Jim Hunter, Laboratory Technician
Jim Hunter
Laboratory Technician
Left Mock Lab: 2008
Last Updated: 2012
E-Mail: J.Hunter@uea.ac.uk


I have been at the University of East Anglia (UEA) on and off since 1998 originally studying for a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. Immediately afterwards I undertook a taught Master's program in Bioinformatics, staying at the same university.
After a short period in the real world, I returned to the School of Biological Sciences. I completed a three year Molecular Microbiological Research Technician post with Dr Gabriella Kelemen, studying the model organism Streptomyces coelicolor . After my time in BIO I changed departments and joined the School of Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy as an Instrument Technician working under the Workshop Supervisor, Chief Technician, Tim Lane. Here I was responsible for repairing and maintaining various pieces of equipment used within the school. Concurrently I designed and programmed a website for the Workshop on the ASP.NET platform using Visual Basic. The site takes online submissions for new jobs (within the School) and organises them for the Workshop Technicians.
I then worked with Thomas Mock as a Laboratory Technician. In this post I helped to setup the Life Sciences Laboratory in the School of Environmental Sciences. I also contributed various technical skills as required in and out of the laboratory; including writing this website.
Following my post with Thomas, I have held several temporary contracts at the University. I returned to The School of Chemistry (formally Chemical Sciences and Pharmacy); again as an Instrument Technician. Later, I gained additional skills and knowledge working for the Director of Safety Services, Paul Donson. This role was the Safety Technician, who is responsible for Radiation safety duties; including the maintenance of statutory records, testing radiation and contamination monitors, undertaking monitoring surveys and management of radioactive wastes.
Currently I am back in Environmental Sciences. This time working for the Laboratory Manager - Liz Rix, as an Analytical Technician. I am now learning the skills to analyse environmental samples on a variety of instruments, including but not limited to: a nutrient analyser (a.k.a. segmented / continous flow analyser), total carbon and nitrogen analyser, gas chromatograph, UV/Vis spectrophotometer and various manual techniques such as total and total dissolved phosphate analysis.

  1. Dalton K.A., Thibessard A., Hunter J.I.B., Kelemen G.H. (2007). A novel compartment, the 'subapical stem' of the aerial hyphae, is the location of a sigN-dependent, developmentally distinct transcription in Streptomyces coelicolor. Mol. Micro. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05684.x)

Martin Jahn, Graduate Student Intern
Martin Jahn
Graduate Student Intern
From: September 2013
To: December 2013
Last Updated: 2014


Martin obtained his bachelor degree in Biological Sciences (majors: Microbiology, Ecology) at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany. In the context of my bachelor thesis I performed an immunological analysis of guttation fluid of Bacillus thuringiensis maize for the presence of Cry1Ab protein (Group of Prof. Steffan-Dewenter). During my masters I was involved in a NGS database project focusing on the transcriptional gene expression of the marine sponge associated candidate phylum Poribacteria (Group of Prof Hentschel Humeida). During my internship between September and December 2013 at the University of East Anglia (UEA) I worked with phytoplankton samples originating from a cruise to the Arctic Ocean. My aim was to isolate and identify different species out of these samples using methods for isolation like Single-Cell Isolation by Micropipette, Single Cell Sorting and Plating and methods for identification like 18srRNA sequencing, light microscopy and flow cytometry.

Currently Martin is at the University of Wurzburg, Germany; where he is writing his Masters theses.

Research Interests

Bioinformatics; Microbial Ecology; Plant-Microbe Interactions


Lian Ma, Visiting Professor
Lian Ma
Visiting Professor
From: April 2012
To: October 2012
Last Updated: 2012


Lian worked on establishing a protocol for chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) in the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and other diatoms.

Professor Lian Ma, College of Life Science, Yangtze University, 88 Jingmi Road, Jingzhou, Hubei, P. R. China.


