Dr David Green

        Dr David Green in front of a display of cultured algae

Molecular Microbiologist

I am a marine microbiologist with a core focus on the algal-bacterial interactions, and development of new marine bacterial polysaccharides.

My research uses traditional microbiological and molecular techniques to address fundamental ecological questions through to biotechnological exploitation.

Contact details:

Research interests

I have 25+ years of microbiological research that has led to publications spanning public health microbiology, protein structure and function, environmental microbiology, biogeochemistry and phycology. My research philosophy has been to address fundamental questions with an awareness of how this knowledge can be used biotechnologically. 

My core research is focused in two areas. First, the investigation of algal-bacterial interactions, with a move to investigate the integral role the algal microbiome (bacterial community associated with microalgae) has as part of the algal holobiont. Second, is bioprospecting for novel bacterial polysaccharides that can be exploited industrially.

Additional research is: exploring the mesopelagic microbial community along the Extended Ellett Line; undertaking phylogenomic analysis of a novel marine acidobacterium; and isolation of novel polysaccharide degrading enzymes.


Current research projects

Identifying novel enzymes for the modification of an industrially produced polysaccharide. Funded by IBCarb Network (BBSRC NIBB). 2017-18

The Algal Microbiome: Friends and Foes (ALFF). Funded by EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action: Innovative Training Networks (ITN). 2014-19


Past highlight projects

From sea-bed to test-bed: harvesting the potential of marine biodiversity for industrial biotechnology (SeaBioTech). Funded by EU FP7. 2012-16

Sustainable Fuels from Marine Biomass (Biomara). Funded by EU Interreg IVA; Scottish Government; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Crown Estate; Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (N Ireland); Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 2009-13

Sequencing the Sea Sulphur Cycle. Funded by NERC. 2008-09

The Role of Symbiotic Bacterial Siderophores in the Development of Toxic Phytoplankton Blooms. Funded by California SeaGrant. 2006-08; 2008-10

Development of bioemulsifier production to advance commercial exploitation opportunities. Funded by NERC. 2007-08

Unravelling the ocean methane paradox. Funded by NERC. 2006-09

Characteristics of Organic Microlayer Produced Aerosols (COMPAS). Funded by NERC. 2006-08

The Role of Algal-Bacterial Interactions in Determining Dimethylsulphide Fluxes to the Atmosphere (ALBA). Funded by NERC. 2006-09

Development of an Exploitable Library of Novel Biosurfactants from Marine Bacteria (Biobac). Funded by Argyll and the Islands Enterprise / Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 2004-06


MSc Marine Science: Programme lead / supervisor marine science research thesis in 'algal biotechnology'

MSc Industrial Biotechnology (Univ Strathclyde / IBioIC): Lecturer 'Blue Biotech'

Marine Science BSc: Module leader year 3 'Marine Biotechnology'

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer year 2 'Biochemistry and Molecular Biology'

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer year 3 'Marine Pollution'

Marine Science BSc: Lecturer year 4 'Defining the marine carbon cycle'

Marine Science BSc: Supervisor year 3 'Literature review' and year 4 'Dissertation'


Current research students

Guy Trimby: Bioprospecting for novel marine polysaccharides for the life sciences. PhD UHI since 1 Oct 2017

Frederik De Boever: Marinobacter as an algal panacea. PhD UHI since 1st Sep 2015

Stuart Simms: Development of a marine bacterial polymer with geilling properties. PhD UHI since 1st Oct 2015

Kati Michalek: Performance and selection in Scottish blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) cultivated in challenging environments. PhD University of Aberdeen/UHI since 1st Oct 2014

Ruth Paterson: Understanding the distribution and seasonal dynamics of Azadinium spinosum in Scottish waters. PhD University of Aberdeen/ UHI since 1st Oct 2013

Susan Evans: Dimethylsulphoxide loss pathways in the oceans: The next big question in DMS biogeochemistry. PhD University of Aberdeen / UHI since 2013


Alumni research students

Paul Micallef: Characterisation of Pseudoalteromonas enzymes for seaweed degradation and saccharification. MSc Marine Science. University of Aberdeen / UHI 2015-16

Lisa Eckford-Soper: The competitive dynamics of toxic and non-toxic ribotypes of the harmful dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense in Scottish waters. PhD University of Aberdeen / UHI 2010--13

