At UTS I am a member of the Climate Change Cluster (C3) Algal Biosystems and Biotechnology research program where my work focuses on looking at the design needs for up-scaling a photobioreactor for the large scale axenic growth of microalgae. I am interested in adapting the knowledge and scientific understanding of microalgae into possible future applications for industry.
I have a background in biochemical engineering and environmental technology from London, UK (UCL and Imperial College), with a focus on life cycle assessment for algal biofuels within a European framework.
I completed my PhD in 2016 at the University of Alberta, Canada,where my research looked at the small molecules that influence and mediate the interactions between microalgae and their surrounding bacteria. I was particularly interested in novel pathways between the algae and bacteria, and how these small molecules could impact the lipid content of algae for possible application in biofuels.
Can supervise: YES
Bramucci, AR, Labeeuw, L, Orata, FD, Ryan, EM, Malmstrom, RR & Case, RJ 2018, 'The bacterial symbiont Phaeobacter inhibens Shapes the life history of its algal host emiliania huxleyi', Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 5.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Bramucci, Labeeuw, Orata, Ryan, Malmstrom and Case. Marine microbes form host-associated biofilm communities that are shaped by complex interactions between bacteria and their host. The roseobacter Phaeobacter inhibens exploits both symbiotic and pathogenic niches while interacting with its microalgal host Emiliania huxleyi. During co-cultivation over extended periods with E. huxleyi, we show that P. inhibens selectively kills two host cell types, the diploid calcifying strain and the haploid flagellated strain. Meanwhile, various non-calcifying diploid strains are resistant to this pathogen or the pathogen is avirulent to this cell type. This differential pathogenesis has the potential of dramatically altering the composition of E. huxleyi blooms, which are typically dominated by the roseobacter-susceptible calcifying strain. This cell type makes calcite plates, which are an important sink in the marine carbon cycle and forms part of the marine paleobotanic record. P. inhibens kills the haploid cells, which have been proposed as critical to the survival of the algae, as they readily escape both eukaryotic predation and viral infection. Consequently, bacteria such as P. inhibens could influence E. huxleyi's life history by selective pathogenesis, thereby altering the composition of cell types within E. huxleyi populations and its bloom-bust lifestyle.
Vuppaladadiyam, AK, Yao, JG, Florin, N, George, A, Wang, X, Labeeuw, L, Jiang, Y, Davis, RW, Abbas, A, Ralph, P, Fennell, PS & Zhao, M 2018, 'Impact of Flue Gas Compounds on Microalgae and Mechanisms for Carbon Assimilation and Utilization.', ChemSusChem, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 334-355.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To shift the world to a more sustainable future, it is necessary to phase out the use of fossil fuels and focus on the development of low-carbon alternatives. However, this transition has been slow, so there is still a large dependence on fossil-derived power, and therefore, carbon dioxide is released continuously. Owing to the potential for assimilating and utilizing carbon dioxide to generate carbon-neutral products, such as biodiesel, the application of microalgae technology to capture CO2 from flue gases has gained significant attention over the past decade. Microalgae offer a more sustainable source of biomass, which can be converted into energy, over conventional fuel crops because they grow more quickly and do not adversely affect the food supply. This review focuses on the technical feasibility of combined carbon fixation and microalgae cultivation for carbon reuse. A range of different carbon metabolisms and the impact of flue gas compounds on microalgae are appraised. Fixation of flue gas carbon dioxide is dependent on the selected microalgae strain and on flue gas compounds/concentrations. Additionally, current pilot-scale demonstrations of microalgae technology for carbon dioxide capture are assessed and its future prospects are discussed. Practical implementation of this technology at an industrial scale still requires significant research, which necessitates multidisciplinary research and development to demonstrate its viability for carbon dioxide capture from flue gases at the commercial level.
Labeeuw, L, Khey, J, Bramucci, AR, Atwal, H, de la Mata, AP, Harynuk, J & Case, RJ 2016, 'Indole-3-Acetic Acid Is Produced by Emiliania huxleyi Coccolith-Bearing Cells and Triggers a Physiological Response in Bald Cells', FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, vol. 7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Bramucci, AR, Labeeuw, L, Mayers, TJ, Saby, JA & Case, RJ 2015, 'A Small Volume Bioassay to Assess Bacterial/Phytoplankton Co-culture Using WATER-Pulse-Amplitude-Modulated (WATER-PAM) Fluorometry', JOVE-JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, no. 97.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Labeeuw, L, Bramucci, AR & Case, RJ 2017, 'Bioactive small molecules mediate microalgal-bacterial interactions' in Systems Biology of Marine Ecosystems, Springer, Germany, pp. 279-300.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Microalgae are a diverse group of photosynthetic microorganisms found throughout the eukaryote tree. Although unicellular, they have complex relationships with the bacteria that surround them. These interactions can range from obligate symbiosis, where the bacterium is required for host survival, to pathogenic, where the bacterial pathogen can kill the host alga. The nature of these algal-bacterial interactions appear to be tightly regulated by both algal and bacterial bioactive molecules, creating a complex system of chemical interactions through which these different species can chemically communicate with each other and directly alter the other physiology. In this way the bacterium is able to exploit (and manipulate) its host to become a more conducive habitat (e.g. algal phycosphere, aquatic biofilms, etc.) for bacterial survival. However, the identity of many of these small molecules and the mechanisms by which they control these exchanges are often overlooked or misunderstood. The ability to eavesdrop on the chemical cross talk occurring between algae and bacteria may open up a vast potential for new knowledge, relating to understanding bacterial-algal relationships, evolution and possibly hijacking this communication to better control microbes in commercial systems. This chapter outlines some of the known bioactive chemicals that mediate these microalgal-bacterial interactions, highlighting what is currently known about these systems and areas that need further investigation.
Chia, Q, Brown, P, Labeeuw, L, Bajada, C, Ghannam, S, Pham, H, Wright, A & Ralph, P 2018, 'Comparing alternative algal cultivation systems for biodiesel production by utilizing an integrated model of sustainability', 17th Australasian - Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference, Melbourne.