Dr Joe Gallagher



I graduated from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (BSc. in Biology and Chemistry, Ph.D., in antimicrobial compounds, fungal fermentation and yeast biochemistry. I have since worked in the areas of microbial and plant molecular biology, enzymology and biochemistry. Initially on the characterisation, cloning and expression of recombinant cellulases and chitinases from both fungi and bacteria, and later on the genes and enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism in grasses and clovers.



The principle aim of my research is to understand components of carbohydrate metabolism and digestibility in grasses (e.g. Miscanthus and perennial ryegrass) and to translate these to improving crop performance, processability, and substrate supply for biorefining. This involves studying gene regulation and expression, the properties of gene products and their localisation within the plant/cell. This allows us to identifying candidate genes and markers for use in gene mapping and breeding programmes.

Other research activities include biorefining of plant feedstocks to fine and bulk chemicals including biofuels. We have on-going research projects along the pipeling from feedstock to product that includes: feedstock development and agronomy; pre-processing; processing and product isolation at a range of scales (this includes microbe and enzyme discovery); valorisation of other components; modelling and process integration.


Bhatia, R, Winters, A, Bryant, D, Bosch, M, Clifton-Brown, J, Leak, D & Gallagher, J 2020, 'Pilot-scale production of xylo-oligosaccharides and fermentable sugars from Miscanthus using steam explosion pretreatment', Bioresource Technology, vol. 296, 122285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122285
Bhatia, R, Dalton, S, Roberts, L, Moron-Garcia, O, Iacono, R, Kosik, O, Gallagher, J & Bosch, M 2019, 'Modified expression of ZmMYB167 in Brachypodium distachyon and Zea mays leads to increased cell wall lignin and phenolic content', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 8800. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45225-9
Somani, A, Smith, D, Hegarty, M, Fernandez-Fuentes, N, Ravella, S, Gallagher, J & Bryant, D 2018, 'Draft Genome Assemblies of Xylose-Utilizing Candida tropicalis and Candida boidinii with Potential Application in Biochemical and Biofuel Production', Genome Announcements, vol. 6, no. 7, e01594-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01594-17
Samson, A, Mos, M, Najser, J, Daroch, M & Gallagher, J 2018, 'Gasification of Miscanthus x giganteus Pellets in a Fixed bed Pilot-scale Unit', Frontiers in Energy Research, vol. 6, 91. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2018.00091
Walker, DJ, Gallagher, J, Winters, A, Somani, A, Ravella, SR & Bryant, D 2018, 'Process Optimisation of Steam Explosion Parameters on Multiple Lignocellulosic Biomass using Taguchi Method – A Critical Appraisal', Frontiers in Energy Research, vol. 6, 46. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2018.00046
More publications on the Research Portal