Debra Brennan: Can bacterial associates of oleaginous algae enhance oil production? MSc Marine Science. University of Aberdeen / UHI 2011-14 (part-time)

Virginia Echavarri-Bravo: Characterisation of the growth and effects of acidophilic bacteria on calcium carbonate and algal coccoloths. MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology. Heriot-Watt University. 2010

Carole Shellcock: Molecular aspects of algal biofuels of the 21st century. PhD University of Aberdeen/UHI. 2009-14

Peter Schiener. Ethanol production from algal biomass. PhD University of Aberdeen/UHI

Andrew Mogg: The role of associated bacteria in DMSO production by algae. PhD University of the Highlands and Islands

Peer-reviewed publications

Rock A, Novoveská L & Green D (2021) Synthetic biology is essential to unlock commercial biofuel production through hyper lipid-producing microalgae: a review, Applied Phycology, 2:1, 41-59 https://doi.org/10.1080/26388081.2021.1886872  

Michalek K, Vendrami DLJ, Bekaert M, Green DH, Last KS, Telesca L, Wilding TA, Hoffman JI (2021) Mytilus trossulus introgression and consequences for shell traits in longline cultivated mussels. Evolutionary Applications 2021;00:1-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13245

Cruz-López R, Kolesinski P, De Boever F, Green DH, Carrano MW, Carrano CJ (2021) Loss of Motility as a Non-Lethal Mechanism for Intercolony Inhibition (“Sibling Rivalry”) in Marinobacter. Microorganisms 9 (1): 103 https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010103 

Green D, Rad Menendez C, De Boever F (2020) Identifying drivers of microbial community composition associated with aquatic primary producers: metagenomic analysis of cyanobacterial cultures. Access Microbiology 2 (7A): https://doi.org/10.1099/acmi.ac2020.po0815

De Boever, Potin P, Green D (2020) RNA-seq provides molecular insights into interaction modification in simplified microbial community. Access Microbiology 2 (7A): 

Hutchison ZL, Green DH, Burrows MT, Jackson AC, Wilson B, Last KS (2020) Survival strategies and molecular responses of two marine mussels to gradual burial by sediment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 527: 151364 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2020.151364 

Bolch, CJS, Bejoy, TA, and Green, DH (2017). Associate bacterial communities modify growth dynamics of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatumFrontiers in Microbiology 8 (670). doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00670 

Serpetti N, Taylor ML, Brennan D, Green DH, Rogers AD, Paterson GLJ & Narayanaswamy BE (2017). Ecological adaptations and commensal evolution of the Polynoidae (Polychaeta) in the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge: a phylogenetic approach. Deep-Sea Research Part II 137: 273-281. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.004

Schiener P, Stanley MS, Black KD & Green DH (2016). Assessment of saccharification and fermentation of brown seaweeds to identify the seasonal effect on bioethanol production. J Appl Phycol 28: 3009-3020 doi: 10.1007/s10811-016-0800-0

Eckford-Soper LK, Bresnan E, Lacaze J-P, Green DH & Davidson K (2016). The competitive dynamics of toxic Alexandrium fundyense and non-toxic Alexandrium tamarense: The role of temperature. Harmful Algae 53: 135-144. doi: 10.1016/j.hal.2015.11.010

Emami K, Nelson A, Hack E, Zhang J, Green D, Caldwell GS & Mesbahi E (2016). MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry discriminates known species and marine environmental isolates of Pseudoalteromonas. Frontiers in Microbiology 7 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00104

Purves K, Macintyre L, Brennan D, Hreggviðsson G, Kuttner E, Ásgeirsdóttir M, Young L, Green D, Edrada-Ebel R & Duncan K (2016). Using Molecular Networking for Microbial Secondary Metabolite Bioprospecting. Metabolites 6(1): 2. doi: 10.3390/metabo6010002

Green DH, Eschavarri-Bravo V, Brennan D, Hart MC (2015). Bacterial diversity associated with the coccolithophorid algae Emiliania huxleyi and Coccolithus pelagicus f. braarudii. BioMed Research International 2015: 15 doi: 10.1155/2015/194540.

