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Professor James McDonald
Professor James McDonald

Professor McDonald is currently Professor in Biology (Biotechnology) based in the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University. His research team apply a combination of culture-based and molecular approaches to understand the function of communities of microorganisms associated with health and disease in oak trees, and to identify microorganisms that can be harnessed to convert waste biomass into biogas.

I am very pleased to welcome James to the University. He is a world-leader studying complex communities of microbes in their infection of trees and breakdown of waste matter. His research will enhance the portfolio of research of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, and Institute of Microbiology and Infection, and help to generate important outcomes that benefit society.

Professor Rob Jackson, Head of the School of Biosciences

Professor McDonald leads the £1m ERA CoBiotech ‘SYNBIOGAS’ project to develop synthetic microbiomes for enhanced anaerobic digestion of waste to biogas and the £1.3m BBSRC Bacterial Plant Diseases project ‘FUTURE OAK’ to investigate the role of the oak microbiome in health and disease, and characterise microbiome-mediated disease suppression to future-proof tree health.

I am delighted to be joining the University of Birmingham. The University is ambitious and has a global reputation for addressing the grand challenges we face. I look forward to developing my research programmes on harnessing the beneficial properties of microorganism to convert waste biomass to biogas, and to promote plant health and suppress disease, through building new interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues at Birmingham and beyond.

Professor James McDonald

For more information on the School of Biosciences visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/biosciences