Dr Rao Ravella


Dr Rao Ravella

Microbiologist/Fermentation Scientist

Contact Details


Principal Investigator - Fermetation Science REF submitable scientist

My first degree was in Microbiology, followed by a PhD in Microbiology (fermentations). After a few years of Postdoc work at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, India, I moved to the UK. I joined IGER in 2007 as research scientist (fermentations) and worked at North Wyke - what is now Rothamsted Research. I joined IBERS in Feb 2012, as a fermentation scientist -part of the BEACON EU project- which focuses on biorefinery products and pilot scale fermentations. I am interested in characterisation of microorganisms especially yeasts from extreme environments for biorefinery products. Expertise in fermentations, Design of Experiments (DOE) concepts especially Taguchi method applied to biotech processes and process optimization. Involvement in several research programmes led to 60 international referred journal publications and highly cited (2000 citations, h-index -24).

Additional Information


Currently: Scientist - BEACON biorefining EU project. Industrial Biomass Biorefining


  • Co- Investigator: Climate-KIC Innovation: Adaptation and Mitigation through Bio-Succinate Innovation (ADMIT Bio-Succinnovate) and xylitol production (Value -14 Million Euro) -2013 -2017.
  • Co Investigator: Climate-KIC Pathfinder: Sustainable Biogas Process Optimisation & Implementation Strategies (Biogas2Market) - 2013 £2,50,000
  • Co- Investigator : Academic Expertise for Business (A4B): Knowledge Transfer and Collaborative Industrial Research. Sustainable Ryegrass Products (STARS) (2013 -15) £600k
    • Principal Investigator: Mycological contaminants of the diets of ponies (2011). £100K
    • Named Researcher: BBSRC LoLA: Engineering Synthetic Microbial Communities for Biomethane Production (2013 – 2018) £ 3.1 million*Co-I: BBSRC Masters training grant (2010-2013) £ 279,005
  • Co-Investigator: Benchmarked several biogas plants throughout Europe: EU AGRO-BIOGAS (513949) - European Biogas Initiative to improve the yield of agricultural biogas plants, funded by EU FP6 programme. 5.9 Million Euros
  • Developed Early warning system for biogas plants transferred to several biogas plants in Europe (2007-2010).
  • Scientist: Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, involved in EPS (Extracellular polymeric substances) research part of the North Wyke UK BBSRC strategic programme (2008-2012) £836,672 .
  • Member: BBSRC India partnering award: (2008-2011).
  • Outstanding performance award by Rothamsted Research in 2009.



Microbial Biotechnology, fermentations, Design of Experiments (DOE), Taguchi Methods


Microbial Biotechnology especially biorefinery products, microbiology, xylose utilizing yeasts and fermentation optimizations. Working with industries through collaborative projects.


