ELSA is built on the unique and world-class concentration of Earth and Life Scientists on the Norwich Research Park (NRP) which includes the University of East Anglia (UEA), John Innes Centre (JIC), The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL), The Earlham Institute (EI) and the Quadram Institute (QI). Together, they have internationally renowned expertise in:

  • Genetics and molecular biology of plants, animals and microbes
  • Biogeochemical cyles
  • Marine and atmospheric sciences
  • Population dynamics
  • Genomics and evolutionary genetics
  • Ecosystem services
  • Computer modelling

The aim of ELSA is to integrate and enhance internationally-excellent research in the Earth and Life Sciences across the NRP and to provide opportunities for researchers to exchange knowledge and develop new ideas for integrative, multidisciplinary research through scientific meetings, workshops, pump-priming projects and cross-NRP studentships. We also seek to attract world class researchers and fellows to the NRP, engage with funding agencies and stakeholders in promoting science and identify new funding opportunities to ensure development and sustainability of multidisciplinary research across the NRP. ELSA is seeking to attract the next generation of scientists to contribute to our world-class research, and we are supporting early-career researchers in their applications for independent Research Fellowships (e.g. BBSRC, NERC, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, ERC, Leverhulme Trust). If you are considering applying for a Fellowship in one of the ELSA themes then please contact us: j.c.murrell@uea.ac.uk or c.van-oosterhout@uea.ac.uk

The research agenda of the Alliance is focussed around three themes:


Examples of Current/Recent ELSA Projects

Colin Murrell’s Projects:

Functional metagenomics of marine methylotrophs. (Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation)

Bacterial isoprene metabolism (Genencor/DuPont, USA)

Cycling of organic sulfur compounds in the marine and terrestrial environment (Jonathan Todd, BIO-UEA)

Harmful algal blooms on the Norfolk Broads (Rob Field, JIC)

The role of facultative methanotrophs in the cycling of natural gas (The Leverhulme Trust)

Bacterial isoprene metabolism: a missing link in a key global biogeochemical cycle. (ERC Advanced Grant)

Mucin-derived sialic acid metabolism in gut bacteria (Natalie Juge, Quadrum Institute).

Ecophysiology of ammonia oxidising archaea (Laura Lehtovitra-Morley, UEA)

Streptomyces bacteria: antibiotic production in the wheat endosphere (Matt Hutchings, Barrie Wilkinson, Anne Osbourn, JIC)

Grow Colombia Project (Jose De-Vega and Federica De Palma, Earlham Institute)

Cock van Oosterhout’s Projects:

Next generation genomics for the conservation of three iconic bird species of Mauritius (Vincent Florens (University of Mauritius) in collaboration with Hernan Morales (University of Copenhagen), Jim Groombridge (University of Kent), Matt Clark and Ken Norris (NHM London), Simon Tollington (Chester Zoo), Harriet Whiteford (Jersey Zoo), Vikash Tatayah (MWF), Diana Bell (UEA), Carl Jones (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust)).

Evolutionary genomics of cryptosporidium (Simone Caccio (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome), Aaron Jex (University of Melbourne), Swapnil Tichkule (Walter & Eliza Hall Institute), Giulia Corsi (University of Copenhagen)).

Evolutionary genomics of diatoms (Thomas Mock (UEA), Kat Hodgkinson (UEA), Amanda Hopes (UEA), Krisztina Sarkozi (UEA), Tom Birley (UEA).

Evolutionary genetics, immunogenetics and genomics of guppies and their parasites (Jackie Lighten (University of Exeter), Joanne Cable (Cardiff University), Ryan Mohammed (Cardiff University / University of the West Indies), Taoyang Wu (UEA)).

DNA methylation and the evolution of pesticide-resistance genes in aphids (Saskia Hogenhout (JIC), David Swarbreck (EI), and in collaboration with Tom Mathers (EI)).

NLR diversity in Oryza sativa (Jonathan Jones (TSL), Sebastian Fairhead (TSL), Thomas Kroj (INRAE, Paris), Pierre Gladieux (INRAE, Montpellier).

Conservation genomics (IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group and others).

Functional analysis of the S locus supergene cluster in Primula (Phil Gilmartin (University of Hull), Jinhong Li (Earlham Institute), Jonathan Cocker (University of Leeds)