Title: Professor
First Name: Linda
Surname: Lawton
Position: Professor
Telephone: +44 (0) 1224 262823

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Research Group leader in Cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins and algal biotechnology.

Academic Background

  • PhD, University of Dundee, 1992, ‘Biological effects and significance of cyanobacterial toxins’
  • BSc Honours, Brewing with Microbiology, Heriot-Watt University, 1985

Research Interests / Professional Background

As Professor of Environmental Microbiology, Prof. Lawton has a specific interest in natural toxins produced in water by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and all aspects of the natural ecology that influence their production and persistence. This work is primarily applied, with prevention and remediation being the key focus. Her research group have pioneered both rapid, robust detection methods for cyanotoxins and treatment methods for their removal from drinking water supplies. For many years now the use of photocatalytic water treatment for use in the destruction of toxins and pathogens in water has been a focus of research. This work is complemented by investigations into the mechanisms and optimisation of low cost biodegradation systems using aquatic bacteria. Other key areas of focus include the isolation, characterisation and development of high purity bioactive compounds from cyanobacteria through to the provision of fine biochemical reagents. This research has lead to collaborations around the globe, specifically in Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, North & South America and across Europe.

Additional Information / Media work / Funding

Current Funding:

  • Valorisation of NCIMB Culture Collection (KTP)
  • Isolation of high value bioactive compounds (Enzo Life Sciences, USA)
  • In-reservoir destruction of Blue-Green Algae and their toxins (EPSRC-GCRF)
  • Newton Foundation link with Brazil for research training (NF)
  • Safe and sustainable shellfish (BBSRC/NERC)
  • Valorisation of algal material (KTP)
  • A scalable bio-based solution to eliminate cyanotoxins in drinking water (BBSRC-GCRF)
  • Microbiology Society cyanotoxin training workshop in Indonesia (MS

Current Research Degree Students:

  • Josh Burns – Exploiting Streptomyces culture isolates.
  • Declan Maxwell – Determining the internal function of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites.
  • Diana Moura – Microplastics as a vector for micro pollutants in aquatic environments.
  • Gorenka Bojadzija – Metabolic interactions between Daphnia and cyanobacteria.  University of Rennes.

Professional Body Membership

  • Society for General Microbiology
  • Freshwater Biological Association
  • Scottish Association of Marine Science

