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Personal profile

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 Last checked 23 June 2020


I completed my undergraduate honours degree in 2010 with a supervised work placement within the Hygiene and Disinfection Laboratory at the University of Huddersfield. I then became laboratory supervisor of the laboratory until beginning my PhD in 2011. I successfully completed my PhD in 2016 undertaking the research project 'Biodegradation of alkaline cellulose degradation products' as part of the EPSRC/RWM Ltd funded C14-BIG project.

I continued the theme of alkaline microbiology linked to a geological disposal concept for nuclear waste during my post-doctoral position, investigating survival strategies such as aggregation and biofilm formation on nuclear relevant materials. As a source of alkaliphilic micro-organisms, industrially contaminated soils and microbial communities present were also a research focus resulting in 14 publications. 

Throughout my postgraduate and postdoctoral studies I have continued to work within the Hygiene and Disinfection Laboratory working with a number of industrial clients carrying out both bespoke and standard (BSEN, AOAC, ASTM) testing methods. This has been the focus for my position within the Microbial Therapeutics and Infection Centre providing specialised work projects for industrial partnerships. In 2017, I worked on a BBSRC/Innovate UK funded project investigating the use of efflux pump inhibitors to improve biocide efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in collaboration with Gama Healthcare. In the same year, I also worked on an Innovate UK funded collaboration with ADM Protexin Ltd investigating the anti-Candida properties of probiotic micro-organisms.

In 2018 I was appointed Lecturer within the School of Applied Sciences, providing teaching in Biological and Geographical Sciences. I currently provide microbiology teaching across The World of Microbes, Global Earth Cycles, Infectious Diseases and Therapeutics and host a range of final year research projects. My research focus is on the microbiological processes occuring in extreme environments and I currently have a PhD student using MinIon technology to profile the key taxa and processes in these strange and interesting places. I am also co-supervisor to 2 further PhD projects which are looking at the impact of biofilms on the retention of radionuclides and corrosion of construction materials within a proposed radioactive waste disposal facility.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Biotechnology
  • Biogas
  • Bioenergy
  • Biofilms
  • Extracellular polysaccharides
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Probiotics
  • Extremophiles
  • Antimicrobials
  • DNA/RNA Extraction
  • DNA Analysis

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Research Output

  • 159 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 23 Article
  • 1 Letter

Genomic Insights Into A Novel, Alkalitolerant Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria, Azonexus sp. Strain ZS02.

Salah, Z., Charles, C., Humphreys, P., Laws, A. & Rout, S., 1 Jan 2019, In : Journal of Genomics. 7, 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • In-Situ Biofilm Formation in Hyper Alkaline Environments

    Charles, C., Rout, S., Wormald, R., Laws, A., Jackson, B. R., Boxall, S. A. & Humphreys, P., 28 May 2019, In : Geomicrobiology Journal. 36, 5, p. 405-411 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Sustained Bauxite Residue Rehabilitation with Gypsum and Organic Matter 16 years after Initial Treatment

    Bray, A. W., Stewart, D. I., Courtney, R., Rout, S. P., Humphreys, P. N., Mayes, W. M. & Burke, I. T., 2 Jan 2018, In : Environmental Science & Technology. 52, 1, p. 152-161 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 29 Citations (Scopus)

    The Impact of Alkaliphilic Biofilm Formation on the Release and Retention of Carbon Isotopes from Nuclear Reactor Graphite

    Rout, S., Payne, L., Walker, S., Scott, T., Heard, P., Eccles, H., Bond, G., Shah, P., Bills, P., Jackson, B. R., Boxall, S. A., Laws, A., Charles, C., Williams, S. J. & Humphreys, P., 13 Mar 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 9 p., 4455.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Floc Formation Reduces the pH Stress Experienced by Microorganisms Living in Alkaline Environments

    Charles, C. J., Rout, S. P., Patel, K. A., Akbar, S., Laws, A. P., Jackson, B. R., Boxall, S. A. & Humphreys, P. N., 1 Mar 2017, In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 83, 6, 32 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Citations (Scopus)