Richard Smith


PhD student in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology


Tel: +44 (0)114-222-2763

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




My research aim is to improve the productivity and sustainability of microalgal biofuel production through the use of waste organic carbon sources. 

My research is primarily focused on impact of different trophic conditions (particularly mixotrophy) on the metabolism of a locally isolated strain of Micractinium and the model species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with the aim of increasing lipid productivity and lowering aeration costs. 

I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2011 with a degree in Environmental Science (MEnvSci). In my masters year project I undertook fieldwork in the Arctic, investigating the microbiology and biogeochemistry of cryoconite (a biologically active glacial debris) and its wider impacts on glacial dynamics.

Having studied the unsustainability of many human practises, I was keen to learn and contribute towards low carbon energy technologies. After completing my undergraduate studies I joined the University of Sheffield’s E-futures DTC, part of a national network of Energy Centres aimed at developing a new generation of sustainable energy researchers. In 2012 I continued my interest in microbiology and joined Dr Jim Gilmour’s algal research group in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.


Dr Jim Gilmour

Professor Steve Wilkinson