Key Publications

  1. GB Savic, C Edwards, E Briand, LA Lawton, C Wiegand and M Bormans. (2019) Daphnia magna Exudates Impact Physiological and Metabolic Changes in Microcystis aeruginosa, Toxins 11, 421.
  2. CJ Pestana, J Capelo-Neto, LA Lawton, S Oliveira, I Carloto and HP Linhares. (2019) The effect of water treatment unit processes on cyanobacterial trichome integrity, Science of the Total Environment 659, 1403-1414.
  3. C Chang, N Skillen, S Nagarajan, K Ralphs, JTS Irvine, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. (2019) Using cellulose polymorphs for enhanced hydrogen production from photocatalytic reforming, Sustainable Energy & Fuels 3, 1971-1975.
  4. M G Antoniou, I Boraei, M Solakidou, Y Deligiannakis, M Abhishek, LA Lawton and C Edwards. (2018) Enhancing photocatalytic degradation of the cyanotoxin microcystin-LR with the addition of sulfate-radical generating oxidants, Journal of Hazardous Materials 360, 461-470.
  5. J Pandhal,  A Siswanto, D Kuvshinov, W B Zimmerman, LA Lawton and C Edwards. (2018) Cell lysis and detoxification of cyanotoxins using a novel combination of microbubble generation and plasma microreactor technology for ozonation, Frontiers in Microbiology 9, 678.
  6. AD Turner, J Waack, A Lewis, C Edwards and LA Lawton. (2018) Development and single-laboratory validation of a UHPLC-MS/MS method for quantitation of microcystins and nodularin in natural water, cyanobacteria, shellfish and algal supplement tablet powders, Journal of Chromatography B.  1074, 111-123.
  7. S Nagarajan, NC Skillen, JTS Irvine, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. Cellulose II as bioethanol feedstock and its advantages over native cellulose (2017) Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 77, 182-192.
  8. O Tokode, R Prabhu, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. (2017) A photocatalytic impeller reactor for gas phase heterogeneous photocatalysis, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 5 (4), 3942-3948. 
  9.  S Nagarajan, L Stella, LA Lawton, JTS Irvine and PKJ Robertson. (2017)? Mixing regime simulation and cellulose particle tracing in a stacked frame photocatalytic reactor, Chemical Engineering Journal 313, 301-308.  
  10. E Photos-Jones, C Edwards, F Häner, L Lawton, C Keane, A Leanord and V Perdikatsis. (2017) Archaeological medicinal earths as antibacterial agents: the case of the Basel Lemnian sphragides, Geological Society, London, Special Publications 452, SP452. 6.
  11. G Zhang, C Ni, X Huang, A Welgamage, LA Lawton, PKJ Robertson and JTS Irvine. (2017) Simultaneous cellulose conversion and hydrogen production assisted by cellulose decomposition under UV-light photocatalysis (2016) Chemical Communications 52 (8), 1673-1676.
  12. S Nagarajan, NC Skillen, F Fina, G Zhang, C Randorn, LA Lawton, JTS Irvine and PKJ Robertson. (2017) Comparative assessment of visible light and UV active photocatalysts by hydroxyl radical quantification, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 334, 13-19.
  13. G Addico, L Lawton and C Edwards. (2017) Hepatotoxic-microcystins in two drinking water reservoirs in the Central Region of Ghana, Toxicol. Forensic Med 2, 1-11.
  14. C Edwards, C McKenzie, CJ Pestana, K Yates and LA Lawton. (2017) Rapid Analysis of Geosmin and 2?Methylisoborneol from Aqueous Samples Using Solid?Phase Extraction and GC?MS, Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis, 475-480
  15. O Tokode, R Prabhu, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. (2017) Controlled periodic illumination in semiconductor photocatalysis, Journal of photochemistry and photobiology A: chemistry 319, 96-106.
  16. S Hameed, LA Lawton, C Edwards, A Khan, U Farooq and FA Khan. (2017) Effects of temperature and salinity on the production of cell biomass, chlorophyll-a and intra-and extracellular nodularins (NOD) and nodulopeptin 901 produced by by Nodularia spumigena KAC 66, Journal of Applied Phycology, 1-10.
  17. E Lance, J Desprat, BF Holbech, C Gérard, M Bormans, LA Lawton, C Edwards and C Wiegand. (2017) Accumulation and detoxication responses of the gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis to single and combined exposures to natural (cyanobacteria) and anthropogenic (the herbicide RoundUp® Flash) stressors (2016) Aquatic Toxicology 177, 116-124. 
  18. M Delgado?Baquerizo, L Giaramida, PB Reich, AN Khachane, K Hamonts, C Edwards, LA Lawton and BK Singh. (2016) Lack of functional redundancy in the relationship between microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning, Journal of Ecology 104 (4), 936-946 277-285.
  19. CJ Pestana, C Edwards, R Prabhu, PKJ Robertson and LA Lawton. (2015) Photocatalytic degradation of eleven microcystin variants and nodularin by TiO 2 coated glass microspheres, Journal of hazardous materials 300, 347-353.
  20. O Tokode, R Prabhu, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. (2015) Controlled periodic illumination in semiconductor photocatalysis, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry.
  21. K Minas, E Karunakaran, T Bond, C Gandy, A Honsbein, M Madsen, J Amezaga, A Amtmann, MR Templeton, CA Biggs and LA Lawton. (2014) Biodesalination: an emerging technology for targeted removal of Na+ and Cl− from seawater by cyanobacteria. Desalination and Water Treatment 1-22.
  22. M Khurram, LA Lawton, C Edwards, M Iriti, A Hameed, MA Khan and FA Khan. (2014) Rapid Bioassay-Guided Isolation of Antibacterial Clerodane Type Diterpenoid from Dodonaea viscosa (L.) Jaeq., International journal of molecular sciences 16 (9), 20290-20307.
  23. O Tokode, R Prabhu, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson (2014) Mathematical modelling of quantum yield enhancements of methyl orange photooxidation in aqueous TiO2 suspensions under controlled periodic UV LED illumination - Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 156, 398-403.
  24. CJ Pestana, PKJ Robertson, C Edwards, W Wilhelm, C McKenzie, LA Lawton. (2014)  A continuous flow packed bed photocatalytic reactor for the destruction of 2-methylisoborneol and geosmin utilising pelletised TiO2. Chemical Engineering Journal, 235, 293-298.
  25. N Straubinger-Gansberger, M Gruber, MN Kaggwa, LA Lawton, SO Oduor and M Schageri. (2014) Sudden flamingo deaths in Kenyan Rift Valley lakes Wildlife Biology 20 (3), 185-189.
  26. L Giaramida, PM Manage, C Edwards, B Singh, LA Lawton. (2013) Bacterial communities’ response to microcystins exposure and nutrient availability: Linking degradation capacity to community structure. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 84, 111-117.
  27. OI Tokode, R Prabhu, LA Lawton and PKJ Robertson. (2012) Effect of controlled periodic-based illumination on the photonic efficiency of photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange. Journal of Catalysis, 290, 138-142.
  28. M Schumacher,  N Wilson, JN Tabudravu, C Edwards, LA Lawton, C Motti, AD Wright, M Diederich and M Jaspars. (2012)  New nodulopeptins from Nodularia spumigena KAC 66. Tetrahedron, 68, 122-1628.
