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Profile of Dr Laura Catherine Kelly

Laura Catherine Kelly
Marie Curie Intra European Fellow
01248 383680
3rd Floor ECW building and ground floor Brambell (BART group), School of Biological Sciences, Deiniol Road, Bangor, LL57 2UW.


I am a Marie Curie Intra European Fellow based jointly with MEFGL in the Environment Centre Wales, and the Bangor Acidophile Research Team (BART) in Brambell. As a geomicrobiologist and microbial ecologist with both classical and molecular training, I apply my skills and interests to ecological questions in diverse habitats, from volcanic rocks to forest soil, streams and subterranean acidic environments, the latter the subject of my research here at Bangor.

While at present a Fellow, I also hold the position of Microbiology Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, UK) from which I am presently on sabbatical for the duration of my Fellowship. I have previously been based in Ireland and France.



2015 : postgraduate certificate in academic practice (PGCAP) (Manchester Metropolitan University)
2006: PhD Temporal and spatial diversity in epilithic microbial communities along a forested river continuum (University College Cork, Ireland)
2001: BSc (HONS) Industrial Microbiology (University College Dublin, Ireland)


2015-present: Marie-Curie Intra European Fellow (PARMIN project)
2014-present: Lecturer in Microbiology, Manchester Metropolitan University
2012-2014: Postdoctoral Research Associate (Bactoweather project), l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Nancy, France
2011: Microbiology Consultant and Ecology Tutor, Open University, UK
2008-2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate (geomicrobiology and astrobiology), Open University, UK
2007-2008: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (yeast biology), Nottingham University

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships (past and present): Society for General Microbiology, Interanation Sociatey for Microbial Ecology, Astrobiology Society of Britain, UK Geomicrobiology Network, British Caving Association
Peer-reviewer: for journals including Microbial Ecology, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, FEMS Letters, Canadian Journal for Microbiology, International Journal of Astrobiology and Geobiology
Editorial roles: Pedobiologia (2014-present)
Outreach: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Ambassador 2010-2012 and 2015-present


My particular research interests lie in the fields of geomicrobiology, microbial ecology, environmental microbiology, extremophiles and astrobiology, all of which essentially overlap to some extent. I am fascinated by microbes, their diversity, abilities and habitat ranges.

My current project here at Bangor is PARMIN (PARys MINerals), funded by the European Commission and seeking to determine the impact of mineralogy on microbial community composition in an acidic subterranean mine (Parys Mountain/Mynydd Parys, Anglesey, Wales).

Please visit my LinkedIn page and/or my personal webpage for current and past research information, including PARMIN.


Kelly LC, Colin Y, Turpault M-P, Uroz S (2016). Mineral type and solution chemistry affect the structure and composition of actively growing bacterial communities as revealed by bromodeoxyurding immunocapture and 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. Microbial Ecology (in revision)

Uroz S, Kelly LC, Turpault M-P, Lepleux C (2015). The Mineralosphere Concept : Mineralogical Control of the Distribution and Function of the Mineral-Associated Bacterial Communities. Trends in Microbiology 23(12)doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2015.10.004

Kelly LC, Cockell CS, Marteinsson V, Thorsteinsson T, Stevenson, J (2014). Pioneer Microbial Communities of the Fimmvörðuháls Lava Flow, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Microbial Ecology doi: 10.1007/s00248-014-0432-3

Summers S, Whiteley AS, Kelly LC, Cockell CS (2013). Land coverage influences the bacterial community composition in the critical zone of a sub-Arctic basaltic environment. FEMS Microbiology Ecology doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12167 

Cockell CS, Kelly LC, Marteinsson V (2013). Actinobacteria – an ancient phylum active in volcanic rock weathering. Geomicrobiology Journal doi:10.1080/01490451.2012.758196

Kelly LC, Cockell CS, Summers S (2012). Diverse bacterial species survive high ammonia concentrations. International Journal of Astrobiology doi: 10.1017/S147355041200002X

Cockell CS, Voytek MA, Gronstal AL, Finster K, Kirshtein JD, Howard K, Reitner J, Gohn GS, Sanford WE, Horton JW Jr, Kallmeyer J, Kelly LC, Powars DS (2012). Impact disruption and recovery of the deep subsurface biosphere. Astrobiology doi: 10.1089/ast.2011.0722

Kelly LC. Psychrophiles. In: Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. First and second edition. Springer (2011 & 2014)

Cockell CS, Kelly LC, Summers S. Microbiology of Volcanic Environments. In: Extremophiles Handbook p918-934. Springer (2011)

Kelly LC, Cockell CS, Herrera-Belaroussi A, Piceno YM, Andersen GL, DeSantis T, Brodie EL, Poly F, LeRoux X, Thorsteinsson T, Marteinsson V (2011). Bacterial diversity of terrestrial crystalline volcanic rocks, Iceland. Microbial Ecology doi: 10.1007/s00248-011-9864-1

Cockell CS, Kelly LC, Summers S, Marteinsson, V. Following the kinetics: iron-oxidizing microbial mats in cold Icelandic volcanic habitats and their rock-associated carbonaceous signature (2011). Astrobiology doi: 1089/ast.2011.0606

Cockell CS, Pybus D, Olsson-Francis K, Kelly LC, Petley D, Rosser N, Howard K, Mosselmans F (2011). Molecular characterisation and geological microenvironment of a microbial community inhabiting weathered receding shale cliffs. Microbial Ecology doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9730-6

Kelly LC, Cockell CS, Piceno YM, Andersen GL, Thorsteinsson T, Marteinsson V (2010). Bacterial diversity of weathered terrestrial volcanic glasses. Microbial Ecology doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9684-8

Cockell CS, van Calsteren P, Mosselmans F, Franchi F, Gilmour I, Kelly LC, Olsson-Francis K, Johnson D, JC24 shipboard scientific party (2010). Microbial endolithic colonization and the geochemical environment in young seafloor basalts. Chemical Geology doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.09.015

Cockell CS, Herrera A, KellyLC, Marteinsson V, Olsson K, Simpson A, Summers S, Thorsteinsson T, Wilkinson P (2010) The microbial diversity of volcanic rocks.

Cockell CS, Olsson K, Knowles F, Kelly LC, Herrera A, Thorsteinsson T, Marteinsson V (2009). Bacteria in weathered basaltic glass, Iceland. Geomicrobiology Journal  doi: 10.1080/01490450903061101



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