Professor Bryne Tendelo Ngwenya: B.Sc., PhD, FGS
Microbial geochemistry research at Edinburgh
Microbial Geochemistry Group
- My group studies microbial geochemistry. Broadly we aim to understand the role of microbes (bacteria, fungi, algae) in driving and controlling geochemical processes in natural and engineered environments.
- Fundamental efforts include
- Development of theorectical models for predicting metal interactions with microbes and their impact on metal mobility in soils and sediments,
- Understanding how microbes control structure and types of biominerals that form as a result of microbial metabolism,
- Unravelling the role of microbes in bioavailability of traditional and emerging pollutants to higher plants/animals and
- Characterising the role of microbes in determining the fate and biogeochemical impact of natural and engineered nanomaterials in the natural environment.
- The basic tools of our efforts include microscopic techniques, spectroscopic analysis (mainly synchrotron based at Diamond) and macroscopic modelling, which allow us to interrogate natural samples and experimental run products for critical information that reveal underlying biogeochemical processes.
Funded Research Projects
- 2020-2024. Lithium of Future Technology (LiFT). £355,295, NERC Lithium Cycling Highlight topic, with Ian Butler and Raja Ganeshram (UoE), Kathryn Goodeneough (PI, BGS), Richard Herrington (NHM), Frances Wall (CSM) and Martin Palmer (UoSouthampton).
- 2018-2019. Community Based Aquaculture as a Catalyst for Locally Managed Marine Areas, with Meriwether Wilson (PI),Anexander Tudhope and Sebastian Hennige €248,000 .
- 2013-2014 Understanding genesis of hREE deposits through eXperimental and Spectroscopic methods coupled with atomistic Simulations. £95629, NERC SoS Minerals Program Catalyst grant, with Simon Harley, Linda Kirstein (Edinburgh), Ian Butler (Edinburgh), Geoffrey Bromiley (Edinburgh), Kate Saunders (Edinburgh), Rachel Walcott (Nat. Museums Scot.), Andrew Walker (Leeds) and J Frederick Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source)
- 2009-2012. Biobased geological CO2 Storage (CO2SOLSTOCK). EC FP7 Collaborative
Project, with Ian Butler, Stephen Elphick, Rachel Wood and Stuart
Haszeldine, Lead PI and Consortium Co-ordinator. €2.96 of which
€853,000 to Edinburgh.
- 2008-2012. Towards improved groundwater vulnerability assessment (IMVUL). EU Marie
Curie Initial Training Network, with Stephen Elphick and Ian Butler, €3.2M of
which €405,000 to Edinburgh.
- 2005-2007. Macroscopic and molecular characterisation of lanthanide sorption to
bacterial cells: A potential chemical biosignature. NERC Grant
#NE/C519462/1, Lead PI, in collaboration with Prof. Fred Mosselmans,
Diamond Ltd, R81522, £97,583. Associated with this project were 4
successful beamtime applications at Daresbury.
- 2004-2006. High-resolution records of rapid climate change: combining stable isotope
and trace element tracers in carbonates, NERC Equipment
competition, grant # NE/C513385/1, with A.W. Tudhope (PI), M.E. Elliot, R.S.
Ganeshram and K. Darling (£253,855).
- 2004-2005. Perturbation of early diagenesis in carbonate sediments through terrigeneous
input: Implications for contaminant mobility and carbonate budgets, NERC
grant # NER/B/S/2003/0235, with K.G. Taylor (PI) and C.T. Perry (Manchester
Metropolitan University), £28,007.
- 2000-2003. Methods for assessing salt intrusion and transport in heterogeneous and
fractured aquifers (SALTRANS). EC Framework V, with Ian Main (PI) and
Stephen Elphick, R81522, £175,812.
- 2000-2003 Deep geodynamic laboratory – Gulf of Corinth, EC Framework V, with I.G.
Main (PI) & S C Elphick (£105,318).
- 1999-2001. Self-organisation of fluid flow, chemical reactivity and rock strength in
porous reservoir rocks”, NERC ROPA, £113,212, with Ian Main (PI) and
- 1998-2000. Stress and diagenesis as fault sealing mechanisms (Stadia), Mobil US,
Statoil, Shell, BP Amoco, Lasmo and JNOC, PI and co-ordinator, with Ian Main, Stephen Elphick and Brian Smart
(Heriot-Watt University), £308,000.
- 1998-2001. A quantitative determination of metal-bacterial interactions for modelling
metal transport in soils and sediments. £20,668. NERC New Investigators
(sore PI) Grant # GR8/3676.
- 1998-2000. Stress-sensitive relative permeabilities” EPSRC Link Scheme in Oil &
Gas extraction, with Ian Main, Stephen Elphick and Brian Smart (Heriot-Watt
- 1998-1999. Determination of flow and contaminant transport properties for the
Granton Development site. £6,112, Edinburgh City Council, Lead by Dr. Rebecca
- 1997-2000. Scale dependence of groundwater flow and contaminant transport in
fractured rock, EC Framework IV, (£139,734 to UoE).
- 1997-2000. Contaminated Land Research and Remediation Centre, £500,000,
SHEFC Research Development Grant, This SHEFC application was
lead by Colin Pritchard in Chemical Engineering.
- 1997-2000. Organic and inorganic interactions at the Benthic Boundary Layer,
£87,220 NERC, with Gregory Cowie (PI).
- 1997-1999. Fluid-rock evolution during diagenesis (FRED). Mobil US, with Stephen
Elphick & Ian Main, £128,000. Transition from PDRA to Lecturer.