Dr Mike Morris

Ph.D University of East London. Thesis title: ‘The use of phospholipid fatty acid profiles to determine the diversity of soil microbial communities on managed woodland stands'. M.Sc. Analytical Biochemistry, University of Dundee. Thesis title: ‘Identi

Dr Mike Morris

Business Development Manager

Contact Details

Profile

I received my PhD from the University of East London in 2000 with a thesis titled "The Use of Phospholipid Fatty Acid Profiles to Determine the Diversity of Soil Microbial Communities on Managed Woodland Stands" under the supervision of Jim Harris.
In February 2001 I started a 3 year Post-doc contract with Dr John Witty at IGER to design and build a portable "electronic nose" instrument to measure soil porosity and monitor efflux of anaerobic gases from soil cores as a way of determining soil quality.
Since early 2007 I have worked on the bioconversion of the high-sugar perennial rye-grasses (HSPRG) (Lolium perenne) that have been developed through conventional breeding over a 30 year period by the grass breeders at IBERS (previously IGER).
Since 2009 I have been the lead scientist on the Defra-LINK Grassohol project where we have been looking at the economic feasibility of a HSPRG based biorefinery. While this work has necessarily been directed toward production of ethanol I am particularly interested in developing a range of value products from this and other biomass feedstocks, these include novel polymerics, platform chemicals (lactic & succinic acid), native proteins, lipids/oils and bioactive compounds etc.

Teaching

Research

Biorefining: Since 2007 I have worked on the bioconversion of the high-sugar perennial rye-grasses (HSPRG) (Lolium perenne) that have been developed through conventional breeding over a 30 year period by the grass breeders at IBERS (previously IGER). Since 2009 I have been the lead scientist on the Defra-LINK Grassohol project investigating the economic feasibility of a HSPRG based biorefinery. This work has been directed toward production of ethanol but I am particularly interested in developing a range of value products from biomass feedstocks, including novel polymerics, platform chemicals (lactic & succinic acid), native proteins, lipids/oils & bioactive compounds etc. I am also responsible for the Biomass Processing KTC which provides larger scale capability of processing biomass, including densification by means of a 400kg/hr pellet press (for biomass & feed pelleting), 4 inch pilot screw press, 15kw hammer mill, drying ovens & the Sartoflow-alphaDL cross-flow filtration system.

I am interested in developing business contacts & R&D collaborations in the area of biorefining between Biorenewables at IBERS & both local, national & international SMEs' & organisations.

Project involvement

  • DEFRA RM LINK (2009-12) Conversion of High Sugar Grasses to alcohol based transport fuel (Grassohol)
  • WAG CIRP/A4B (2009-12) Use of high sugar grasses for the production of ethanol (Grassohol-WAG)
  • WAG CIRP/A4B (2009-11) Equipment grant for 'Biomass processing for high-value products' Knowledge Transfer Centre
  • WAG CIRP/A4B) (2010-12) Fibres to products using enzymes (Fibrzymes)
  • DTI (2007-2010) Succinic esters from renewable feedstocks (SERF)
  • PBL commercial (2008-11) Prebiotics from grasses
  • Publications

