Dr Peter Paolo Rivera

        Head shot of smiling Dr Peter Paolo Rivera.

Industrial Microbiology Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a molecular microbiologist interested in how marine microbes, such as archaea, bacteria, and microalgae, participate in biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and sulfur.

My research interest focuses on the specific mechanisms that allow such organisms to acquire/synthesise and breakdown key biological molecules/metabolites and importantly regulate these processes as to allow them to sense and respond to biological/environmental cues.

Contact details:

My current research is focused on studying the diversity, genetics, and biochemistry microbial communities associated with marine polychaetes and how these communities can be harnessed to enhance the bioremediation of aquaculture wastes. This is part of the NitroFello project (G. Robinson) which aimed to develop hybrid waste treatment, protein production and energy generation systems to treat nitrogen rich waste from land-based intensive agriculture and aquaculture systems for sustainable circular economy.


In addition, I am also interested in understanding the role/s of DMSP, a key component of the global geochemical sulfur cycle, in micro- and macroalgae. DMSP is the main precursor to the climatically important gas dimethyl sulfide (DMS). DMS is an anti-greenhouse gas that promotes cloud formation, which blocks radiation from the sun and thereby cools sea surface temperatures.


Current projects

NitroFello: Postdoctoral Researcher, UKRI Future Leader Fellowships, 2020-2026

Wagstaff B.A., Pratscher J., Rivera P.P.L., Hems E.S., Brooks E., Rejzek M., Todd J.D., Murrell J.C., and Field R.A. 2021. Assessing the Toxicity and Mitigating the Impact of Harmful Prymnesium Blooms in Eutrophic Waters of the Norfolk Broads. Environmental Science & Technology 2021 55 (24), 16538-16551 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c04742


Williams B., Cowles K., Bermejo-Martinez A., Curson A.R.J, Zheng Y., Liu J., Newton-Payne S., Hind A.J., Li C.Y., Rivera P.P.L. et al. 2019. Bacteria are important dimethylsulfoniopropionate producers in coastal sediments. Nature Microbiology DOI:10.1038/s41564-019-0527-1


Curson A.R., Williams B., Pinchbeck B., Sims L., Bermejo-Martinez A., Rivera P.P.L., Kumaresan D., Mercadé E., Spurgin L.G., Carrion O., Moxon S., Cattolico R.A., Kuzhiumparambil U., Guagliardo P., Clode P., Raina J.B. & Todd J.D. DSYB catalyses the key step of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) biosynthesis in many phytoplankton. Nature Microbiology. DOI:10.1038/s41564-018-0119-5


Orizar, I .S., Rivera, P.P.L., San Diego-McGlone, M.L. & Azanza, R.V. 2013 . Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) mitigation using ball clay: Effect on non-target organisms. Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM). Special Issue 1-2013. p. 36-43  ISSN 0119-1144


Employment history

2020-2021 Senior Research Technician. CERES Proof of Concept (PoC) Project. School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

2017-2020 University Associate Tutor. School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

2015-2016 University Researcher I. The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Philippines

2013-2015 Program Assistant and Senior Research Associate – National Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Programs. The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Philippines

2009-2013 Senior Research Associate – PhilHABs Program. The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Philippines

2008-2009 Research Assistant. National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) UPV - BIOTECH, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Philippines



2021 PhD Biomecular Sciences. UEA, UK

2015 MSc Marine Science. UP Philipines

2007 BSc Chemistry. UP Visayas, Philipines