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Kevin Purves

PhD Student

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Kevin is a PhD researcher, funded and supported by the EnvEast DTP based at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Kevin gained a 1st class marine science degree whilst studying at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). During his honours year, he explored novel secondary metabolites produced by similar bacterial species isolated from Antarctica and the UK sediment, and carrying out comparative metabolomics to assess the influence of isolation location on secondary metabolite production. Whilst studying, he gained an interest in marine-derived viruses from his first year, which continued to increase year by year. Upon graduating, he decided to pursue this interest by applying for a PhD project with a major focus on the subject and which would involve bringing together different techniques to answer key questions.

The focus of Kevin’s research is on the further definition of methanol cycling within marine waters, by investigating the microbial aspects of this topic, with a particular focus on the viral-host interactions of methanol-degrading methylotrophic bacteria. These bacteria oxidise methanol to formaldehyde, which is the intermediate step required for assimilative (growth) and dissimilative (energy) metabolism. The expertise and guidance on this front is provided by Professor Colin Murrell (UEA) and Dr Joanna Dixon (PML). Further to this guidance, supervision regarding viral aspects of the project is provided by Professor Willie Wilson (SAHFOS), Drs Susan Kimmance (PML) and Ben Temperton (University of Exeter). This project will cast light on previous observations, and attempt to further expand on the global methanol budget.