    Hauck, B, Gallagher, J, Morris, SM, Leemans, DK & Winters, A 2014, 'Soluble Phenolic Compounds in Fresh and Ensiled Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata L.), a Common Species in Permanent Pastures with Potential as a Biomass Feedstock' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol 62, no. 2, pp. 468-475. DOI: 10.1021/jf4040749
    Bryant, DN, Firth, E, Kaderbhai, NN, Taylor, S, Morris, SM, Logan, D, Garcia, N, Ellis, A, Martin, SM & Gallagher, JA 2013, 'Monitoring real-time enzymatic hydrolysis of Distillers Dried Grains with Soluble (DDGS) by dielectric spectroscopy following hydrothermal pre-treatment by steam explosion' Bioresource Technology, vol 128, pp. 765-768. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.09.021
    Bryant, DN, Morris, SM, Leemans, DK, Fish, SA, Taylor, S, Carvell, J, Todd, RW, Logan, D, Lee, M, Garcia, N, Ellis, A & Gallagher, J 2011, 'Modelling real-time simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass and organic acid accumulation using dielectric spectroscopy' Bioresource Technology, vol 102, no. 20, pp. 9675-9682. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.07.084
    Winters, AL, Leemans, D, Morris, SM, Pippel, J, Lovatt, A, Charlton, A, Gallagher, J, Smith, L (ed.), Stafford, A (ed.) & Weightman, R (ed.) 2011, 'High-sugar perennial ryegrass as a feed-stock for bioconversion to platform chemicals' Aspects of Applied Biology, pp. 79-86.
    Martel, CM, Parker, JE, Jackson, CJ, Warrilow, AGS, Rolley, N, Greig, C, Morris, SM, Donnison, IS, Kelly, DE & Kelly, SL 2011, 'Expression of bacterial levanase in yeast enables simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of grass juice to bioethanol' Bioresource Technology, vol 102, no. 2, pp. 1503-1508. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.07.099
    Webb, KJ, Jensen, EF, Heywood, S, Morris, SM, Linton, PE & Hooker, JE 2010, 'Gene expression and nitrogen loss in senescing root systems of red clover (Trifolium pratense)' Journal of Agricultural Science, vol 148, no. 5, pp. 579-591. DOI: 10.1017/S0021859610000420
    Martel, CM, Warrilow, AGS, Jackson, CJ, Mullins, JGL, Togawa, RC, Parker, JE, Morris, SM, Donnison, IS, Kelly, DE & Kelly, SL 2010, 'Expression, purification and use of the soluble domain of Lactobacillus paracasei β-fructosidase to optimise production of bioethanol from grass fructans' Bioresource Technology, vol 101, no. 12, pp. 4395-4402. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.01.084
    Fraser, MD, Theobald, VJ, Griffiths, JB, Morris, SM & Moorby, JM 2009, 'Comparative diet selection by cattle and sheep grazing two contrasting heathland communities' Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol 129, no. 1-3, pp. 182-192. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2008.08.013
    Parveen, I, Moorby, JM, Hirst, WM, Morris, SM & Fraser, MD 2008, 'Profiling of plasma and faeces by FT-IR to differentiate between heathland plant diets offered to zero-grazed sheep' Animal Feed Science and Technology, vol 144, no. 1-2, pp. 65-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2007.10.002
    Fraser, MD, Theobald, VJ, Morris, SM & Moorby, JM 2008, Diet selection and herbage intake by cattle and sheep grazing two contrasting heathland communities. in A Hopkins (ed.), Proceedings of the 22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production', Uppsala, Sweden, 9-12 June, 2008. European Grassland Federation, pp. 105-107, 22nd General meeting of the European Grassland Federation, 'Biodiversity and animal feed - future challenges for grassland production', Uppsala, Sweden, 2008.
    Morris, SM, Jackson, CJ, Gallagher, JA, Kelly, RO & Donnison, IS 2008, High-sugar perennial ryegrass as a bioethanol feedstock. An alternative use for forage grasses. in Proceedings of the 16th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. ETA-Florence Renewable Energies, pp. 60-66, Proceedings of 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, Valencia, Spain, 2008.
    Donnison, IS, Gallagher, JA, Farrar, K, Thain, SC, Allison, GG, Clifton-Brown, JC, Hodgson, E, Morris, C, Turner, LB, Morris, SM, Humphreys, MO, Morris, P & Lubberstedt, T (ed.) 2007, Quality traits for bioenergy in grasses. in Proceedings, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses. pp. 46, 27th EUCARPIA Symposium on Improvement of Fodder Crops and Amenity Grasses, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007.
    Parveen, I, Moorby, JM, Hirst, WM, Morris, SM & Fraser, MD 2006, Profiling of plasma and faeces by FT-IR to differentiate between heathland plant diets offered to zero-grazed sheep. in 8th British Grassland Society Research Conference, 'Grassland as a Multifunctional Resource. British Grassland Society, pp. 101-102, 8th British Grassland Society Research Conference, Cirencester, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 2006.