Rad-Menéndez C, Stanley M, Green DH, Cox EJ & Day JG (2015). Exploring cryptic diversity in publicly available strains of the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana (Bacillariophyceae). J Mar Biol Assoc Uk 95(6): 1081-1090. doi: 10.1017/s0025315415000120

Schiener P, Black K, Stanley M, Green DH (2015) The seasonal variation in the chemical composition of the kelp species Laminaria digitataLaminaria hyperboreaSaccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta. J Appl Phycol 27(1): 363-373. doi: 10.1007/s10811-014-0327-1

Gärdes, A, Triana, C, Amin, S, Green, D, Romano, A, Trimble, L, and Carrano, C (2013). Detection of photoactive siderophore biosynthetic genes in the marine environment. Biometals, 26(3): 507-516. doi: 10.1007/s10534-013-9635-1

Gutierrez T, Green DH, Nichols PD, Whitman WB, Semple KT & Aitken MD (2013). Polycyclovorans algicola gen. nov., sp. nov., an aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading marine bacterium found associated with laboratory cultures of marine phytoplankton. Appl Environ Microbiol 79(1): 205-214. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02833-12

Gutierrez T, Biller DV, Shimmield T & Green DH (2012) Metal binding properties of the EPS produced by Halomonas sp. TG39 and its potential in enhancing trace element bioavailability to eukaryotic phytoplankton. Biometals 25(6): 1185-1194. doi: 10.1007/s10534-012-9581-3

Gutierrez T, Green DH, Whitman WB, Nichols PD, Semple KT & Aitken MD (2012) Algiphilus aromaticivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., an aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium isolated from a culture of the marine dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum, and proposal of Algiphilaceae fam. nov. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 62(11): 2743-2749. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.033324-0

Ditchfield AK, Wilson ST, Hart MC, Purdy KJ, Green DH & Hatton AD (2012) Identification of putative methylotrophic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens within sedimenting material and copepod faecal pellets. Aquat Microb Ecol 67(2): 151-160. doi: 10.3354/ame01585

Hatton AD, Shenoy DM, Hart MC, Mogg A, Green DH (2012) Metabolism of DMSP, DMS and DMSO by the cultivable bacterial community associated with the DMSP-producing dinoflagellate Scrippsiella trochoidea. Biogeochemistry 110(1): 131-146. doi: 10.1007/s10533-012-9702-7

Amin SA, Green DH, Gärdes A, Romano A, Trimble L, Carrano CJ (2012) Siderophore-mediated iron uptake in two clades of Marinobacter spp. associated with phytoplankton: the role of light. Biometals 25 (1): 181-192. doi: 10.1007/s10534-011-9495-5

Amin SA, Green DH, Waheeb DA, Gärdes A, Carrano CJ (2012) Iron transport in the genus Marinobacter. Biometals 25 (1): 135-147. doi: 10.1007/s10534-011-9491-9

Bolch CJS, Subramanian TA, Green DH (2011) The toxic dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum (Dinophyceae) requires marine bacteria for growth. J Phycol 47(5): 1009-1022. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2011.01043.x

Green DH, Shenoy DM, Hart MC, Hatton AD (2011) Coupling of dimethylsulfide oxidation to biomass production by a marine Flavobacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol. 77 (9): 3137-3140. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02675-10

Fuentes E, Coe H, Green D, McFiggans G (2011) On the impacts of phytoplankton-derived organic matter on the properties of the primary marine aerosol – Part 2: Composition, hygroscopicity and cloud condensation activity. Atmspheric Chemistry and Physics 11 (6): 2585-2602. doi: 

Green DH, Hart MC, Blackburn SI, Bolch CJS (2010) Bacterial diversity of Gymnodinium catenatum and its relationship to dinoflagellate toxicity. Aquat Microb Ecol. 61(1): 73-87. doi:

Fuentes E, Coe H, Green D, de Leeuw G, McFiggans G (2010) On the impacts of phytoplankton-derived organic matter on the properties of the primary marine aerosol – Part 1: Source fluxes. Atmos Chem and Phys.10:9295-9317. doi:

Wex H, Fuentes E, Tsagkogeorgas G, Voigtländer J, Clauss T, Kiselev A, Green D, Coe H, McFiggans G, Stratmann F (2010) The influence of algal exudate on the hygroscopicity of sea spray particles. Adv. Meterol. Article ID 365131. doi:

Fuentes E, Coe H, Green D, de Leeuw G, McFiggans G (2010). Laboratory-generated primary marine aerosol via bubble-bursting and atomization. Atmos. Meas. Tech. 3(1): 141-162.

