Dr Nick Coleman
Lecturer in Microbiology
G08 - Biochemistry Building
Research is in the areas of environmental microbiology and biotechnology, with a particular focus on molecular genetic analysis of bacteria capable of degrading pollutants. Applications of this work include the bioremediation of contaminated sites and the development of bacterial biocatalysts for other purposes (eg. pharmaceutical synthesis). Microorganisms able to biodegrade toxic pollutants are intrinsically interesting due to what they can teach us about evolution – especially the ways in which Nature adapts to meet chemical challenges. This work increasingly involves analysis of mobile genetic elements (MGEs, eg. plasmids), which are key players in bacterial adaptation to both industrial pollutants and antibiotics. A better understanding of MGEs would allow us to better predict and manage bacterial evolution, whether this is controlling the spread of antibiotic resistance, understanding the fate of recombinant DNA in the environment, or harnessing the power of MGEs for biotechnology. Other areas of interest include metagenomics, microbial ecology and diversity, and agricultural microbiology.
Lecturer in MICR2, MICR3, PHAR2, BMED2 courses. Course coordinator of MICR3X42 (Molecular Microbiology Research Skills).
Current national competitive grants*
Determinants of substrate preferences and environmental applications of the copper membrane monooxygenases
Holmes A, Coleman N, Bodrossy L, Abell G
ARC Discovery Projects ($315,000 over 3 years)
* Grants administered through the University of Sydney