Piotrek Bentkowski, PhD Student
Piotrek Bentkowski
PhD Student
Left Mock Lab: 2012
Last Updated: 2012

Before coming to UEA I studied and later worked as a research assistant in the Faculty of Biology at the University of Warsaw, Poland; where I looked at how the environment influences the behaviour and life history of fresh water zooplankton via, physiological pathways, using Daphnia as a model organism. During my undergraduate studies I became interested in hardcore theoretical ecology and later simultaneously studied biology and Computational Methods of Physics in the Faculty of Physics, UW, Polnad.
As a Ph.D. student in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia; I looked into how to build simple and fast, yet representative models of the genetic evolution of the prokaryotes. Previously I was focused on the problem of genome streamlining.
I used to be a member of The Earth System Modelling Group led by Professor Tim Lenton; and work with Professor Thomas Mock.

Currently I work at the University of Warsaw, Poland.

More on Piotr Bentkowski.

Research Interests

Theoretical fundamentals of evolution; impact of the biosphere on earth systems; linking theoretical and experimental ecology; pray-predator interactions; mathematical models as way to discover the world.

  1. Bentkowski P., Markowska M., Pijanowska J. (2010). Role of melatonin in the control of depth distribution of Daphnia magna. Hydrobiologia (DOI: 10.1007/s10750-010-0134-x)
  2. Markowska M., Bentkowski P, Kloc–Stepkowska M., Pijanowska J. (2009). Presence of melatonin in Daphnia magna. Journal of Pineal Research (DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-079X.2008.00642.x)
  3. Bentkowski P., Markowska M. (2008). Evolution of Melatonin Functions among Invertebrates. (in Polish with English summary) Kosmos 56: 276–277.

Rachel Hipkin, PhD Student
Rachel Hipkin
PhD Student
Left Mock Lab: 2012
Last Updated: 2012

I became interested in the application of genomics to investigate the marine environment during my undergraduate degree in Marine Biology with Oceanography at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), University of Southampton. I went on to continue with my studies at the NOC carrying out a Masters of Research studying the functional role of Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase in the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. Once completed I worked as a technician within the Plant Membrane Transporters lab of Lorraine Williams, University of Southampton supporting molecular work involved in the EU funded PHIME (Public health impact of long-term, low-level mixed element exposure in susceptible population strata) project. Using cloning methods I worked analysing the role of heavy metal transporters of Barley.
I am previously investigated the role of an unknown DNA binding protein in T. pseudonana potentially involved in growth. I utilised overexpression mutants of T. Pseudonana and analysed whole genome expression to identify gene networks associated to this unknown protein.

I am currently working at Qiagen, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex, UK.

Research Interests

Biogeochemical cycling in the ocean; Algal genomics and proteomics; Gene networks; Developing molecular tools with diatoms


Chloe Turner, Undergraduate Student
Chloe Turner
Undergraduate Student
Left Mock Lab: 2012
Last Updated: 2012
Primary Supervisor: Professor Thomas Mock


I am an undergraduate student at the University of East Anglia studying Environmental Sciences and am currently doing my dissertation under the supervision of Professor Thomas Mock. For this, I am looking at cadmium toxicity on different strains of the diatom Phaeodactylum Tricornutum. I am enjoying getting to know more about the species, as well as working and observing the research in the laboratory and learning more about such an important group like diatoms in general.


Clara Martinez Perez, Erasmus Student
Clara Martinez Perez
Erasmus Student
Left Mock Lab: 2011
Last Updated: 2011


I am an Erasmus student from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM), Spain, studying my final year of Undergraduate in Biology at UEA. My experience in a summer program at the Microbial Ecology laboratory at the Centre of Advanced studies in Blanes (CEAB, CSIC), Spain, where I worked in microbial biodiversity in alpine lakes, encouraged me to do my final year project in marine microbiology. My project is a side project to Jan Strauss PhD thesis, in which I am studying the distribution of the bacteria-like rodopsin gene found in Fragilariopsis cylindrus in marine eukaryotic phytoplankton.

Currently Clara is at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany; where she is writing her Masters theses.