Professor Robert J.

Professor Robert J. Seviour

Emeritus Professor

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Life Sciences

Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology


BSc(Hons), PhD (Bath)



Membership of professional associations

Society for General Microbiology, Society for British Mycology, International Water Association

Area of study


Brief profile

Research Interests and Experience

  • Wastewater Treatment Microbiology, especially bulking and foaming filamentous bacteria and microbiology of EBPR systems, phage biocontrol
  • Fungal fermentation technology and exopolysaccharide production, and fungal enzyme technology
  • Molecular Bacterial Systematics, especially members of the genus Acinetobacter and Actinobacteria

Other professional activities

Member of the editorial board of the Journal of Microbiological Methods, Journal of Applied Microbiology and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology. A).

Recent publications

  • K. Martin, B.M. McDougall, S. McIlroy, Jayus, J. Chen & R.J. Seviour (2007) Biochemistry and molecular biology of exocellular fungal β-(1,3)- and β-(1,6)- glucanases. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 31, 168-192.
  • J. Ahn, S. Schoeder, M. Beer, S. McIlroy, R.C. Bayly, J.W. May, G. Vasiliadis & R.J. Seviour (2007). Ecology of the microbial community removing phosphate under continuously aerobic conditions in a sequencing batch reactor. Appl Environ. Microbiol 73, 2257-2270.
  • K. Kragelund, Z. Remesova, J.L. Nielsen, T.R. Thomsen, K. Eales, R.J. Seviour, J. Wanner & P.H. Nielsen (2007). Ecophysiology of mycolic acid-containing Actinobacteria (Mycolata) in activated sludge foams. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 61, 174-184.
  • R.J. Seviour, C. Kragelund, Y. Kong, K. Eales, J.L. Nielsen & P.H. Nielsen (2008). Ecophysiology of the Actinobacteria in activated sludge systems. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek , 94, 21-33.
  • R.J. Seviour & S. McIlroy (2008). The microbiology of phosphorus removal in activated sludge processes- the current state of play. J. Microbiol. 46, 115-124.
  • S. Schroeder, J.Ahn & R.J. Seviour (2008). Ecophysiology of polyphosphate- accumulating and glycogen-accumulating organisms in a continuously aerated enhanced biological phosphorus removal process. J. Appl. Microbiol. 105, 1412-1420.
  • S. McIlroy, K.Porter, R.J. Seviour & D. Tillett (2010). Simple and safe method for simultaneous isolation of microbial RNA and DNA from problematic populations. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 74, 6806-6807.
  • C. Maslunka, V. Gurtler, E. Carr & R.J. Seviour (2008). Unique organisation of the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region of strains of Acinetobacter baylyi provide ameans for its identification from other Acinetobacter species. J. Microbiol. Methods 73, 227-236.
  • D. Orr, W. Zheng, B.S. Campbell, B.M. McDougall & R.J. Seviour (2009). Culture conditions affect the chemical composition of the exopolysaccharide synthesised by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans . J. Appl. Microbiol. 107, 691-698.
  • L. Speirs, T. Nittami, S. McIlroy, S. Schroeder & R.J. Seviour (2009).  Filamentous Bacterium Eikelboom type 0092 in activated sludge plants in Australia is a member of the Chloroflexi. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75, 2446-2452.
  • S. Schroeder, S. Petrovski, B. Campbell, S. McIlroy & R. Seviour (2009). Phylogeny and in situ identification of a novel gammaproteobacterium in activated sludge. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 297, 157-163.
  • P.H. Nielsen, C. Kragelund, R.J. Seviour & J.L. Nielsen (2009). Identity and ecophysiology of filamentous bacteria in activated sludge. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 33, 969-998.
  • T. Nittami, S. McIlroy, E.M. Seviour, S. Schroeder & R.J. Seviour (2009). Candidatus Monilibacter spp., common bulking filaments in activated sludge are members of cluster III Defluviicoccus. Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 32, 480-489.
