My current research, as part of the ABACUS project, involves the development of micro-algal strains for commercially important high-value products and the implementation of a biorefinery approach.
My first contact with algae, however, was during my MSc project at the University of Stirling. I aimed to improve the broodstock performance of flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) by providing them with different micro-algal diets, specifically looking at the essential fatty acid composition.
I have worked as a support scientist on the BioMara project at SAMS. The overarching goal of BioMara was to demonstrate the feasibility and sustainably of producing algal biofuels.
I worked as an algal technician at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), at Swansea University. I was mostly involved in micro-algal cultivation on a variety of scales; from the maintenance of master cultures to operating 3,000L photobioreactors.
My Ph.D. thesis, at the University of Edinburgh and SAMS, was entitled 'Wastewater treatment by filamentous macro-algae'. This research investigated the potential of Cladophora parriaudii to remove nutrients and heavy metals from wastewater.
Current research projects
ABACUS: Algae for a biomass applied to the production of added value compounds. This project aims to enhance the production and commercialisation of high-value ingredients from micro-algae by optimising cultivation and developing a biorefinery approach. Funded by the European Commission. 2017-2020.
Biomara: The Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass. Project funded by the EU's INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; The Crown Estate; Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment for Northern Ireland; Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources. 2009-2012
Ross, ME, Davis, K, McColl, R, Stanley, MS, Day, JG and Semiao, AJC (2018). Nitrogen uptake by the macro-algae Cladophora coelothrix and Cladophora parriaudii: Influence on growth, nitrogen preference and biochemical composition. Algal Research, Vol 30, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2017.12.005
M.E. Ross, M.S. Stanley, J.G. Day, A.J.C. Semião (2017) A comparison of methods for the non-destructive fresh weight determination of filamentous algae for growth rate analysis and dry weight estimation, J. App. Phycol. 1-12.
S.P. Slocombe, Q. Zhang, M. Ross, A. Anderson, N.J. Thomas, Á. Lapresa, C. Rad-Menéndez, C.N. Campbell, K.D. Black, M.S. Stanley (2015) Unlocking nature’s treasure-chest: screening for oleaginous algae, Scientific Reports. 5.
S.P. Slocombe, M. Ross, N. Thomas, S. McNeill, M.S. Stanley (2013) A rapid and general method for measurement of protein in micro-algal biomass, Bioresource Technol. 129 51-57.
S.P. Slocombe, Q. Zhang, M. Ross, M.S. Stanley, J.G. Day (2016) 4 Screening and Improvement of Marine Microalgae for Oil Production, Microalgal Production for Biomass and High-Value Products, CRC Press, pp. 91-112.
Whilst working at the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), Swansea University, I was involved in Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) projects. I provided technical and academic assistance, relating to algal biotechnology, for several businesses and enterprises in and around Wales.
Accessing consultancy services from SAMS
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Alumni research students
Katharine David: Investigation into bioremediation and biofuel potential of Cladophora parriaudii. MEng (Civil) University of Edinburgh 2015-16. Katharine was awarded the Galliford Try Prize, an annual award granted to a Civil Engineering student for the most deserving MEng thesis.
Rory McColl: Assessing the bioremediation ability and bioruel feedstock potential of the macroalgae Cladophora parriaudii. MEng (Civil). University of Edinburgh. 2015-16.
Since Sep 2017: Post-Doctoral Research Associate - ABACUS Project. SAMS
Feb 2012 - Dec 2013: Algal Technician. Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), Swansea University
Feb-Oct 2011: Support Scientist - BioMara project. SAMS
2014-17 PhD 'Wastewater treatment by filamentous macroalgae'. PhD. University of Edinburgh / SAMS.
2009-10 MSc Sustainable Aquaculture. University of Stirling
2005-09 BSc (Hons) Marine Biology. University of Stirling