick, M., Cooney, C. & Antunes, A. (2018). Environmental Characterisation and Metabolic Profiling of The Anderton Park Brine Springs: An Unexpectedly Diverse Hypersaline Environment- The Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
Hardman, R., Kelbrick, M, Simões, M. F. & Antunes, A. (2018). Microbial Bioprospection in the Cheshire Salt District: Surveying Bioplastic-Producing Potential- The Microbiology Society 2018 Annual Conference, Birmingham, UK.
Simões, M. F., Ashton, P. & Antunes, A. (2017). First insights on the filamentous fungal community at Roudsea wood bogs- BES 2017: Annual Meeting of the British Ecological Society, Ghent, Belgium.
Olsson-Francis, K., Cabezas, P., Kminek, G., Rabbow, E., Walters, N., Antunes, A., Leuko, S., Pearce, D., Saunders, M., Spry, A., Rettberg, P. & the PPOSS Consortium (2017). Microbial Reduction and Good Practices for Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System Bodies- ASB7: Astrobiology Society of Britain Meeting, Milton Keynes, UK.
Simões, M. F. & Antunes, A. (2017). Analysis of Carbonate Biomineral Production as Potential New Biomarkers- 2017 Geomicrobiology Network Research in Progress Meeting, Manchester, UK.
Shibl, A. & Antunes, A. (2017). Omics-based Insights into Calcium Carbonate Biomineralization by Halophiles- 2017 Geomicrobiology Network Research in Progress Meeting, Manchester, UK.
Othoum, G., Bougouffa, S., Razali, R. B. M., Bokhari, A., Alamoudi, S., Saad, M. M., Antunes, A., Hirt, H., Bajic, V. B., Lafi, F. F. & Essack, M. (2017). Comparative genomics of Bacillus paralicheniformis strains from the Red Sea with focus on the biosynthesis of antimicrobial products- ISCB 2017: 18th International Conference on Systems Biology, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
Iveson, K. L., Crisp, A., Kamau, A. A., Drotsevitch, V., Simões, M. F., Bajic, V. B. & Antunes, A. (2017). HAPIE: A New Tool for Exploring Phenotypic Information from Halophilic Archaea – The Microbiology Society 2017 Annual Conference, Edinburgh, UK.
More, P., Huber, R. & Antunes, A. (2017). Gel­stabilized gradient plates: A new approach to microbial strain cultivation and isolation – The Microbiology Society 2017 Annual Conference, Edinburgh, UK.
Devaynes, A., Antunes, A., Bedford, A. & Ashton, P. (2016). Microbiota development in Cyanistes caeruleus nest boxes throughout their breeding season – BES 2016: British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2016, Liverpool, UK.
Antunes, A., Alam, I., Siam, R., El-Dorry, H. & Bajic V. B. (2016). Highlights from the Exploration of Metagenomic Data from Deep-sea Brines of the Red Sea- Extremophiles 2016, Kyoto, Japan.
Antunes, A., Kamau, A. A., Simões, M. F. & Bajic V. B. (2016). Halophilic Archaea Phenotypic Information Explorer (HAPIE) – Extremophiles 2016, Kyoto, Japan.
Simões, M. F., Antunes, A. & Bajic, V. B. (2016). Carbonate biomineral precipitation by a strain of Pseudoalteromonas piscicida CBRC.15.0062 from the Red Sea – The Microbiology Society 2016 Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK.
Antunes, A., Simões, M. F., Alam, I., Daniels, C., Ferreira, A. J. S.,  Siam, R., El-Dorry, H. & Bajic V. B. (2016). Viral communities of the deep-sea anoxic brines of the Red Sea – The Microbiology Society 2016 Annual Conference, Liverpool, UK.

Oral Communication:

Rettberg, P., Brucato, J. R., Cabezas, P., Fellous, J.-L., Haddaji, A., Kminek, G., Mckenna-Lawlor, Rabbow, E., Royle, S., Sephton, M., Treuet, J.-C., Walter, N., Antunes, A., Olsson-Francis, K. & Leuko, S. (2017). Search for Life on Icy Moons-What do we need to Know for Planetary Protection- 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017, Adelaide, Australia.
Antunes, A., Olson-Francis, K. & McGenity, T. J. (2017). Deep-sea brines: Terrestrial analogues of oceans in the icy moons of the outer solar system- ASB7: Astrobiology Society of Britain Meeting, Milton Keynes, UK.
Rettberg, P., Beblo-Vranesevic, K., Rabbow, E., Bohmeier, M., Leuko, S., Moeller, R., Berger, T., Antunes, A., Cockell, C., Deng, L., Marteinsson, V., Milojevic, T., Moissl-Eichinger, C., Neilan, B., Panitz, C., Schwendner, P., Stoeck, S., Walter, M.  & Westall, F.  (2017). MEXEM – Mars Exposed Extremophile Mixture – a space experiment to investigate the capability of anaerobic organisms to survive on Mars- EANA 2017: 17th European Astrobiology Conference, Aarhus, Denmark.
Antunes, A. (2017). Geomicrobiology of the Deep-sea Anoxic Brines of the Red Sea- 2017 Geomicrobiology Network Research in Progress Meeting, Manchester, UK.
Antunes, A. (2017). First insights into the viral communities of the Red Sea brines– DMAP (Dragon Metagenomic Analysis Platform) Workshop, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
Antunes, A. (2016). Extreme Biology in the Deeps of the Red Sea- 5th International Workshop on Deep sea Microbiology, Kyoto, Japan.
Antunes, A., Kaartvedt, S. & Schmidt, M. (2016). Geochemistry and Life at the Interfaces of Brine-filled Deeps in the Red Sea- 2nd Red Sea Workshop, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Other Publications:

Antunes, A. (2017). Halophiles: The Salt of The Earth. The Biochemist 19(6), 18-21.
Simões, M. F. & Antunes, A. (2017). Archaea in activated sludge systems. Microbiology Today 44(3), 110-113.