Dr Esther Karunakaran

Dr Esther Karunakaran

Bioengineering Year 1-2 Tutor


I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology with distinction from Bharathiyar University in India and then went on to get an MSc in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester. I moved to the University of Sheffield and obtained a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering for investigating the influence of autoinducer-2 based quorum sensing on biofilm formation in Bacillus cereus.

I continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering working on two consecutive projects, 1) Bio-flocculation in cyanobacteria and the impact of sodium chloride stress, 2) Engineering biofilms to enhance the hydraulic flow characteristics in pipes.

In May 2017, I took up the position of Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. My research interests revolve around the investigation and application of biofilms in bio-processing.

I am the co-director of the Innovate UK funded research facility, SCARAB: Sheffield Collaboratorium for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms. More information about SCARAB.


  • Biofilms  
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Wastewater microbiology
  • Synthetic biology in cyanobacteria


Journal articles