Dr Jim Gilmour


Senior Lecturer in Microbiology

Email: d.j.gilmour@sheffield.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)114-222 4412

Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology,
University of Sheffield,
Firth Court, Western Bank,
Sheffield S10 2TN,
United Kingdom

Links: University Profile



I have collaborations with colleagues in the Engineering Faculty, in particular with Prof Will Zimmerman on using microbubbles to grow microalgae more efficiently [8]. Two further review papers have been produced [9,10] and we have received funding from the Technology Strategy Board (£150k) and the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (£33k). Very recently, funding has been awarded by DECC to Carbon Sequestration Ltd as part of CCS Innovation programme and my laboratory will receive £35k of this award. The microalgal research group in my lab consists of nine PhD students (seven of whom are jointly supervised with colleagues in Engineering). Chris Jenkins has just joined the group on a six-month research technician post funded by the DECC project.

My initial training at PhD and postdoctoral level was in algal physiology and biochemistry using the extremophilic microalga Dunaliella to examine the effect of salt stress on photosynthesis [1,2]. On obtaining my lectureship at Sheffield, I continued to work with microalgae [3,4], but gradually I moved more into the field of bacterial growth in extreme environments [5]. During the 1990s, I was Deputy Head of Department and Director of Undergraduate Studies, but I always maintained a research laboratory with at least one PhD student [6]. In 2000, I moved back into research and retrained in molecular biology techniques [7] and since 2005, I have supervised 8 PhD students studying microbial biodiversity in extreme environments. I have recently started to adapt the molecular biodiversity techniques used for bacteria (16S rDNA sequencing, specialised gel electrophoresis methods) for use with microalgae. My expertise in molecular biology techniques coupled with my long term experience of growing microalgae are the basis of my current research into biodiesel production by microalgae.



Main supervisor

Adan Al-Mousawi
Adel Almutairi
Jasem Almohsen
Krys Bangert (second supervisor Steve Wilkinson)
Emily Hounslow (second supervisor Phil Wright)
Richard Smith (second supervisor Steve Wilkinson)


Second supervisor

Gloria Padmaperuma (main super
Mohd Farizal (main supervisor Will Zimmerman)
Yuzhen Shi (main supervisor Will Zimmerman)
Philippa Uttley (main supervisor Steve Wilkinson)
Kezhen Yang (main supervisor Will Zimmerman)



1. Gilmour, D.J., Hipkins, M.F., Webber, A.N, Baker, N.R. and Boney, A.D. (1985) The effect of ionic stress on photosynthesis in Dunaliella tertiolecta: Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics and spectral characteristics. Planta 163, 250-256.

2. Gilmour, D.J., Kaaden, R. and Gimmler, H. (1985) Vanadate inhibition of ATPases of Dunaliella parva in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Plant Physiology 118, 111-126.

3. Blackwell, J.R. and Gilmour, D.J. (1991) Physiological response of the unicellular green alga Chlorococcum submarinum to rapid changes in salinity. Archives of Microbiology 157, 86-91.

4. Rees, D., Lee, C.B., Gilmour, D.J. and Horton, P. (1992) Mechanisms for controlling balance between light input and utilisation in the salt tolerant alga Dunaliella C9AA. Photosynthesis Research 32, 181-192.

5. Cummings, S.P. and Gilmour, D.J. (1995) The effect of NaCl on the growth of a Halomonas species: accumulation and utilisation of compatible solutes. Microbiology 141, 1413-1418.

6. Giordano, M., Norici, A. and Gilmour, D.J. (2003) Influence of the nitrogen source and metabolites on the Vmax of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase from the unicellular green alga Dunaliella parva CCAP19/9 (Volvocales, Chlorophyceae). Phycologia 42, 133-137.

7. Hunt, L., Otterhag, L., Lee, J.C., Lasheen, T., Hunt, J., Seki, M., Shinozaki, K., Sommrin, M., Gilmour, D.J., Pical, C. and Gray, J.E. (2003) Gene-specific expression and calcium activation of Arabidopsis thaliana phospholipase C isoforms. New Phytologist 162, 643-654.

8. Zimmerman, W.B., Zandi, M., Bandulasena, H.C.H., Tesar, V., Gilmour, D.J. and Ying, K. (2011) Design of an airlift loop bioreactor and pilot scales studies with fluidic oscillator induced microbubbles for growth of a microalga Dunaliella salina. Applied Energy 88, 3357-3369.

9. Gilmour, D.J., Ying, K., Bangert, K., Zandi, M., Wilkinson, S.J. and Zimmerman, W.B. (2012) Applications of the airlift loop effect in the cultivation of microalgae. Current Topics in Biotechnology in press.

10. Gilmour, D.J. and Zimmerman, W.B. (2012) Can algal biofuels play a major role in meeting future energy needs? Biofuels 3, 511-513