Current Members

Lukas BioPic
Lukas joined the Horsfall Lab in 2014 to finish his MSc Biotechnology on the production of platinum nanoparticles in Desulfovibrio. He is now doing his PhD on engineering bacteria for industrially extreme conditions on an EPSRC funded project with an industrial collaborator. His hobbies include photography, composing music and playing squash.

Zak obtained his MBiol in Biotechnology and Microbiology from the University of York in 2017. He is currently studying for a PhD in Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology funded by EASTBIO. His research concerns improving the enzymatic degradation of lignin, through the analysis of breakdown products using FT-ICR-MS and the construction of model lignin compounds using NMR. His hobbies include playing computer games and hiking.

Efrain BioPic 01-04-17
Efrain is currently studying for a PhD in Molecular and Structural Biology, he is interested in the usage of Synthetic Biology tools to develop modular systems based in bacterial micro-compartments to explore its potential to produce high value compounds and scaffolds for industrial biotechnology and nanotechnology. He studied an MSc Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology, at The University of Edinburgh, focused in the understanding of inducible genetic responses of cells, triggered by mechanical compression. Previously, he obtained a degree in Biotechnology from Autonomous University of QuerÈtaro (Mexico). He is funded by the Mexican National Council of Science and Technolgy (CONACyT) and The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). He enjoys playing guitar, listening to music, travelling and to share a good Scotch Whisky.

Ian graduated from The University of Aberdeen with an Honours degree in Biomedical Science (Molecular Biology). He studied a Masters degree in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology. He first joined the Horsfall lab to work on his MSc project on characterising the genes involved in palladium nanoparticle production by Desulfovibrio and has since re-joined us to create synthetic biological tools for Desulfovibrio and study for a PhD. When not in the lab, Ian enjoys various hobbies, from martial arts to playing classical music, to repairing cars.

Miguel Picture
Miguel Cueva graduated from Tec de Monterrey in 2013 with a degree in Biotechnology Engineering. He completed an MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh in 2015. He joined the Horsfall Lab at the beginning of October 2015 as a PhD Student. He is researching the use of Desulfovivbrio alaskensis for metal reclamation and customizable nanoparticle production, with funding from CONACyT (The Mexican National Council for Science and Technology).
His hobbies include photography, art, cinema, reading comics and running.

Charlotte Picture
Charlotte Lilley graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc Hons in Biotechnology in 2015 and started work in the Horsfall lab in the same year. Her project, funded by the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (the IBioIC), is to make the production and isolation of biogenic copper nanoparticles more efficient.
In her free time she likes kickboxing, travelling and cooking.

Virginia Picture
Virginia Echavarri-Bravo gained her BEng in Agricultural Engineering in 2004 (UPNA, Pamplona, Spain) specializing in Soil Sciences. Afterwards she work in IT for a few years, and with the aim to return to Environmental/Biological Sciences field she studied an MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology (2010) followed by a PhD in Microbiology & Nanotoxicology (2015) at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh).
Virginia is currently working on the CL4W project and her main duties involve investigating the possible applications of metallic nanoparticles synthesised by microorganisms.
In her spare time, Virginia loves to explore by bike the Scottish landscapes and enjoy their wildlife and history.

Matthew Edmundson gained his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Leeds in 2009. His previous post-doctoral posts have involved incorporating non-natural amino acids into proteins and investigating the mechanism behind electrotaxis in mammalian cells.
He joined the Horsfall lab at the end of 2013 and is working on the CL4W project, engineering bacteria to convert heavy metal waste from contaminated land into industrially and medically useful nanoparticles.
In his spare time he likes reading, hiking and kayaking.

Fatai Bello joined the Horsfall lab at the beginning of September 2013 as a PhD student. He is identifying and investigating novel enzymes from bacteria and fungi that are able of degrading lignin with the production of feedstock chemicals. His PhD research is being sponsored by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.
His hobbies include watching movies, reading novels and history.

Nick Pantidos graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2011 with a degree in Microbiology and Biotechnology. He completed an MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh in 2012.
Since then, Nick has completed his PhD and is currently researching the use of bacteria to remove copper from contaminated co-products.
His hobbies and interests include snowboarding and Krav Maga.

Michael Capeness gained his BSc in Genetics in 2009 and PhD in 2014 from the University of Nottingham. His work included characterising growth-switching and motility in the bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.
He joined the Horsfall Lab in March of 2013 as a technician and is currently researching the use of bacteria to make nanoparticles of Arsenic and Platinum group metals, with funding from the EPSRC.
His hobbies include fishing, reading and history.

Past Members

Zara B‭io Pic 01-10-17
Zara received a first class BSc Hons in Biotechnology, at the University of Edinburgh in 2016. On her exchange year, she interned at a plant pathology laboratory at the University of California, Davis where she investigated Pierceís disease in grapevines. In her final year at UoE, her honours project involved enhancing biophysical characterisation techniques in the Marles-Wright lab. Zara joined the Horsfall team to explore novel metal nanoparticles produced via synthetic biology approaches. Outside (and sometimes very carefully inside) of the lab, Zara enjoys a bit of latin dancing.

