Dr Rao Ravella


Dr Rao Ravella

Microbiologist/Fermentation Scientist

Contact Details


Principal Investigator - Fermentation 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.


BBSRC Innovate UK Newton-Fund: (Oct 2018 to Sep 2021) UK-India Industrial Waste Challenge 2017: Lead: Aberystwyth University, Title of the project: ‘BIOREVIEW: Biorefining Value from Industrial Waste’ (Value £2.4 Million, for Aberystwyth University -£635,234) (VFAs, XOS, Xylitol production)

Innovate UK: TS/R010544/1 (May 2018- Jan 2021) ‘Developing a process to manufacture lactic acid from waste-derived sugars’, Project Category: Research Grant, Value £319,041

BBSRC funded: Bioreactor system for Industrial Biotechnology process development, Project Category: Research Grant, Aug 2017 - Aug 2018, Project Reference: BB/R000700/1 Value: £389,401

Queen Elizabeth II, Canadian Commonwealth Scholarships in Water and Energy, (2016 -2020) jointly submitted with University of Windsor, Canada. (Total value 1.7 Million Canadian dollars for 4 years)

P2P BBSRC NIBB funded, Project Title: ‘Reducing Arabitol Formation to Improve Xylitol Production from Brewers Spent Grains; an exemplar process’ (Apr 2018 – Sep 2018), Value: £54,939

Welsh government funded - Life Sciences Bridge fund ‘Process for xylitol purification and crystallization’ Jun 2017 to Mar 2018, Value: £64,288

Climate-KIC-Project title: ‘Adaptation and Mitigation through Bio-Succinate Innovation’  (ADMIT Bio-SuccInnovate), Project Category: Innovation -Research Grant, (Mar 2014 – 3May 2017) Total Project Value 14 Million Euro


