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Principal Investigator: Dr Cecile Gubry-Rangin

(Royal Society University Research Fellow/ Proleptic Senior lecturer)


I enjoy working on ecology and evolution of microbes because of the nice mix of theory, experimental molecular and genomic work and diverse field work it involves! In brief, I love my work and also enjoy having a good balance with personal life (family and outdoors for me)!

Dr Paul Sheridan

(NERC-funded postdoc)


I am a microbial genomics Research Fellow. My research involves developing phylogenetic and comparative genomic methods to study evolution and niche adaptation, particularly in the thaumarchaeotal phylum, and the recovery of novel genome sequences from ultra-deep soil metagenomics.


Miss Heather Richmond

(University of Aberdeen core technician)


I am the technical manager of the laboratory and I take care of daily chores, while providing support to the group. I also maintain and preserve our collection of nitrifying bacteria and archaea, advising national and international research groups on growth and cultivation of these collections.

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Dr Yiyu (Angus) Meng

(NERC-funded technician)


The ongoing advance in sequencing technologies has expanded our understanding of the diversity and evolution of Archaea, including for thaumarchaeotal 1.1c that are ubiquitous in acidic soils. I am working towards obtaining novel genomic diversity within this group as well as applying genome-informed cultivation strategies to enrich and cultivate those Thaumarchaeota.


Dr Emma Beaton

(Royal Society- funded Research Assistant)


After successfully defending my PhD on shallow benthic and intertidal ecology in the Falklands, I decided to become project technician and project Research Assistant. I am currently working on the ecology of Thaumarchaeota within a range of sponge species.

Miss Maya Schrodl

(Royal Society-funded Research Assistant)

I recently graduated from my Master's in Ecology & Evolution at the University of Rennes 1 and Aarhus University. During my Master's thesis I focused on palm evolution and biogeography using phylogenomics. Here in Cécile's lab, I'm also trying to figure out the evolution of a group, only this time it's all about microbes . As a bioinformatics Research Assistant, I will have a look at the mechanisms that led to the diversification of nitrifiers.

Miss Jasmeet Kaur Bhambra

(University of Aberdeen-funded PhD student)


My research focuses on ammonia-oxidising archaea inhabiting acidic soils . The fundamental aims of my PhD are to isolate and characterise AOA from acidic soils to determine the ecological, physiological and evolutionary adaptations controlling their diversity.

Miss Rachel Callaghan

(Royal Society-funded PhD student)


With a background in Chemistry and Biochemistry, I have just embarked on a PhD project focused on studying Thaumarchaeota using comparative genomics and experimental evolution.

Mr William Williams

(Royal Society-funded PhD student)


I am an environmental microbiology PhD student with a MSc in paleobiology. My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of Thaumarchaeota in alkaline environments. 


Miss Anastasia Leligdowicz

(EastBio DTP-funded PhD student)

(PI: Marius Wenzel)


I am a graduate from Queen Mary University of London, with a BSc Honours in Biology.  In my PhD, I am using epigenetics (changes in gene expression) and functional genomics (assigning function to genes) to understand the learning and memory of a single-celled brainless blob, the slime mould Physarum polycephalum.


Mr Ryan Weir

(Quadrat DTP-funded PhD student)

(PI: Johnathan Dalzell)


My research is focused on interactions between crop plants and the ecosystem around their roots. These interactions have been directly linked to crop plant health and further studies suggest that these interactions can be manipulated.

Mr Corey Kirkland

(NERC-funded Research Assistant)

I recently completed a MSc-R at the University of Kent and I now work as a Research Assistant in bioinformatics in the Gubry-Rangin lab. Here I aim to support several projects, which include creating a bioinformatic pipeline to analyse metagenomic data.