Amin SA, Green DH, Küpper FC, Carrano CJ (2009). Vibrioferrin, an unusual marine siderophore: Iron binding, photochemistry, and biological implications. Inorganic Chemistry, 48(23): 11451-11458. doi: 10.1021/ic9016883

Amin SA, Green DH, Hart MC, Küpper FC, Sunda WG, Carrano CJ (2009) Photolysis of iron-siderophore chelates promotes bacterial-algal mutualism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:17071-17076 (*equal contribution). doi: 10.1073/pnas.0905512106

Folmer F, Jaspars M, Salano G, Cristofanon S, Henry E, Tabudravu J, Black K, Green DH, Küpper FC, Aalbersberg W, Feussner K, Dicato M, Diederich M (2009). The inhibition of TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation by marine natural products. Biochemical Pharmacology. 78(6): 592-606

Carrano CJ, Schellenberg S, Amin SA, Green DH, Küpper FC (2009) Boron and marine life: A new look at an enigmatic bioelement. Mar. Biotech., 11(4): 431-440

Gutierrez, T, Vincent V. Leo, Graeme Walker and David H. Green (2009). Emulsifying properties of a glycoprotein extract produced by a marine Flexibacter species strain TG382. Enzyme Microb Technol., 45(1): 53-57

Gutierrez, T., G. Morris and D. H. Green (2009). Yield and physicochemical properties of EPS from Halomonas sp. strain TG39 identifies a role for protein and anionic residues (sulfate and carboxyl) in emulsification of n-hexadecane. Biotech. Bioeng. 103(1): 207-216

Gutierrez T, Shimmield T, Haidon C, Black K, Green DH (2008). Emulsifying and metal ion binding activity of a glycoprotein exopolymer produced by Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain TG12. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74(15): 4867-4876

Moore B, Obornik M, Janouskovec J, Chrudimsky T, Vancova M, Green DH, Wright SW, Davies NW, Bolch CJS, Heimann K, Slapeta, J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Logsdon JM & Carter DA. (2008). A photosynthetic alveolate closely related to apicomplexan parasites. Nature, 451(7181): 959-963

Ashton G.V., M. I. Stevens, M. C. Hart, D. H. Green, M. T. Burrows, E. J. Cook, K. J. Willis. (2008). Mitochondrial DNA reveals multiple northern hemisphere introductions of Caprella mutica. Molecular Ecology, 17(5): 1293-1303

Harris, W. R., S Amin, F C Küpper, D H Green and C J Carrano. (2007). Borate-binding to siderophores: structure and stability. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129(40): 12263-12271 

Gutiérrez, T., Mulloy, B., Bavington, C., Black, K. and Green, D. H.  (2007). Partial purification and chemical characterization of a glycoprotein (putative hydrocolloid) emulsifier produced by a marine bacterium Antarctobacter. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 76(5): 1017-1026

Gutierrez, T., Mulloy, B., Black, K., and Green, D.H. (2007). Glycoprotein emulsifiers from two marine Halomonas species: chemical and physical characterisation. J Appl Microbiol. 103(5): 1716-1727

Negri, A P, C Bolch, S Geier, D H Green, T G Park and S I Blackburn. (2007). Widespread presence of hydrophobic paralytic shellfish toxins in Gymnodinium catenatum. Harmful Algae, 6: 774–780

Amin, S., F. C. Küpper, D. H. Green, W. R. Harris and C. J. Carrano (2007). Boron binding by a siderophore isolated from marine bacteria associated with the toxic dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129(3): 478-479

Hart, M C, D H Green, E Bresnan, and C J Bolch. (2007). Large subunit ribosomal RNA gene variation and sequence heterogeneity of Dinophysis (Dinophyceae) species from Scottish coastal waters. Harmful Algae, 6(2): 271–287

Green, D H, J P Bowman, E A Smith, T Gutierrez & C J S Bolch. (2006) Marinobacter algicola sp. nov., isolated from laboratory cultures of paralytic shellfish toxin-producing dinoflagellates. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56(3): 523-527

Kaczmarska, I, J M Ehrman, S S Bates, D H Green, C Léger, and J Harris. (2005). Diversity and distribution of epibiotic bacteria on Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries in culture, and comparison with those on diatoms in native seawater. Harmful Algae, 4(4): 725-741

Fehling, J, D H Green, K Davidson, C J Bolch & S S Bates. (2004). Domoic acid production by Pseudo-nitzschia seriata (Bacillariophyceae) in Scottish waters. J. Phycol. 40(4): 622-630.

