Key Research Interests and Expertise

Bacterial respiratory metabolism is highly adaptable and responsive to a changing environment. This versatility relies on the ability of the cell to employ a multitude of metalloproteins to harness energy from a variety of metabolic pathways. The global biogeochemical nitrogen cycle is essential to life and many processes are carried out by microbes, either to produce energy, or to capture bioavailable nitrogen for growth. My research group is part of the Molecular Microbiology theme and mainly focuses on investigating the role of proteins associated with the perception, trafficking, and transformation of nitrate, and nitrite, in denitrifying organisms.

We employ an interdisciplinary outlook and combine classical molecular genetics with biochemical and biophysical methods to study novel molecular enzymology and microbial physiology that underpin the nitrogen and iron cycles. As part of the Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry (CMSB), we also use a range of techniques such as Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and Protein Film Electrochemistry (PFE) to elucidate the redox properties and catalytic mechanism of metal-containing redox enzymes.

Recently, with Professor David Richardson and Dr Gary Rowley, we have extended our research interests to the study of, and development of mitigation strategies for, nitrous oxide production by nitrate-utilising microbes as part of the Nitrous Oxide Research Alliance (NORA). In addition, we have developed a strong international network of collaborators to study the regulation and biochemistry of nitrate-utilisation in diverse denitrifying bacteria and archaea.

Nitrous Oxide Research Alliance


PhD, Postdoctoral & Fellowship Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

I am more than happy to explore funding opportunities, project ideas and mentor researchers wishing to visit our laboratory to undertake postdoctoral work or perform collaborative research. Possible funding routes include EU Marie Curie or Royal Society fellowships.

Also, I would be happy to develop RCUK grant applications in partnership with early career researchers who demonstrate exceptional promise and motivation, and have a keen interest in bacterial metabolism or metalloprotein biology.


Research Funding

BBSRC - Epigenetic control of nitrous oxide emission by denitrifying bacteria (BB/S008942/1)

PI: Andrew J Gates, Co-I: Zoë A E Waller, David J Richardson

01/10/2019 – 30/09/2022


The Biochemical Society (Summer Vacation Studentship) - Making ends meet: novel forms of bacterial DNA ligases from Paracoccus denitrificans

PI: Richard P Bowater. CoI: Andrew J Gates

03/07/2017 – 28/08/2017


European Union (Horizon 2020) - Bridging Structural Biology with Biological Synthesis and Self Assembly to Reveal Key Processes in Living Systems

PI: Richard P Bowater. CoI: Julea N Butt, Thomas A Clarke, Andrew J Gates, Christopher J Hamilton, Matthew I Hutchings, Nicholas E Le Brun, Gary Rowley, Mark Searcey, Zoë A E Waller

01/01/2016 - 31/12/2018


Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (Spanish Ministry) - Strategies for mitigating emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from agricultural crops (AGL2013-45087-R)

PI: María J Delgado. CoI: Lars R Bakken, Emilio Bueno Romero, Elizabeth Baggs, Andrew J Gates, Germán Tortosa Muñoz, David J Richardson

30/09/2014 – 29/09/2018


Royal Society - Investigating the role of cations in altering DNA conformation and gene expression in bacteria (RG140746)

PI: Andrew J Gates. CoI: Zoë A E Waller

16/03/2015 – 15/03/2016


Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad (Spanish Ministry) - Haloarchaeal contribution to climate change: Innovative applications to waste water treatment and uses of biomass produced (CTM2013-43147-R)

PI: Rosa M Martinez-Espinosa. CoI: Lars R Bakken, Andrew J Gates, Julia M Esclapez-Espliego, David J Richardson, Vanesa B Saiz, Jörg Simon

30/09/2014 – 29/09/2018


John and Pamela Salter Charitable Trust - Investigating control of bacterial nitrate and nitrous oxide metabolism by DNA secondary structures

PI: Andrew J Gates. CoI: Zoë A E Waller

01/10/2014 – 30/09/2015


BBSRC (New Investigator) - Investigating widespread regulation of nitrogen assimilation at the level of RNA in bacteria (BB/M00256X/1)

PI: Andrew J Gates

01/09/2014 - 31/08/2017


Royal Society (International Exchanges Scheme) - A new integrated system for nitrate assimilation and nitric oxide detoxification (IE140222)

01/09/2014 - 31/08/2017

PI: Andrew J Gates. CoI: María J Delgado


BBSRC - The molecular interface of microbe-mineral electron transfer (BB/L023733/1)

PI: David J Richardson. CoI: Julea N Butt, Thomas A Clarke, Marcus J Edwards, Andrew J Gates

30/09/2014 - 29/09/2017


BBSRC - The regulation of bacterial nitrous oxide reduction (BB/L022796/1)

PI: Gary Rowley. CoI: Andrew J Gates, Nicolas E Le Brun, David J Richardson, Matthew J Sullivan

