Dr Rao Ravella PhD

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.



Corton, J., Ravella, S. 2018. Sustainable biomass alternatives: Marginal land biomass and the engineering of holistic systems. In E. Maletta., H. Langeveld., M. V. Lasorella. (eds) Wastelands: New Paradigms in Sustainable Biomass Cropping Systems in Marginal Lands. Taylor & Francis Cadair


Lalman, J.A., Shewa, W.A., Gallagher, J., Ravella, S. 2017. Biofuels Production from Renewable Feedstocks. In P. C. K. Lau. (ed) Quality Living Through Chemurgy and Green Chemistry. Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology 1stth edn, Springer Nature pp. 193-220. 10.1007/978-3-662-53704-6_8 Cadair

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 L. K. Singh., G. Chaudhary. (eds) Advances in Biofeedstocks and Biofuels : Biofeedstocks and their Processing. Wiley pp. 121-147. 10.1002/9781119117322.ch6 Cadair


James, S.A., Bond, C.J., Stanley, R., Ravella, S.R., Peter, G., Dlauchy, D., Roberts, I.N. 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 66 pp. 5046-5050. 10.1099/ijsem.0.001467 Cadair

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 214 pp. 574-581. 10.1016/j.biortech.2016.05.009 Cadair

Sreenivas Rao, P., Vinutha, K.S., Kumar, G.S.A., Chiranjeevi, T., Umar, A., Lal, P., Prakasham, R.S., Singh, H.P., 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 Cadair


Bryant, D., Potu, M., Ravella, R., Gallagher, J., Walker, D.J. 2015. Xylitol: An alternative sweetener for dairy products. In A. K. Puniya. (ed) Fermented Milk and Dairy Products. Fermented Foods and Beverages Series Taylor & Francis Cadair

Ravella, R., Potu, M. 2015. Molecular Characterisation of Euryarchaeal Community Within an Anaerobic Digester. In A. K. Puniya., R. Singh., D. N. Kamra. (eds) Rumen Microbiology: From Evolution to Revolution. Springer Nature pp. 293-311. Cadair

Puniya, A.K., Salem, A.Z.M., Kumar, S., Dagar, S.S., Griffith, G., Puniya, M., Ravella, S.R., 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 14 (3) pp. 550-560. 10.1016/S2095-3119(14)60837-6 Cadair

Quiñones, T.S., Retter, A., Hobbs, P.J., Budde, J., Heiermann, M., Plöchl, M., Ravella, R. 2015. Production of xylooligosaccharides from renewable agricultural lignocellulose biomass. Biofuels 6 (3-4) pp. 147-155. 10.1080/17597269.2015.1065589 Cadair


Garcia-Marco, S., Ravella, S.R., Chadwick, D., Vallejo, A., Gregory, A.S., Cardenas, L.M. 2014. Ranking factors affecting emissions of GHG from incubated agricultural soils. European Journal of Soil Science 65 (4) pp. 573-583. 10.1111/ejss.12143 Cadair

Kumar, S., Choudhury, P.K., Dolores Carro, M., Griffith, G.W., Dagar, S.S., Puniya, M., Calabro, S., Ravella, S.R., Dhewa, T., Upadhyay, R.C., Sirohi, S.K., Kundu, S.S., Wanapat, M., Puniya, A.K. 2014. New aspects and strategies for methane mitigation from ruminants. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 98 (1) pp. 31-44. 10.1007/s00253-013-5365-0 Cadair


Cardenas, L.M., Hatch, D.J., Scholefield, D., Jhurreea, D., Clark, I.M., Hirsch, P.R., Salazar, F., Rao-Ravella, S., Alfaro, M., Ravella, S.R. 2013. Potential mineralization and nitrification in volcanic grassland soils in Chile. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 59 (3) pp. 380-391. 10.1080/00380768.2013.789395 Cadair

Nandal, P., Ravella, S.R., Kuhad, R.C. 2013. Laccase production by Coriolopsis caperata RCK2011: optimization under solid state fermentation by Taguchi DOE methodology. Scientific Reports 3 1386 10.1038/srep01386 Cadair