Lakshmi, GS, Rao, CS, Ravella, SR, Hobbs, PJ & Prakasham, RS 2009, 'Enhanced production of xylanase by a newly isolated Aspergillus terreus under solid state fermentation using palm industrial waste: A statistical optimization' Biochemical Engineering Journal, vol 48, no. 1, pp. 51-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.bej.2009.08.005
Prakasham, RS, Sathish, T, Brahmaiah, P, Rao, CS, Ravella, SR & Hobbs, PJ 2009, 'Biohydrogen production from renewable agri-waste blend: Optimization using mixer design' International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol 34, no. 15, pp. 6143-6148. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2009.06.016
Rao, CS, Madhavendra, SS, Ravella, SR, Hobbs, PJ & Prakasham, RS 2008, 'Studies on improving the immobilized bead reusability and alkaline protease production by isolated immobilized Bacillus circulans (MTCC 6811) using overall evaluation criteria' Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, vol 150, no. 1, pp. 65-83. DOI: 10.1007/s12010-008-8147-x
Shivaji, S, Bhadra, B, Rao, RS, Pradhan, S & Ravella, SR 2008, 'Rhodotorula himalayensis sp nov., a novel psychrophilic yeast isolated from Roopkund Lake of the Himalayan mountain ranges, India' Extremophiles, vol 12, no. 3, pp. 375-381. DOI: 10.1007/s00792-008-0144-z
Ravella, SR, Kumar, CG, Prakasham, RS & Hobbs, PJ 2008, 'The Taguchi methodology as a statistical tool for biotechnological applications: A critical appraisal' Biotechnology Journal, vol 3, no. 4, pp. 510-523. DOI: 10.1002/biot.200700201
Hobbs, PJ, Ward, AJ, Ravella, SR, Williams, JS & Retter, AL 2008, 'Optimisation of biogas production from a microbial perspective' Paper presented at 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management', Albena, Bulgaria, 2008 - 2008, pp. 327-330.
Rao, CS, Sathish, T, Mahalaxmi, M, Laxmi, GS, Prakasham, RS & Ravella, SR 2008, 'Modelling and optimization of fermentation factors for enhancement of alkaline protease production by isolated Bacillus circulans using feed-forward neural network and genetic algorithm' Journal of Applied Microbiology, vol 104, no. 3, pp. 889-898. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2007.03605.x
Ravella, SR, Hobbs, PJ, Williams, JS & Retter, AL 2008, 'Optimising biogas fermentation using the Taguchi methodology' Paper presented at 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management', Albena, Bulgaria, 2008 - 2008, pp. 343-346.
Ward, AJ, Hobbs, PJ, Ravella, SR, Williams, JS & Retter, AL 2008, 'Software sensor monitoring and fuzzy control of biogas production' Paper presented at 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management', Albena, Bulgaria, 2008 - 2008, pp. 121-125.
Lalman, JA, Shewa, WA, Gallagher, J & Ravella, S 2017, Biofuels Production from Renewable Feedstocks. in PCK Lau (ed.), Quality Living Through Chemurgy and Green Chemistry. 1st edn, Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology, Springer Nature, pp. 193-220. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-53704-6_8
Williams, L, Gallagher, J, Bryant, D & Ravella, S 2017, Anaerobic digestion and the use of pre-treatments on lignocellulosic feedstocks to improve biogas production and process economics. in LK Singh & G Chaudhary (eds), Advances in Biofeedstocks and Biofuels : Biofeedstocks and their Processing. vol. 1, Wiley, pp. 121-147. DOI: 10.1002/9781119117322.ch6
James, SA, Bond, CJ, Stanley, R, Ravella, SR, Peter, G, Dlauchy, D & Roberts, IN 2016, 'Apiotrichum terrigenum sp. nov., a novel soil-associated yeast found in both the UK and mainland Europe' International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, vol 66, pp. 5046-5050. DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001467
Corton, J & Ravella, S 2016, Sustainable biomass alternatives: Marginal land biomass and the engineering of holistic systems. in E Maletta, H Langeveld & MV Lasorella (eds), Wastelands: New Paradigms in Sustainable Biomass Cropping Systems in Marginal Lands. Taylor & Francis.
Hodgson, E, James, A, Rao Ravella, S, Thomas Jones, S, Perkins, W & Gallagher, J 2016, 'Optimisation of slow-pyrolysis process conditions to maximise char yield and heavy metal adsorption of biochar produced from different feedstocks' Bioresource Technology, vol 214, pp. 574-581. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2016.05.009
