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


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, vol 29, no. 5, pp. 2463-2469. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-016-1039-5
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, vol 29, no. 3, pp. 1507-1513. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-016-0995-0
Fletcher, HR, Biller, P & Adams, J 2017, 'The seasonal variation of fucoidan within three species of brown macroalgae' Algal Research, vol 22, pp. 79-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2016.10.015
Gallagher, J, Turner, L, Adams, JMM, Dyer, PW & Theodorou, MK 2017, 'Dewatering treatments to increase dry matter content of the brown seaweed, kelp (Laminaria digitata ((Hudson) JV Lamouroux))' Bioresource Technology, vol 224, pp. 662-669. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2016.11.091
Adams, J 2016, 'An overview on seaweed uses in the UK: Past, present and future', pp. 16-21, Seaweed Resources, 36.
Adams, JM, Schmidt, A & Gallagher, JA 2015, 'The impact of sample preparation of the macroalgae Laminaria digitata on the production of the biofuels bioethanol and biomethane' Journal of Applied Phycology, vol 27, no. 2, pp. 985-991. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-014-0368-5
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, vol 15, no. 10, pp. 18819-18839. DOI: 10.3390/ijms151018819
Adams, JMM, Teunissen, PJM, Robson, G, Dunn-Coleman, N & Donnison, IS 2012, 'Scanning electron microscopy and fermentation studies on selected known maize starch mutants using STARGEN™ enzyme blends' Bioenergy Research, vol 5, no. 2, pp. 330-340. DOI: 10.1007/s12155-011-9135-5
Adams, JM, Toop, TA, Donnison, IS & Gallagher, JA 2011, 'Seasonal variation in Laminaria digitata and its impact on biochemical conversion routes to biofuels' Bioresource Technology, vol 102, no. 21, pp. 9976-9984. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.08.032
Adams, JMM, Ross, AB, Anastasakis, K, Hodgson, EM, Gallagher, JA, Jones, JM & Donnison, IS 2011, 'Seasonal variation in the chemical composition of the bioenergy feedstock Laminaria digitata for thermochemical conversion.' Bioresource Technology, vol 102, no. 1, pp. 226-234. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.06.152
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, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2010 - 2010, .
Adams, JM, Gallagher, JA & Donnison, IS 2009, 'Fermentation study on Saccharina latissima for bioethanol production considering variable pre-treatments' Journal of Applied Phycology, vol 21, no. 5, pp. 569-574. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-008-9384-7
Donnison, IS, Farrar, K, Allison, GG, Hodgson, E, Adams, JM, Hatch, R, Gallagher, JA, Robson, PR, Clifton-Brown, JC & 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. pp. 111-123, 5th International Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf, Sapporo, Japan, 2007.
Adams, JM, Bryant, DN, Robson, GD, Morris, P, Fish, N & Donnison, IS 2007, 'Preparation and partial enzymic hydrolysation of single maize kernels for use in laboratory scale analysis' pp. 741-743.
Adams, J, Robson, GD, Morris, P, Dunn-Coleman, N, Fish, N & Donnison, I 2007, 'Fermentation of starch from maize for bioethanol production' Plant and Animal Genome XV Conference, San Diego, California, United States of America, 2007 - 2007, pp. P361.
Donnison, IS, Thain, SC, Hatch, R, Adams, J, Hodgson, E, Morris, C, Hawkins, SL, Clifton-Brown, JC & Morris, P 2006, 'Development and application of high-throughput infrared spectroscopy methods to study bioenergy-associated traits in grasses' Plant Genomics European Meeting, Venice, Italy, 2006 - 2006, pp. S8.3.
Donnison, I, Thain, SC, Hatch, R, Adams, J, Hodgson, E, Morris, C, Hawkins, S, Clifton-Brown, J & Morris, P 2006, 'Bioenergy from grasses' Plant Genomics European Meeting, Venice, Italy, 2006 - 2006, .
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, Swansea, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2004 - 2004, .