Ravella, S.R., Gallagher, J., Fish, S., Prakasham, R.S. 2012. Overview on Commercial Production of Xylitol, Economic Analysis and Market Trends. In S. S. da Silva., A. K. Chandel. (eds) D-Xylitol: Fermentative Production, Application and Commercialization. Springer Nature, Berlin, Heidelberg pp. 291-306. 10.1007/978-3-642-31887-0_13 Cadair

Adu-Gyamfi, N., Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J. 2012. Optimizing anaerobic digestion by selection of the immobilising surface force enhanced methane production. Bioresource Technology 120 pp. 248-255. 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.06.042 Cadair

Prakasham, R.S., Brahmaiah, P., Nagaiah, D., Rao, P.S., Reddy, B.V.S., Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J. 2012. Impact of low lignin containing brown midrib sorghum mutants to harness biohydrogen production using mixed anaerobic consortia. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 37 (4) pp. 3186-3190. 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.11.082 Cadair


Ravella, S.R., Donovan, N., James, S.A., Shivaji, S., Arunasri, K., Bond, C.J., Roberts, I.N., Hobbs, P.J. 2011. Candida northwykensis sp nov., A Novel Yeast Isolated from the Gut of the Click Beetle Melanotus villosus. Current Microbiology 63 (2) pp. 115-120. 10.1007/s00284-011-9952-y Cadair


Ravella, S.R., Quinones, T.S., Retter, A., Heiermann, M., Amon, T., Hobbs, P.J. 2010. Extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production by a novel strain of yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. Carbohydrate Polymers 82 (3) pp. 728-732. 10.1016/j.carbpol.2010.05.039 Cadair

Ravella, S.R., James, S.A., Bond, C.J., Roberts, I.N., Cross, K., Retter, A., Hobbs, P.J. 2010. Cryptococcus shivajii sp nov.: A Novel Basidiomycetous Yeast Isolated from Biogas Reactor. Current Microbiology 60 (1) pp. 12-16. 10.1007/s00284-009-9493-9 Cadair


Lakshmi, G.S., Rao, C.S., Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J., Prakasham, R.S. 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 48 (1) pp. 51-57. 10.1016/j.bej.2009.08.005 Cadair

Prakasham, R.S., Sathish, T., Brahmaiah, P., Rao, C.S., Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J. 2009. Biohydrogen production from renewable agri-waste blend: Optimization using mixer design. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 34 (15) pp. 6143-6148. 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2009.06.016 Cadair


Rao, C.S., Madhavendra, S.S., Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J., Prakasham, R.S. 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 150 (1) pp. 65-83. 10.1007/s12010-008-8147-x Cadair

Shivaji, S., Bhadra, B., Rao, R.S., Pradhan, S., Ravella, S.R. 2008. Rhodotorula himalayensis sp nov., a novel psychrophilic yeast isolated from Roopkund Lake of the Himalayan mountain ranges, India. Extremophiles 12 (3) pp. 375-381. 10.1007/s00792-008-0144-z Cadair

Ravella, S.R., Kumar, C.G., Prakasham, R.S., Hobbs, P.J. 2008. The Taguchi methodology as a statistical tool for biotechnological applications: A critical appraisal. Biotechnology Journal 3 (4) pp. 510-523. 10.1002/biot.200700201 Other Cadair

Hobbs, P.J., Ward, A.J., Ravella, S.R., Williams, J.S., Retter, A.L. 2008. Optimisation of biogas production from a microbial perspective. 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management'. Other Cadair

Rao, C.S., Sathish, T., Mahalaxmi, M., Laxmi, G.S., Prakasham, R.S., Ravella, S.R. 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 104 (3) pp. 889-898. 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2007.03605.x Other Cadair

Ravella, S.R., Hobbs, P.J., Williams, J.S., Retter, A.L. 2008. Optimising biogas fermentation using the Taguchi methodology. 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management'. Other Cadair

Ward, A.J., Hobbs, P.J., Ravella, S.R., Williams, J.S., Retter, A.L. 2008. Software sensor monitoring and fuzzy control of biogas production. 13th RAMIRAN International Conference, 'Potential for simple technology solutions in organic manure management'. Other Cadair