  29. LA Lawton, A Welgamage, PM Manage, and C Edwards. (2011) Novel bacterial strains for the removal of microcystins from drinking water. Water Science and Technology, 63, 1137-1142.
  30. Robertson, P.K.J., Bahnemann, D.W., Lawton, L.A.., Bellu, E., (2011) A study of the kinetic solvent isotope effect on the destruction of microcystin-LR and geosmin using TiO2 photocatalysis Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 108-109, 1-15.
  31.  Edwards, C. and Lawton L.A. (2010) Assessment of microcystin purity using charged aerosol detection. Journal of Chromatography A, 1217, 5233–5238.
  32. Lawton, L.A., Chambers, H., Edwards, C.  Nwaopara, A.A and Healy (2010) Rapid detection of microcystins in cells and water. Toxicon, 55, 973-978.
  33. Graham, D., Kisch, H. Lawton, L.A., Robertson, P.K.J. (2010) The degradation of microcystin-LR using doped visible light absorbing photocatalysts. Chemosphere, 78, 1182-5.
  34. Manage, P.M., Edwards, C. Singh, B.K. Lawton, L.A. (2009) Isolation and Identification of Novel Microcystin-Degrading Bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75, 6924-6928.
  35. Manage, P.M., Edwards, C. Lawton, L.A. (2009) Biodegradation of microcystin-LR by natural bacterial populations. Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry, 277-285.
  36. Robertson, P.K.J., Black, K.D., Adams, M., Willis, K., Buchan, F., Orr, H., Lawton, L.A., McCullagh, C. (2009) A new generation of biocides for control of crustacea in fish farms. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 95, 58-63.
  37. Liu, I., Lawton, L.A., Bahnemann, D.W., Liuc, L., Proft, B., Robertson, P.K.J. (2009) The photocatalytic decomposition of microcystin-LR using selected titanium dioxide materials. Chemosphere, 76, 549-553.
  38. Edwards C, Lawton L.A. (2009) bioremediation of cyanotoxins. Adv Appl Microbiol., 67,109-29.
  39. Bajpai, R., Sharma, N.K., Lawton, L.A., Edwards, C., Rai, A.K. (2009) Microcystin producing cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. BHU001 from a pond in India. Toxicon, 53, 587-590.
  40. Prakash, S., Lawton, L.A. and Edwards, C. (2009) Stability of toxigenic Microcystis Blooms. Harmful Algae, 8, 377-384.
  41. Peuthert, A., Lawton, L. and Pflugmacher, S. (2008) In vivo influence of cyanobacterial toxins on enzyme activity and gene expression of protein phosphatases in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)Toxicon, 52, 84-90
  42. Edwards, C., Graham, D., Fowler, N. and Lawton, L.A. (2008) Biodegradation of microcystins and nodularin in freshwaters. Chemosphere, 73, 1315-1321.
  43. Bellu, E., Lawton, L.A.  and  Robertson, P.K.J. (2008) Photocatalytic Destruction of Geosmin Using Novel Pelleted Titanium Dioxide. Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies, 11, 384-388.
  44. Akin-Oriola, G.A. and Lawton, L.A.  (2007) Primary detection of cyanobacterial microcystins. Journal of Afrotropical Zoology, Special Issue, 21-24.
  45. Yates, K., Davies, I., Webster, L., Pollard, P.  Lawton, L., and Moffat, C. (2007) Passive sampling: partition coefficients for a silicone rubber reference phase. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 9, 1116-1121.   
  46. Jayatissa, L.P., Silva, E.I.L., McElhiney, J, and Lawton, L.A. (2006) Occurrence of toxigenic cyanobacterial blooms in freshwaters of Sri Lanka. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 26, 156-164.
  47. Robertson, R.F., Hammond, A., Jauncey, K., Beveridge, M.C.M. and Lawton, L.A. (2006) An investigation into the occurrence of geosmin responsible for earthy-musty taints in UK farmed rainbow trout, Onchorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture, 259, 153-163.
  48. Akin-Oriola, G.A. and Lawton, L.A.  (2006) The Detection and Quantification of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Water Using the Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina) Assay. West Africa Journal of Applied Ecology, 9, 16-18.
  49. Robertson, J. M.C, Robertson, P. K. J. and Lawton, L.A. (2005) A comparison of the effectiveness of TiO2 photocatalysis and UVA photolysis for the destruction of three pathogenic micro-organisms. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 175, 51-56.
  50. Liu, I., Lawton, L.A., Bahnemann, D.W. and Robertson, P.K.J. (2005) The photocatalytic destruction of the cyanotoxin, nodularin using TiO2. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 60, 245-252.
  51. Barco, M., Lawton, L.A., Rivera, J. and Caixach, J. (2005) Optimization of intracellular microcystin extraction for their subsequent analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A. 1074, 23-30.
  52. Robertson, R.F., Jauncey, K., Beveridge, M.C.M. and Lawton, L.A. (2005) Depuration rates and the sensory threshold concentration of geosmin responsible for earthy-musty taint in rainbow trout, Onchorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture, 245, 89-99.
  53. McElhiney, J. and Lawton, L.A. (2005) Detection of the cyanobacterial hepatotoxins microcystins.  Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 203, 219-230.
  54. Engelke, C.J., Lawton, L.A. and Jaspars, M. (2003) Elevated microcystin and nodularin levels in cyanobacteria growing in spent medium of Oscillatoria agardhii. Archive für Hydrobiologia, 158, 541-550.
  55. Liu, I., Lawton, L.A., and Robertson, P.K.J. (2003) Mechanistic studies of the photocatalytic oxidation of microcystin-LR: An investigation of by products of the decomposition process. Environmental Science and Technology, 37, 3214-3219.
  56. Lawton, L.A., Robertson, P.K.J., Robertson, R.F. and Bruce, F.G. (2003) The destruction of 2-methylisoborneol and geosmin using titanium dioxide photocatalysis. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 44, 9-13.
  57. Lawton, L.A., Robertson, P.K.J., Cornish, B.J.P.A., Marr, I.L. and Jaspars, M. (2003) Processes influencing surface interaction and photocatalytic destruction of microcystins on titanium dioxide photocatalysts. Journal of Catalysis, 213, 109-113.
  58. McElhiney, J., Drever, M. Lawton, L.A. and Porter, A.J.R. (2002) Rapid isolation of a single-chain antibody against the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR by phage display and its use in the immunoaffinity concentration of microcystins from water. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68, 5288-5295.
  59. Liu, I., Lawton, L.A., Cornish, B. and Robertson, P.K.J. (2002) Mechanistic and toxicity studies of the photocatalytic oxidation of microcystin-LR. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 148, 349-354.
  60. Strachan, G., McElhiney, J., Drever, M.R., McIntosh, F. Lawton, L.A., Paton, G.I. and Porter, A.J.R. (2002) Rapid selection of antihapten antibodies from synthetic and semi-synthetic antibody phage display libraries. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 210, 257-261.
  61. Lawton, L.A. and Edwards, C. (2001) Purification of Microcystins. Journal of Chromatography A, 912, 191-209.
  62. McElhiney, J., Lawton, L.A. and Leifert, C. (2001) Investigations into the inhibitory effects of microcystins on plant growth, and toxicity of plant tissues following exposure. Toxicon, 39, 1411-1420.