20/08/2014 - 19/08/2017


BBSRC (Follow-on Fund Pathfinder Scheme) – Proposal Ref. BB/FOF/PF/22/13

PI: David J Richardson. CoI: Andrew J Gates

01/11/2013 - 30/04/2014


The Big C Appeal - Student Bursary (SB13-04)

PI: Zoë A E Waller. CoI: Richard P Bowater, Andrew J Gates

29/07/2013 – 20/09/2013


European Union (Marie Curie ITN, Framework 7) - The Nitrous Oxide Research Alliance Training Network (316472, FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN)

PI: Åsa H Frostegård. CoI: Andrew J Gates, David J Richardson, Gary Rowley (and other EU partners)

01/01/2013 – 31/12/2016

£1,959,457 (Institutional award £237,647)

UEA Proof of Concept Innovation Fund - Proposal Ref. i295

PI: Andrew J Gates

19/07/2012 – 31/12/2013


Research Group Membership

Group Members:

  • Dr Maria Torres (BBSRC-funded Postdoctoral Research Associate)
  • Mr Carlos Gamez (BBSRC-funded Research Technician)
  • Ms Hannah Wright (BBSRC-DTP CASE PhD Student)
  • Mr Alexander Jarvis (UEA-funded PhD Student)
  • Ms Marta González (UEA-funded PhD Student)
  • Ms Ana Salas (Spanish Ministry-funded PhD Student; co-PI Dr Maria Delgado, CSIC Granada, Spain)
  • Dr Juan Cabrera (Alfonso Martín Escudero Foundation-funded Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Ms Alisa Veller (Undergraduate Research Student, 2019/20)
  • Mr Jordan Swann (Undergraduate Research Student, 2019/20)

Extended Group Members:

  • Ms Andrea Jininez (Spanish Ministry-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Socorro Mesa Banqueri, CSIC Granada, Spain)
  • Mr Sergio Parejo Treviño (Spanish Ministry-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Socorro Mesa Banqueri, CSIC Granada, Spain)
  • Mr Fred Spackman (UEA-funded MSc Student; PI Dr David Lea-Smith, UEA BIO)
  • Mr Zengyi Li (SUSTEC/UEA PhD Student; PI Dr Tom Clarke, UEA, BIO)

Former Group Members:

  • Ms Amy Lau (Undergraduate Research Student, 2019)
  • Mr Jack Barham (Undergraduate Research Student, 2019)
  • Dr Mahmoud Abdelhamid (Eastern Arc Consortium-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Zoë Waller, UEA PHA)
  • Mr Jamie Cheal (Undergraduate Research Student, 2018)
  • Mr Angus Mewton (Undergraduate Research Student, 2018)
  • Ms Jenna Chapman (Undergraduate Research Student, 2018)
  • Dr Sophie Bennett (BBSRC-funded PhD Student; PI Prof Nick LeBrun, UEA CHE)
  • Dr Amy Easey (BBSRC-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Richard Bowater, UEA BIO)
  • Dr Manuel Soriano-Laguna (EU Horizon 2020-funded Early Career Researcher & PhD Student)
  • Dr Marcus Edwards (BBSRC-funded PDRA; PI Prof David Richardson UEA VCO)
  • Dr Nanakow Baiden (BBSRC-funded PDRA)
  • Dr Hannah Gaimster (BBSRC-funded PDRA; PI Dr Gary Rowley UEA BIO)
  • Dr Isabel Johnston (UEA-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Gary Rowley, UEA BIO)
  • Ms Annabelle Schofield (Biochemical Society Summer Research Student)
  • Mr Alexander Goodchild (BBSRC-funded PhD Student; PI Dr Gary Rowley UEA BIO)
  • Ms Lindsey Wiggins (Undergraduate Research Student, 2017)
  • Mr Oliver Hayward (BBSRC-funded Research Technician, 2014-2017)
  • Dr Benjamin Pinchbeck (UEA-funded PhD Student, 2012-2016)
  • Dr Shun Tse (PhD Student, 2011-2015; PI Dr Nick Watmough, UEA BIO)
  • Dr Anthony Blake (Industry-funded PDRA, 2013)
  • Ms Fatuma Abdi (Undergraduate Research Student, 2016)
  • Mr Nathan Voller (Undergraduate Research Student, 2016)
  • Ms Emma Nicholls (EU-funded Summer Student, 2014 & 2016)
  • Ms Alice Gregorie (EU-funded Summer Student, 2014 & 2016)
  • Ms Surina Fordington (EU-funded Summer Student, 2014)
  • Mr Alexander Sheeka (Undergraduate Research Student, 2014)
  • Mr Joseph Seager (Undergraduate Research Student, 2013)
  • Ms Jasmine Stigloe (Undergraduate Research Student, 2013)
  • Ms Lidya Ashmore (Undergraduate Research Student, 2012)

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