Dr Jessica Adams BSc, PhD

Dr Jessica Adams

Microbiology / Fermentation Scientist

Contact Details


I have a 2.1 in Medical Microbiology (Hons.) from the University of Edinburgh and a CASE PhD awarded in 2008 in Microbial biotechnology from the University of Manchester. In November 2007 I began a post-doctorate researcher position funded by SUPERGEN -Bioenergy (EPSRC) working on the fermentation of selected seaweeds to produce bioethanol at IGER Aberystwyth (subsequently merged to IBERS, Aberystwyth University). From March 2009 I have been employed under the ISPG (BBSRC) at IBERS, Aberystwyth University working on the saccharification and fermentation of Miscanthus and other biomass crops and since December 2010 have spent part of my time on BEACON (ERDF) on macroalgae, novel micro-organisms and products from apple pomace.


Macroalgae: Climate change, fuel security & economics are driving the use of renewable technologies, but only biomass is capable of producing liquid fuels for use as a transport fuel. Renewable transport fuel obligations have increased demand for bioethanol & biodiesel from a range of sources. Most of these sources come into direct conflict with food production. Marine biomass is currently an under-exploited resource with the potential to produce large amounts of biofuel without adversely affecting our food supplies.

My work to date has been demonstrating the importance of seasonal variation in the composition of the macroalgae species Laminaria digitata & the effect of this on biofuel production. Bio-oil, -ethanol & -methane have been produced in addition to chemical composition analysis (see Adams et al., 2011 & Adams et al., in press in Bioresource Technology). Future work will be within the BEACON Project & will consider the extraction of high value compounds from macroalgae prior to the production of biofuels from the residues.

Miscanthus: Within the ISPG programme I am involved in the saccharification & fermentation of genetically variable Miscanthus material taken from collections & the Miscanthus breeding programme.

North Ronaldsay sheep: In 2008 I travelled to the Orkney islands to collect faecal material from the North Ronaldsay sheep, a primative breed that live on the most northerly island. These are kept on the beaches around the island, & because of their location feed almost exclusively on macroalgae washed up on the shores of the island, so have different microorganisms in the rumen compared with grass-fed sheep. I sampled faecal material from the sheep for culturing & further analysis. The isolation & identification of novel micro-organisms from these samples may help with future fermentations or as a source of enzymes for macroalgae degradation.



Adams, J., Bleathman, G., Gallagher, J., Thomas, D. 2017. The effect of mechanical pre-processing and different drying methodologies on bioethanol production using the brown macroalgae Laminaria digitata ((Hudson) JV Lamouroux). Journal of Applied Phycology 29 (5) pp. 2463-2469. 10.1007/s10811-016-1039-5 Cadair

Spicer, S., Adams, J., Thomas, D., Gallagher, J., Winters, A. 2017. Novel rapid method for the characterisation of polymeric sugars from macroalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology 29 (3) pp. 1507-1513. 10.1007/s10811-016-0995-0 Cadair

Gallagher, J., Turner, L., Adams, J.M.M., Dyer, P.W., Theodorou, M.K. 2017. Dewatering treatments to increase dry matter content of the brown seaweed, kelp (Laminaria digitata ((Hudson) JV Lamouroux)). Bioresource Technology 224 pp. 662-669. 10.1016/j.biortech.2016.11.091 Cadair


Fletcher, H.R., Biller, P., Adams, J. 2016. The seasonal variation of fucoidan within three species of brown macroalgae. Algal Research 22 pp. 79-86. 10.1016/j.algal.2016.10.015 Cadair

Adams, J. 2016. An overview on seaweed uses in the UK: Past, present and future. Cadair


Adams, J.M., Schmidt, A., Gallagher, J.A. 2015. The impact of sample preparation of the macroalgae Laminaria digitata on the production of the biofuels bioethanol and biomethane. Journal of Applied Phycology 27 (2) pp. 985-991. 10.1007/s10811-014-0368-5 Cadair


Dudek, M., Adams, J., Swain, M., Hegarty, M., Huws, S., Gallagher, J. 2014. Metaphylogenomic and Potential Functionality of the Limpet Patella pellucida’s Gastrointestinal Tract Microbiome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15 (10) pp. 18819-18839. 10.3390/ijms151018819 Cadair


Adams, J.M.M., Teunissen, P.J.M., Robson, G., Dunn-Coleman, N., Donnison, I.S. 2012. Scanning electron microscopy and fermentation studies on selected known maize starch mutants using STARGEN™ enzyme blends. Bioenergy Research 5 (2) pp. 330-340. 10.1007/s12155-011-9135-5 Cadair


Adams, J.M., Toop, T.A., Donnison, I.S., Gallagher, J.A. 2011. Seasonal variation in Laminaria digitata and its impact on biochemical conversion routes to biofuels. Bioresource Technology 102 (21) pp. 9976-9984. 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.08.032 Cadair

Adams, J.M.M., Ross, A.B., Anastasakis, K., Hodgson, E.M., Gallagher, J.A., Jones, J.M., Donnison, I.S. 2011. Seasonal variation in the chemical composition of the bioenergy feedstock Laminaria digitata for thermochemical conversion. Bioresource Technology 102 (1) pp. 226-234. 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.06.152 Cadair


Allison, G., Morris, C., Gill, S., Lister, S., Clifton-Brown, J., Jensen, E., Robson, P., Adams, J., Gallagher, J., Donnison, I. 2010. Aligning the chemical composition of new Miscanthus varieties to the requirements of conversion processes. Sixth International Conference on Rnewable Resource and Biorefineries. Cadair


Adams, J.M., Gallagher, J.A., Donnison, I.S. 2009. Fermentation study on Saccharina latissima for bioethanol production considering variable pre-treatments. Journal of Applied Phycology 21 (5) 3rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology and the 11th International Conference on Applied Phycology. pp. 569-574. 10.1007/s10811-008-9384-7 Cadair

Donnison, I.S., Farrar, K., Allison, G.G., Hodgson, E., Adams, J.M., Hatch, R., Gallagher, J.A., Robson, P.R., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Morris, P. 2009. Functional genomics of forage and bioenergy quality traits in the grasses. In T. Yamada., G. Spangenberg. (eds) Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage Turf. 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf. pp. 111-123. Cadair Other


Adams, J.M., Bryant, D.N., Robson, G.D., Morris, P., Fish, N., Donnison, I.S. 2007. Preparation and partial enzymic hydrolysation of single maize kernels for use in laboratory scale analysis. Cadair Other

Adams, J., Robson, G.D., Morris, P., Dunn-Coleman, N., Fish, N., Donnison, I. 2007. Fermentation of starch from maize for bioethanol production. Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference. Cadair


Donnison, I.S., Thain, S.C., Hatch, R., Adams, J., Hodgson, E., Morris, C., Hawkins, S.L., Clifton-Brown, J.C., Morris, P. 2006. Development and application of high-throughput infrared spectroscopy methods to study bioenergy-associated traits in grasses. Plant Genomics European Meeting. Cadair

Donnison, I., Thain, S.C., Hatch, R., Adams, J., Hodgson, E., Morris, C., Hawkins, S., Clifton-Brown, J., Morris, P. 2006. Bioenergy from grasses. Plant Genomics European Meeting. Cadair


Adams, J., Morris, P., Robson, P., Dunn-Coleman, N., Donnison, I. 2004. Fermentation of starch from maize mutants for biofuel production. 2004 Plant Science Wales. Cadair