Book Chapters

  1. Edwards, C., McKenzie C., Pestana, C.J., Yates K. and Lawton, L.A. (2017) SOP 28. Rapid Analysis of Geosmin and 2Methylisoborneol from Aqueous Samples Using Solid-Phase Extraction and GC-MS. In Handbook of Cyanobacterial Monitoring and Cyanotoxin Analysis ed. Jussi Meriluoto, Lisa Spoof and Geoffrey A. Codd.
  2. Tokode, O., Prabhu, R., Lawton, L.A., Robertson, P.K.J. (2014) UV LED Sources for Heterogeneous Photocatalysis, Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  3. Lawton, L.A. and Edwards, C. (2007) Conventional Laboratory Techniques. In: Proceedings of the Interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms (ISOC-HAB): State-of-the-Science and Research Needs. Springer, USA.
  4. Lawton, L.A., and Robertson, R.F. (2003) Off-flavour problems and potential solutions within the UK trout farming industry. Ed: A.M. Rimando and K.K. Schrader. American Chemical Society, Washington DC, 55-68.
  5. Annadotter, H., Cronberg, G., Lawton, L., Hassson, H.-B., Goethe, U. and Skulberg, O. (2001) An extensive outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with the toxic cyanobacterium Planktothrix agardhii (Oscillatoriales, Cyanophyceae) in Scania, South Sweden. In: Cyanotoxins - Occurrence, Causes, Consequences. Ed: I Chorus. Springer.
  6. Meriluoto, J., Lawton, L.A. and Harada, K. -I. (2000) Isolation and detection of microcystins and nodularins, cyanobacterial peptide hepatotoxins. In: Methods in Molecular Biology, Bacterial Toxin Methods and Protocols. Ed: O. Holst. Humana Press.
  7. Lawton, L. A., Chorus, I. and Marsalek, B. (1999) Determination of cyanobacteria in the laboratory. In: Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water - A Guide to their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management. Eds: I. Chorus and J. Bartram, E & FN Spon, London, 347-368.
  8. Harada, K-I., Kondo, F. and Lawton, L.A. (1999) Laboratory analysis of cyanotoxins. In: Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water - A Guide to their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management. Eds: I. Chorus and J. Bartram, E & FN Spon, London, 369-405.