Skip to main content
School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Joe Taylor

Career Development Fellow


I started my career as a marine biologist working on coral reefs and seagrass ecosystems before starting work as a research technician at the University of Essex looking at the photophysiology of micro-algae. This position developed my passion for all things microbial. My PhD looked at carbon cycling in estuarine sediments, using novel methods to identify bacterial degraders of algal produced polysaccharides.

I then worked on an applied microbiology project at the University of Westminster developing a microarray ( to detect harmful algae followed by work on profiling micro-algal communities using high-throughput sequencing.

I moved to the Marine Biological Association undertaking a variety of marine microbial ecology projects, continuing work on degradation of algal produced polyscacharides, and looking at the role and function of fungi within aquatic environments. I then made the evolutionary leap from the sea onto land working at the University of York on mycorrhizal fungi and microbial diversity in tropical rainforest ecosystems.

I am now at the University of Salford as a Career Development Fellow in Microbiomes and Metagenomes working on interactions and function in microbial groups from across the tree of life (Archaea, Bacteria, Protists, Fungi) in variety of habitats in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Research Interests

How does the diversity of microbes vary across multiple scales (temporal and spatial); what is driving that variation?

The interactions between different taxonomic groups of microbes and involvement in biogeochemical cycles

The role of the fungi within the aquatic environment

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc (Hons) Marine and Freshwater Biology

PhD Environmental Microbiology

British Phycology society, International Phycological Society, British mycological Society, British Lichen society, British Ecological Society, British Bryological Society, The Microbiology Society, International Fisheries Biology Society


Lewis, J., Taylor J.D, Neale,K. LeRoy, S.A.G. (2017) Expanding known dinoflagellate distributions: Investigations of slurry cultures from Caspian Sea sediment. Botanica marina

Smale, D.,  Taylor,  J.D,  Coombes,  S., Gerald Moore  &  Cunliffe,  M.  (2017)  Community-level responses  to  warming  are  conserved  across  diverse  biological  groupings  and taxonomic resolutions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Cunliffe, M. Hollingsworth A., Bain, C., Sharma, V., & Taylor, J.D (2017) Algal polysaccharide utilisation by saprotrophic planktonic marine fungi Fungal ecology

Taylor, J.D, Cunliffe M. (2017) Coastal bacterioplankton community response to diatom-derived polysaccharide microgels Environmental microbiology reports 9:151- 157

McNamee, S.E., Medlin, L.K., Kegel, J., McCoy, G.R., Raine, R., Barra, L., Ruggiero, M.V., Kooistra, W.H., Montresor, M., Hagstrom, J., Blanco, E.P., Taylor, J.D et al (2016). Distribution, occurrence and biotoxin composition of the main shellfish toxin producing microalgae within European waters: A comparison of methods of analysis. Harmful Algae, 55, 112-120.

Taylor, J.D. and Cunliffe, M., (2016). Multi-year assessment of coastal planktonic fungi reveals environmental drivers of diversity and abundance. The ISME journal. 10(9):2118-28

Taylor, J.D. and Cunliffe, M., (2015) Polychaete burrows harbour distinct microbial communities in oil-contaminated coastal sediments. Environmental microbiology reports, 7(4), pp.606-613.

Taylor, J.D, and Cunliffe, M (2014) High-throughput sequencing reveals neustonic and planktonic microbial eukaryote diversity in coastal waters Journal of phycology doi: 10.1111/jpy.12228-14-014

Taylor, J. D., Ellis, R., Milazzo, M., Hall-Spencer, J. M., & Cunliffe, M. (2014). Intertidal epilithic bacteria diversity changes along a naturally occurring carbon dioxide and pH gradient. FEMS microbiology ecology. doi/10.1111/1574-6941.12368/

Taylor, J. D., Kegel, J. U., Lewis, J. M., & Medlin, L. K. (2014). Validation of the detection of Alexandrium species using specific RNA probes tested in a microarray format: Calibration of signal using variability of RNA content with environmental conditions. Harmful Algae, 37, 17-27

Taylor, J. D., Cottingham, S. D., Billinge, J., & Cunliffe, M. (2014). Seasonal microbial community dynamics correlate with phytoplankton-derived polysaccharides in surface coastal waters. The ISME journal, 8(1), 245.

Taylor, J. D., Berzano, M., Percy, L., & Lewis, J. (2013). Evaluation of the MIDTAL microarray chip for monitoring toxic microalgae in the Orkney Islands, UK. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20(10), 6765-6777.

Taylor, J.D., McKew, B. A., Kuhl, A., McGenity, T. J., & Underwood, G. J. (2013).Microphytobenthic extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in intertidal sediments fuel both generalist and specialist EPS-degrading bacteria. Limnol. Oceanogr, 58(4), 1463-1480.

McKew, B. A., Dumbrell, A. J., Taylor, J. D., McGenity, T. J., & Underwood, G. J. (2013).Differences between aerobic and anaerobic degradation of microphytobenthic biofilm-derived organic matter within intertidal sediments. FEMS microbiology ecology, 84(3), 495-509.

McKew, B.A., Taylor, J.D., McGenity, T.J. & Underwood G.J.C. (2011) Resilience of benthic biofilm communities from a temperate saltmarsh to desiccation and rewetting. ISME Jour. 5: 30-41

Hofmann T., Hanlon A.R.M., Taylor J.D., Ball, A.S., Osborn, A.M. & Underwood GJC (2009) Dynamics and compositional changes in extracellular carbohydrates in estuarine sediments during degradation. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 379:45-58

Unsworth R. K. F., Taylor J. D. , Powell A. , Bell J. J. & Smith D. J. (2007) The contribution of parrotfish (scarid) herbivory to ecosystem dynamics in the Indo-Pacific. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 74: 53-62