Sreenivas Rao, P, Vinutha, KS, Kumar, GSA, Chiranjeevi, T, Umar, A, Lal, P, Prakasham, RS, Singh, HP, Ravella, S, Chopra, S & Jose, S 2016, Sorghum - a multi-purpose bioenergy crop. in I Clampitti & V Prasad (eds), Sorghum: A Multipurpose Bioenergy Crop. American Society of Agronomy.
Bryant, D, Potu, M, Ravella, R, Gallagher, J & Walker, DJ 2015, Xylitol: An alternative sweetener for dairy products. in AK Puniya (ed.), Fermented Milk and Dairy Products. Fermented Foods and Beverages Series, Taylor & Francis.
Ravella, R & Potu, M 2015, Molecular Characterisation of Euryarchaeal Community Within an Anaerobic Digester. in AK Puniya, R Singh & DN Kamra (eds), Rumen Microbiology: From Evolution to Revolution. Springer Nature, pp. 293-311.
Puniya, AK, Salem, AZM, Kumar, S, Dagar, SS, Griffith, G, Puniya, M, Ravella, SR, Kumar, N, Dhewa, T & Kumar, R 2015, 'Role of live microbial feed supplements with reference to anaerobic fungi in ruminant productivity: A review' Journal of Integrative Agriculture, vol 14, no. 3, pp. 550-560. DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(14)60837-6
Quiñones, TS, Retter, A, Hobbs, PJ, Budde, J, Heiermann, M, Plöchl, M & Ravella, R 2015, 'Production of xylooligosaccharides from renewable agricultural lignocellulose biomass' Biofuels, vol 6, no. 3-4, pp. 147-155. DOI: 10.1080/17597269.2015.1065589
Garcia-Marco, S, Ravella, SR, Chadwick, D, Vallejo, A, Gregory, AS & Cardenas, LM 2014, 'Ranking factors affecting emissions of GHG from incubated agricultural soils' European Journal of Soil Science, vol 65, no. 4, pp. 573-583. DOI: 10.1111/ejss.12143
Kumar, S, Choudhury, PK, Dolores Carro, M, Griffith, GW, Dagar, SS, Puniya, M, Calabro, S, Ravella, SR, Dhewa, T, Upadhyay, RC, Sirohi, SK, Kundu, SS, Wanapat, M & Puniya, AK 2014, 'New aspects and strategies for methane mitigation from ruminants' Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol 98, no. 1, pp. 31-44. DOI: 10.1007/s00253-013-5365-0
Cardenas, LM, Hatch, DJ, Scholefield, D, Jhurreea, D, Clark, IM, Hirsch, PR, Salazar, F, Rao-Ravella, S, Alfaro, M & Ravella, SR 2013, 'Potential mineralization and nitrification in volcanic grassland soils in Chile' Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, vol 59, no. 3, pp. 380-391. DOI: 10.1080/00380768.2013.789395
Nandal, P, Ravella, SR & Kuhad, RC 2013, 'Laccase production by Coriolopsis caperata RCK2011: optimization under solid state fermentation by Taguchi DOE methodology' Scientific Reports, vol 3, 1386. DOI: 10.1038/srep01386
Ravella, SR, Gallagher, J, Fish, S & Prakasham, RS 2012, Overview on Commercial Production of Xylitol, Economic Analysis and Market Trends. in SS da Silva & AK Chandel (eds), D-Xylitol: Fermentative Production, Application and Commercialization., 13, Springer Nature, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 291-306. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-31887-0_13
Adu-Gyamfi, N, Ravella, SR & Hobbs, PJ 2012, 'Optimizing anaerobic digestion by selection of the immobilising surface force enhanced methane production' Bioresource Technology, vol 120, pp. 248-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.06.042
Prakasham, RS, Brahmaiah, P, Nagaiah, D, Rao, PS, Reddy, BVS, Ravella, SR & Hobbs, PJ 2012, 'Impact of low lignin containing brown midrib sorghum mutants to harness biohydrogen production using mixed anaerobic consortia' International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol 37, no. 4, pp. 3186-3190. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.11.082
Ravella, SR, Donovan, N, James, SA, Shivaji, S, Arunasri, K, Bond, CJ, Roberts, IN & Hobbs, PJ 2011, 'Candida northwykensis sp nov., A Novel Yeast Isolated from the Gut of the Click Beetle Melanotus villosus' Current Microbiology, vol 63, no. 2, pp. 115-120. DOI: 10.1007/s00284-011-9952-y
Ravella, SR, Quinones, TS, Retter, A, Heiermann, M, Amon, T & Hobbs, PJ 2010, 'Extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production by a novel strain of yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans' Carbohydrate Polymers, vol 82, no. 3, pp. 728-732. DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2010.05.039
Ravella, SR, James, SA, Bond, CJ, Roberts, IN, Cross, K, Retter, A & Hobbs, PJ 2010, 'Cryptococcus shivajii sp nov.: A Novel Basidiomycetous Yeast Isolated from Biogas Reactor' Current Microbiology, vol 60, no. 1, pp. 12-16. DOI: 10.1007/s00284-009-9493-9