Dr Adam Wyness

eDNA Based Environmental Impact Monitoring PDRA

I am a molecular ecologist developing and optimising bioinformatic pipelines and machine learning algorithms that predict environmental status metrics from metagenomic sequence data of microbial communities in marine sediments.

Contact details:

I am a molecular ecologist with a range of research interests covering microbial community function and their involvement in biogeochemical cycles, microbe/invertebrate interactions, and developing bioinformatic pipelines for the detection of invasive species. My PhD involved both traditional and DNA-based microbiology to investigate the persistence of human pathogens in estuarine sediments with the Sediment Ecology Research Group (SERG) at the University of St Andrews. I then completed a post-doc with SERG investigating biochemical selection pressures exerted on bacterial communities by the ecosystem engineering of estuarine infauna. Prior to SAMS I did a post-doc at Rhodes University in South Africa where I was researching endolithic bacteria that actively degrade calcium carbonate structures (e.g. shells, coral) on the rocky shore. I have also been involved in projects involving using sequencing technologies to investigate pathogenic bacteria on the gills of salmon, lung microbiota of TB patients, microbial communities of sands of the Atacama Desert, and the diet of King penguins.

At SAMS my research is focussing on the development of bioinformatic pipelines to predict the environmental status of infaunal communities from metabarcode sequence data.


Current research project

BactMetBar: Funded by Sustainable Aquaculture  Innovation Centre Jan 2022 - Dec 2024

Wyness A.J., Roush, D., McQuaid. 2022. Global distribution and diversity of marine euendolithic cyanobacteria. Journal of Phycology.

Oróstica, M.H., Wyness, A.J. Monsinjon, J.R., Nicastro, K.R., Zardi, G.I.,· Barker, C. McQuaid, C.D. 2022. Effects of habitat quality on abundance, size and growth of mussel recruits. Hydrobiologia.

Wyness A.J., Orostica, M.H., Monsinjon, J.R., McQuaid, C.D. 2022. Substratum and bioregion specificity of lithobiontic communities in the rocky intertidal zone of the British Isles. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science.

Clinton, M., Wyness, A.J., Brierley, A.S., Ferrier, D.E.K. 2021. Sampling the fish gill microbiome; Biopsies versus swabs. BMC Microbiology.

Proud, R., Le Guen, C., Sherley, R.B., Kato, A., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Ratcliffe, N., Jarman,S., Wyness, A.J., Arnould, J.P.Y., Saunders, R.A., Brierley, A.S. 2021. Using Predicted Patterns of 3D Prey Distribution to Map King Penguin Foraging Habitat. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Wyness, A.J., Fortune, I., Blight, A.J., Browne, P., Hartley, M., Holden, M., Paterson, D.M. 2021. Ecosystem engineers drive differing microbial community composition in intertidal estuarine sediments. PLOS ONE.

Shen, J., Wyness, A.J., Claire, M.W., Zerkle, A.L. 2021. Spatial Variability of Microbial Communities and Salt Distributions Across a Latitudinal Aridity Gradient in the Atacama Desert. Microbial Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s00248-020-01672-w.

Stutter, M.I., Wyness, A.J., Watson, H., Dodd, N. 2020. Coupled macronutrient cycling in stream biofilms: Effects of stoichiometry, light and temperature. Science of The Total Environment, 703. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134880.

Wyness, A.J., Paterson, D.M., Rimmer, J.E.V., Defew, E.C., Stutter, M.I., Avery, L.M. 2019. Assessing Risk of E. coli Resuspension from Intertidal Estuarine Sediments: Implications for Water Quality. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 16. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16183255.

Wyness, A.J., Defew, E.C., Paterson, D.M., Stutter, M.I., Avery, L.M. 2019. Factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of E. coli in intertidal estuarine sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 661, 155-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.061.

Wyness, A.J., Defew, E.C., Paterson, D.M., Stutter, M.I., Avery, L.M., 2018. The role of zeta potential in the adhesion of E. coli to suspended intertidal sediments. Water Research, 142, 159-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2018.05.054.

Employment history

Since Oct 2022 PDRA in e-DNA Based Environmental Impact Monitoring. SAMS

2022 Senior Researcher. Rivers of Life Aquatic Health Programme, University of Mpumalanga, South Africa

2019-21 Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Rhodes University, South Africa

2017-19 Postdoctoral Research Fellow. University of St Andrews, Scotland



2017 PhD Environmental Microbiology. University of St Andrews, Scotland

2012 BSc Biology. Bangor University, Wales