Green, D H, L E Llewellyn, A P Negri, S I Blackburn & C J S Bolch. (2004).  Phylogenetic and functional diversity of the cultivable bacterial community associated with the paralytic shellfish poisoning dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum.  FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 47(3): 345-357.

Moss, C, D H Green, B Pérez, A Velasco, R Henriquez & J D McKenzie (2003).  Intracellular bacteria associated with the ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata: phylogenetic and in situ hybridisation analysis.  Mar. Biol. 143: 99-110.

Holmes, M J, C J S Bolch, D H Green, A D Cembella, & S L M Teo (2002). Singapore isolates of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum (Dinophyceae) produce a unique profile of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins. J. Phycol. 38: 96-106.

Green, D H & S M Cutting (2000).  Membrane topology of the Bacillus subtilis pro-sK processing complex. J. Bacteriol. 182 (2): 278-285.

Green, D H, P Wakeley, A Page, A Barnes, L Baccigalupi, E Ricca & S M Cutting (1999).  Charaterization of two Bacillus probiotics.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65 (9): 4288-4291.

Green, D H & G D Lewis (1999).  Comparative detection of enteric viruses in wastewaters, sediments and oysters by reverse transcription-PCR and cell culture.  Wat. Res. 33 (5): 1195-1200.

Lewis, G D, A Hough, D H Green, J Hay & L Ferguson (1996).  Modification of the polyethylene glycol 6000 precipitation method for recovering human and indicator viruses from oysters and mussels.  NZ. J. Marine and Freshwater Research, 30: 443-447.

Green, D H & G D Lewis (1995). Enzymatic amplification of enteric viruses from wastewaters. Wat. Sci. Tech. 31 (5-6): 329-336.

Green, D H, G D Lewis, S Rodtong & M W Loutit (1991).  Detection of faecal pollution in water by an Escherichia coli uidA gene probe.  J. Microbiol. Methods, 13: 207-214.


Book chapters

Kodama, M, G J Doucette and D H Green (2006). Relationships between bacteria and harmful algae. pp 243-255. In: Ecology of Harmful Algae. Eds: Granéli E and J T Turner. Ecological Studies, Vol. 189, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Green, D H and S M Cutting (1999).  Sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. pp 467-486  In: Genetic Methods for Diverse Prokaryotes.  Methods in Microbiology Vol. 29.  Academic Press.



Davidson K D, Lacaze J-P and Green D H. (May, 2013). Development and Assessment of Specific Probes for the Detection and Monitoring of Toxin-Producing Phytoplankton Species in Scottish Waters. For Foods Standards Agency UK. Contract No. FS241058.

Stanley MS, Day JG, Green DH, Hughes A and Cole ECM (2012). Pigments and Surfactants Desktop Study. Commissioned by: Mars Chocolate. SRSL No. 00548_P0267 0001.


Other research outputs: Patent

Production and Use of Surface Active Agents.  T Gutierrez and D H Green. Sept. 2005. Scottish Association for Marine Sciences. British Patent Application, PCT/GB2005/003421 (WO/2006/027561)

Employment history

Since 2011 Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiolgy. SAMS

2004-11 Lecturer B in Molecular Microbial Ecology. SAMS

2001-04 New Zealand Fundation for Research, Science & Technology Postdoctoral Fellow (Diversity and Function of the Bacterial Flora of the Toxic Alga Gymnodinium catenatum Graham). SAMS (host)

1996-99 Postdoctoral Research Associate (Investigation of the sK Developmental Checkpoint of Bacillus subtilis). Royal Holloway University of London

1996 Teaching Assistant. School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand



1997 PhD Microbiology 'Detection of Human Enteric Viruses in the Environment'. University of Otago, New Zealand

1989 BSc (Hons) Microbiology. University of Otago, New Zealand