George Mantalas
George Mantalas is currently an MSc student in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology in the University of Edinburgh. His undergraduate degree is in Chemical Engineering and was obtained from the University of Patras, Greece in 2014. George's dissertation as a BSc student involved investigating surface antibacterial properties by treating biomaterials with atmospheric pressure plasma. He has previously worked as an intern in the department of Quality Control in ELPEN pharmaceutical industry, Athens, in 2012 and in the department of Surface Engineering in University College Dublin in 2014. He joined the Horsfall lab for his MSc Research Project for Recyclatech studying bacteria with lignin degradation capabilites. In his leisure time he enjoys photography, tennis and creating videos.

Fintan Kearney is currently studying his MSc in Biotechnology from the University of Edinburgh. He did his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He joined us to investigate novel applications of spent brewers yeast in collaboration with Molson-Coors. His hobbies include Gaelic Football and is a member of both the Edinburgh University Team and The Edinburgh Dunedin Connollys.

Mattius Pic
Matthias Tinzl obtained his BSc at ETH Zurich in 2014 and he is currently in the MSc programme of Interdisciplinary Sciences. Matthias was a visiting student at the University of Edinburgh where he was investigating enzymatic lignin degradation in the Horsfall lab for his MSc thesis.
In his free time Matthias likes reading, running, skiing and mountaineering.

Frida Svanberg Frisinger was a biotechnology undergraduate student at The University of Edinburgh, and she joined the Horsfall lab in 2016 to do her honours project. The project involved producing biogenic copper and silver nanoparticles and comparing their antimicrobial efficiency to commercial, non-biogenic nanoparticles on bacteria. In her spare time Frida likes reading, cinema and travelling.

Brooke Rothschild-Mancinelli studied for her BSc in biological sciences with honours in evolutionary biology from the University of Edinburgh.
Previously she has worked with UC Santa Cruz and NASA Ames research Center as well as competing on the 2015 University of Edinburgh iGEM team. Brooke joined the Horsfall lab for her honours project of creating an enzyme ancestral library.
In her free time Brooke enjoys playing water polo, baking cakes and reading books.

Dainius Pic
Dainius Tautvaisas gained his BSc in Biological Sciences (Hons Biotechnology) at the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and is currently doing an MSc Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology. He joined the Horsfall lab in 2015 for his MSc project in platinum nanoparticle production by Desulfovibrio alaskensis. In his spare time he likes reading articles, traveling and science communication.

Aritha Dornau was a final-year Biotechnology Honours student at the University of Edinburgh and joined the Horsfall lab to carry out her Honours project. She did fantastically well and will be furthering her studies at the University of York.

Sjaak van der Sar worked on a number of projects in the Horsfall Lab, mainly in the area of bioremediation. His research included collaborations with industry and he is now working for Eurogentec.

Takanori Furukawa worked on the bioconversion of lignin into useful feedstocks using a synthetic biological approach. This project was funded by the Technology Strategy Board - now Innovate UK - and led by local SME Ingenza.

Justin Barclay joined the Horsfall lab in 2014 to do his MSc lab placement working on the industrially led Ligniflex project, characterising enzymes for lignin degradation. He is currently receiving mentorship and guidance at the University to develop his award winning biotech idea.

Chan Wei Minh joined the Horsfall lab to look at arsenic reduction and nanoparticle synthesis in E.coli, during the summer of 2014. He was a 3rd year undergraduate at the time and we were really pleased he chose to join us instead of relaxing over his summer break before starting his final year studies.

Amin Rukaini joined the Horsfall lab for his MSc research project in early May 2014 to research the use of bacteria to standardise the production of palladium nanoparticles. He left the University of Edinburgh, after graduating with a BSc (Hons) and an MSc, to further his studies with a PhD.

Katsiaryna Usachova was a very talented final year Biotechnology Hons project student at the University of Edinburgh in 2014. Kat left the lab and moved to Cambridge to study for her PhD with Prof Peter Leadlay FRS FRSC.

Margaret Stafford joined the Horsfall lab at the beginning of November 2012 as a part-time research technician. As well as ensuring the lab ran smoothly she investigated novel lignin-degrading enzymes, supervised Amira and fed us all cake. Margaret left to pursue a career teaching science.

Amira Shaharudin was a final year undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh who joined the Horsfall lab in January 2013 for her undergraduate lab placement. She expressed, purified and characterized, a lignin degrading enzyme. After graduating she chose to study for an MSc in biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh.

Nimisha Joshi worked with us for a short time, using synthetic biology to provide bacteria with an increased tolerance to arsenic, after finishing her PhD studies on the bactericidal impacts of engineered nanoparticles and microbial defense strategies.