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Personal profile

Research interests

Macroalgae/seaweeds: I am interested in all aspects of macroalgae utilisation, from cultivation through to product with previous work including examination of drying, pressing and/or milling; water and chemical extractions; enzymic hydrolysis and/or fermentations; and thermal treatments to chars and composts. Access to the BEACON pilot-scale facility has enabled me to project manage a 1,000kg seaweed processing contract research project between summer 2020 – Feb 2021.

Long-term projects involved with:

BEACON. The BEACON Biorefining Centre of Excellence ( focuses on company assistance and collaboration to improve the economics and skills within Wales. Within BEACON I have identified, arranged contracts with and completed 15 research and development collaborations with 9 different companies since 2017. I have another 2 collaborations with companies currently underway (both new companies). Collaboration work has included trialling novel processing (e.g. pressing), drying (e.g. belt drying) or filtering (e.g. cross-flow filtration) to generate new products or improve processes for the companies; other projects included conducting pot trials growing seedlings with company-supplied extracts or composts to assess their potential as plant fertilisers or composts.

Oats. Within the core strategic programme (CSP), ( I am involved in the characterisation and quality analysis of β-glucan content within oat varieties.

Projects/Funding starting in 2021:

  • Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Fellowship on simultaneous saccharification and fermentation for valorising Ulva spp. from macroalgal blooms
  • FoodBioSystems DTP studentship: Producing an antiviral, antimicrobial, biodegradable plastic from seaweed. Collaboration with Cranfield University and Samworth Brothers
  • FoodBioSystems DTP studentship: Investigating the effect of a seaweed-derived common food ingredient (carrageenan) on the human gut microbiome. Led by University of Reading with Cargill.
  • University funded research (URF) determining the composition of two key commercial red seaweeds (Kappaphycus alvarezii and Eucheuma denticulatum) through their growth cycle. Collaboration with Marine Algae Products, a company in the Philippines
  • University funded research (CIDRA) determining the composition of mature and juvenile brown sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima). Collaboration with Car y Mor, a Welsh seaweed cultivation company
  • Joy Welch Educational Memorial Trust funding to steam explode green seaweed (Ulva spp.) to determine this technique as a route for releasing valuable sugars.

Starting in 2020:

  • Contract research for processing 1 tonne brown kelp (Saccharina latissima and Laminaria digitata) to multiple product outputs.
  • Fishmongers’ Company MSc sponsorship award to trial green seaweed-derived char (Ulva spp.) as a soil amendment
  • Business Innovation Voucher from BBNet NIBB, BBSRC with contract research-paid extension to explore hydrolysis and fermentation of innovatively-processed municipal solid waste.  


Dr Jessica Adams is a Senior Research Scientist in Bioconversion and Biorefining, with a specialist interest in macroalgae (seaweeds), oats and aquatic plants.  Her research interests are: carbohydrate and higher value compound extractions and quantifications, novel enzyme discovery and larger (pilot) scale processing. She has a number of highly cited papers in this area (h-index=11) and has been PI or Co-I on grants worth +£3.1M including those from BBSRC, EPSRC, Welsh Government and Innovate UK. She has a number of highly cited peer-reviewed papers on macroalgae research and currently has a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, 4x PhD and 2x MSc students working within this area. She sits on boards for Algae-UK (BBSRC), Seafood Innovation Fund (Defra) and AberInnovation enterprise campus; and is a Non-executive Director of the company GreenSeas Resources

Additional information

PhD studentships:

  • 2018-2021: Biorefining problem macroalgae to produce selected high value products. KESS2 studentship in conjunction with GreenSeas Resources 
  • 2018-2021: How does harvesting of problem macroalgae within Milford Haven affect the ecology of receiving habitats? KESS2 studentship in conjunction with GreenSeas Resources
  • 2021-2024: Producing an antiviral, antimicrobial, biodegradable plastic from seaweed. FoodBioSystems DTP studentship in collaboration with Cranfield University and Samworth Brothers
  • 2021-2024: Investigating the effect of a seaweed-derived common food ingredient (carrageenan) on the human gut microbiome. FoodBioSystems DTP studentship led by University of Reading in collaboration with Cargill.


I am the module coordinator for module Bioconversion and Biorefining BRM3720

I lecture on a range of modules (Aquatic Botany BR25820; Crop and Grassland Production Science BR32020, Current Topics in Biotechnology BRM0720; Bioconversion and Biorefining BRM3720).

I am a tutor to first years, through the semester 1 module Study and Communication skills (BR12410) and semester 2 modules Molecular Laboratory Skills (BR12210) or Wildlife Forensics (BR15720). Tutoring then continues throughout second year and for third year and Masters project students.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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