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Research group


A petri dish.

Scientists across the University are working together to make advances in biofilm research. With an interdisciplinary approach, our discoveries are making a positive impact in healthcare.


Biofilms are a collective of one or more types of microorganisms that can grow on different surfaces and impact many different aspects of society. They are central to some of the most urgent global challenges, including: 

  • food and water security 
  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 
  • infections disease and contamination 
  • energy losses 
  • damage in the food industry and consumer sector 

The University has a large, interdisciplinary group of biofilm academics and researchers. As part of the Institute for Life Sciences, our projects range in scale and fields of application, but explore topics like: 

  • the molecular ecology and generic make-up of biofilms 
  • how biofilms interact within different environments 
  • developing new therapies that will overcome antibiotic tolerance caused by biofilms 

Our work includes the National Biofilms Innovation Centre research project. This resulted in the formation of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC), led by the University of Southampton in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool, Nottingham and Edinburgh. 

We're also supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Innovate UK, the Hartree Centre, and a wider consortium of 41 more research organisations and more than 100 companies. 

The NBIC’s involvement means we can bring the best of UK biofilm research together with the industrial sectors to accelerate the adoption of new technologies into live products and services. 

People, projects and publications


Professor Charles Keevil

Professor In Environmental Health Care

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Address: B85, East Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Jane Lucas MD, PhD, FRCPCH, FERS

Professor of Paediatric Respiratory Med

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Address: Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road Shirley, SO16 6YD (View in Google Maps)

Professor Jeremy Webb

Professor of Microbiology

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Address: B85, East Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Professor Mandy Fader

Associate V-P (Strategic Major Projects)

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Address: B67, West Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

Doctor Sandra Wilks

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Applied biofilm research
  • Medical devices

Accepting applications from PhD students

Connect with Sandra


Address: B85, East Highfield Campus, University Road, SO17 1BJ (View in Google Maps)

My research group aims to understand how biofilms develop and disperse and how they respond to environmental stresses including therapeutic compounds. This approach is providing new technologies and strategies to control biofilms in industrial and medical settings.
Professor of Microbiology
Since joining the group in 2000 I have worked on a number of research projects involving the detection of bacteria in complex environments and, in particular, biofilms. My current work is now centred around applied biofilm research and is highly interdisciplinary.
Associate Professor
As a co-founder of NBIC I have actively researched detection and control of polymicrobial biofilms and pathogen physiology in the built and natural environments, including clinical, food and water chains for biofouling prevention and infection control, involving strong interdisciplinary collaborations.
Professor In Environmental Health Care
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