Process Optimisation of Steam Explosion Parameters on Multiple Lignocellulosic Biomass using Taguchi Method – A Critical AppraisalWalker, D. J., Gallagher, J., Winters, A., Somani, A., Ravella, S. R. & Bryant, D. 2018 In : Frontiers in Energy Research.6, 46
Draft Genome Assemblies of Xylose-Utilizing Candida tropicalis and Candida boidinii with Potential Application in Biochemical and Biofuel ProductionSomani, A., Smith, D., Hegarty, M., Fernandez-Fuentes, N., Ravella, S., Gallagher, J. & Bryant, D. 2018 In : Genome Announcements.6, 7, e01594-17
Biofuels Production from Renewable FeedstocksLalman, J. A., Shewa, W. A., Gallagher, J. & Ravella, S. 2017 Quality Living Through Chemurgy and Green Chemistry. Lau, P. C. K. (ed.). 1st ed.Springer Nature, p. 193-220 (Green Chemistry and Sustainable Technology)
Anaerobic digestion and the use of pre-treatments on lignocellulosic feedstocks to improve biogas production and process economicsWilliams, L., Gallagher, J., Bryant, D. & Ravella, S. 2017 Advances in Biofeedstocks and Biofuels : Biofeedstocks and their Processing. Singh, L. K. & Chaudhary, G. (eds.). Wiley, Vol. 1, p. 121-147
Apiotrichum terrigenum sp. nov., a novel soil-associated yeast found in both the UK and mainland EuropeJames, S. A., Bond, C. J., Stanley, R., Ravella, S. R., Peter, G., Dlauchy, D. & Roberts, I. N. 2016 In : International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.66, p. 5046-50505 p.
Sustainable biomass alternatives: Marginal land biomass and the engineering of holistic systemsCorton, J. & Ravella, S. 2016 (Accepted/In press) Wastelands: New Paradigms in Sustainable Biomass Cropping Systems in Marginal Lands. Maletta, E., Langeveld, H. & Lasorella, M. V. (eds.). Taylor & Francis
Optimisation of slow-pyrolysis process conditions to maximise char yield and heavy metal adsorption of biochar produced from different feedstocksHodgson, E., James, A., Rao Ravella, S., Thomas Jones, S., Perkins, W. & Gallagher, J. 2016 In : Bioresource Technology.214, p. 574-581
Sorghum - a multi-purpose bioenergy cropSreenivas 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 Multipurpose Bioenergy Crop. Clampitti, I. & Prasad, V. (eds.). American Society of Agronomy
Xylitol: An alternative sweetener for dairy productsBryant, D., Potu, M., Ravella, R., Gallagher, J. & Walker, D. J. 2015 Fermented Milk and Dairy Products. Puniya, A. K. (ed.). Taylor & Francis, (Fermented Foods and Beverages Series)
Molecular Characterisation of Euryarchaeal Community Within an Anaerobic DigesterRavella, R. & Potu, M. 2015 Rumen Microbiology: From Evolution to Revolution. Puniya, A. K., Singh, R. & Kamra, D. N. (eds.). Springer Nature, p. 293-311
Role of live microbial feed supplements with reference to anaerobic fungi in ruminant productivity: A reviewPuniya, 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 In : Journal of Integrative Agriculture.14, 3, p. 550-56011 p.
Production of xylooligosaccharides from renewable agricultural lignocellulose biomassQuiñones, T. S., Retter, A., Hobbs, P. J., Budde, J., Heiermann, M., Plöchl, M. & Ravella, R. 2015 In : Biofuels.6, 3-4, p. 147-1558 p.
Ranking factors affecting emissions of GHG from incubated agricultural soilsGarcia-Marco, S., Ravella, S. R., Chadwick, D., Vallejo, A., Gregory, A. S. & Cardenas, L. M. 2014 In : European Journal of Soil Science.65, 4, p. 573-58311 p.
New aspects and strategies for methane mitigation from ruminantsKumar, 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 In : Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.98, 1, p. 31-4414 p.
Potential mineralization and nitrification in volcanic grassland soils in ChileCardenas, 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 In : Soil Science and Plant Nutrition.59, 3, p. 380-39112 p.
Laccase production by Coriolopsis caperata RCK2011: optimization under solid state fermentation by Taguchi DOE methodologyNandal, P., Ravella, S. R. & Kuhad, R. C. 2013 In : Scientific Reports.3, 1386
Overview on Commercial Production of Xylitol, Economic Analysis and Market TrendsRavella, S. R., Gallagher, J., Fish, S. & Prakasham, R. S. 2012 D-Xylitol: Fermentative Production, Application and Commercialization. da Silva, S. S. & Chandel, A. K. (eds.). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Nature, p. 291-306 13
Optimizing anaerobic digestion by selection of the immobilising surface force enhanced methane productionAdu-Gyamfi, N., Ravella, S. R. & Hobbs, P. J. 2012 In : Bioresource Technology.120, p. 248-2558 p.
Impact of low lignin containing brown midrib sorghum mutants to harness biohydrogen production using mixed anaerobic consortiaPrakasham, R. S., Brahmaiah, P., Nagaiah, D., Rao, P. S., Reddy, B. V. S., Ravella, S. R. & Hobbs, P. J. 2012 In : International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.37, 4, p. 3186-31905 p.
Candida northwykensis sp nov., A Novel Yeast Isolated from the Gut of the Click Beetle Melanotus villosusRavella, S. R., Donovan, N., James, S. A., Shivaji, S., Arunasri, K., Bond, C. J., Roberts, I. N. & Hobbs, P. J. 2011 In : Current Microbiology.63, 2, p. 115-1206 p.
Extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production by a novel strain of yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulansRavella, S. R., Quinones, T. S., Retter, A., Heiermann, M., Amon, T. & Hobbs, P. J. 2010 In : Carbohydrate Polymers.82, 3, p. 728-7325 p.
Cryptococcus shivajii sp nov.: A Novel Basidiomycetous Yeast Isolated from Biogas ReactorRavella, S. R., James, S. A., Bond, C. J., Roberts, I. N., Cross, K., Retter, A. & Hobbs, P. J. 2010 In : Current Microbiology.60, 1, p. 12-165 p.
Enhanced production of xylanase by a newly isolated Aspergillus terreus under solid state fermentation using palm industrial waste: A statistical optimizationLakshmi, G. S., Rao, C. S., Ravella, S. R., Hobbs, P. J. & Prakasham, R. S. 2009 In : Biochemical Engineering Journal.48, 1, p. 51-577 p.
Biohydrogen production from renewable agri-waste blend: Optimization using mixer designPrakasham, R. S., Sathish, T., Brahmaiah, P., Rao, C. S., Ravella, S. R. & Hobbs, P. J. 2009 In : International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.34, 15, p. 6143-61486 p.
Studies on improving the immobilized bead reusability and alkaline protease production by isolated immobilized Bacillus circulans (MTCC 6811) using overall evaluation criteriaRao, C. S., Madhavendra, S. S., Ravella, S. R., Hobbs, P. J. & Prakasham, R. S. 2008 In : Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology.150, 1, p. 65-8319 p.
Rhodotorula himalayensis sp nov., a novel psychrophilic yeast isolated from Roopkund Lake of the Himalayan mountain ranges, IndiaShivaji, S., Bhadra, B., Rao, R. S., Pradhan, S. & Ravella, S. R. 2008 In : Extremophiles.12, 3, p. 375-3817 p.
The Taguchi methodology as a statistical tool for biotechnological applications: A critical appraisalRavella, S. R., Kumar, C. G., Prakasham, R. S. & Hobbs, P. J. 2008 In : Biotechnology Journal.3, 4, p. 510-52314 p.
Optimisation of biogas production from a microbial perspectiveHobbs, P. J., Ward, A. J., Ravella, S. R., Williams, J. S. & Retter, A. L. 2008 p. 327-3304 p.
Modelling and optimization of fermentation factors for enhancement of alkaline protease production by isolated Bacillus circulans using feed-forward neural network and genetic algorithmRao, C. S., Sathish, T., Mahalaxmi, M., Laxmi, G. S., Prakasham, R. S. & Ravella, S. R. 2008 In : Journal of Applied Microbiology.104, 3, p. 889-89810 p.
Optimising biogas fermentation using the Taguchi methodologyRavella, S. R., Hobbs, P. J., Williams, J. S. & Retter, A. L. 2008 p. 343-3464 p.
Software sensor monitoring and fuzzy control of biogas productionWard, A. J., Hobbs, P. J., Ravella, S. R., Williams, J. S. & Retter, A. L. 2008 p. 121-1255 p.