  • S. McIlroy, K. Porter, R.J. Seviour & D. Tillett (2009). Extracting nucleic acids from activated sludge, which reflect community population diversity. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 96, 593-605.
  • S.J. McIlroy, T. Nittami, E.M. Seviour & R.J. Seviour (2010). Filamentous members of cluster III Defluviicoccus have the in situ phenotype expected of a glycogen accumulating organism in activated sludge. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 74, 248-256.
  • Kong, Y., M. He, T. McAlister, R. Seviour & R. Forster (2010). Quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization of the microbial communities in the rumens of cattle fed different diets. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76,
  • R.J. Seviour, B. McNeil, M. Fazenda & L. Harvey (2011). Operating bioreactors for microbial exopolysaccharide production. Crit. Rev. Biotechnol.
  • S. McIlroy, D. Tillett, S. Petrovski & R.J. Seviour (2011). Non-target sites with single nucleotide insertions or deletions are frequently found in 16S rRNA sequences and can lead to false positives in fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Environ. Microbiol. 13, 33-47.
  • S. Petrovski, R.J. Seviour & D. Tillett (2011) Genome sequence and characterization of the Tsukamurella bacteriophage TPA2 (2011).  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77, 1389-1398.
  • D. Hayes, L. Izzard & R.J. Seviour (2011) Microbial ecology of autothermal thermophilic aerobic digester (ATAD) communities. Syst Appl. Microbiol.  34,127-138.
  • Petrovski, S., Seviour, R.J. & Tillett, D. (2011) Genome sequence and characterization of the Tsukamurella bacteriophage TPA2.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77, 1389-1398.
  • Petrovski, S., Seviour, R.J. & Tillett, D. (2011) Characterization of the genome of the polyvslent lytic phage GTE2 which  has the potential for biocontrol of  Gordonia and Nocardia stabilized foams in activated sludge plants. Appl. Environ Microbiol. 77, 3923- 3929.
  • Petrovski, S., Seviour, R.J. & Tillett, D. (2011). Prevention of Gordonia and Nocardia stabilized foam formation by using bcteriophage GTE7. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77, 7864-7867.
  • Yun, X., Masse, D.I., McAllister, T.A., Beaulieu, C., Talbot, G. Kong, Y. & Sevioir, R.J. (20110. In situ identification of keratin-hydrolyzing organisms in swine manure inoculated anaerobic digesters. FEMS Micobiol. Ecol. 78, 451-462.
  • Petrovski, S., Seviour, R .& Tillett, D. (2011) Genome sequences and characterization of the related Gordonia phages GTE5 and GRU1 and their use as potential biocontrol agents. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78 42-47.
  • Petrovski, S., Dyson, Z.A., Seviour, R.& Tillett, D.(2012). Small but sufficient; the Rhodococcus phage RRH1 has the smallest known Siphoviridae genome at 14.2 kilobases. J. Virol. 86, 358-367.
  • Evans, T. & Seviour, R.J. (2013) Estimating biodiversity of fungi in activated sludge communities using culture –independent methods. Microbial Ecol.63, 773-788.
  • Petrovski, S. Tillett, D. & Seviour, R. J.(2012). Isolation and complete genome sequence of a bacteriophage lysing Tetrasphaera jenkinsii, a filamentous bacteria  responsible for bulking in activated sludge.  Virus Genes 45, 380- 388.
  • Kong, Y., Yun, Z., Seviour, R., He, M., McAllister, T. & Forster, R. (2012) In situ identification of carboxycellulose digesting- bacteria in the rumen of cattle fed alfalfa or triticale. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 80, 159-167
  • Kristiansen, R. Nguyen, H.T.T., Saunders, A.M., Nielsen, J., Wimmer, R., Le, V.Q., McIlroy, S.J., Petrovski, S., Seviour, R.j., Calteau, A., Nielsen, K.L. & Nielsen, P.H. (2013). A metabolic model for members of the genus Tetrasphaera involved in biological phosphorus removeal. ISME J. 7, 543-554.