Biography

2016-current      Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow,

                              University of East Anglia

2011-2016           Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Aberdeen

2007-2011           PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen

2004-2007           BSc (Hons) Microbiology and Virology,

                              University of Warwick

All Publications

Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., Ross, J., Hink, L., Weber, E. B., Gubry-Rangin, C., Thion, C., Prosser, J. I., Nicol, G. W.

(2016)

Isolation of ‘Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus franklandus’, a novel ureolytic soil archaeal ammonia oxidiser with tolerance to high ammonia concentration,

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

92

(5)

article no. fiw057

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., Sayavedra-Soto, L., Gallois, N., Schouten, S., Stein, L. Y., Prosser, J. I., Nicol, G. W.

(2016)

Identifying potential mechanisms enabling acidophily in the ammonia-oxidizing archaeon 'Candidatus Nitrosotalea devanaterra',

in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

82

(9)

pp. 2608-2619

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Weber, E. B., Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., Prosser, J. I., Gubry-Rangin, C.

(2015)

Ammonia oxidation is not required for growth of Group 1.1c soil Thaumarchaeota,

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

91

(3)

article no. fiv001

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Booth, I. R., Miller, S., Muller, A., Lehtovirta-Morley, L.

(2015)

The evolution of bacterial mechanosensitive channels,

in Cell Calcium

57

(3)

pp. 140–150

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., Ge, C., Ross, J., Yao, H., Nicol, G. W., Prosser, J. I.

(2014)

Characterisation of terrestrial acidophilic archaeal ammonia oxidisers and their inhibition and stimulation by organic compounds,

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

89

(3)

pp. 542–552

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lehtovirta-Morley, L., Verhamme, D., Nicol, G. W., Prosser, J. I.

(2013)

Effect of nitrification inhibitors on the growth and activity of Nitrosotalea devanaterra in culture and soil,

in Soil Biology and Biochemistry

62

pp. 129-133

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(Article)

(Published)


Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., Stoecker, K., Vilcinskas, A., Prosser, J. I., Nicol, G. W.

(2011)

Cultivation of an obligately acidophilic ammonia oxidizer from a nitrifying acid soil,

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

108

(38)

pp. 15892-15897

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Barnes, R. J., van der Gast, C. J., Riba, O., Lehtovirta, L. E., Prosser, J. I., Dobson, P. J., Thompson, I. P.

(2010)

The impact of zero-valent iron nanoparticles on a river water bacterial community,

in Journal of Hazardous Materials

184

(1-3)

pp. 73–80

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Lehtovirta, L. E., Prosser, J. I., Nicol, G. W.

(2009)

Soil pH regulates the abundance and diversity of Group 1.1c Crenarchaeota,

in FEMS Microbiology Ecology

70

(3)

pp. 367-376

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Key Research Interests

My research centres on molecular mechanisms which enable microorganisms to adapt to their environment. My particular focus is on terrestrial ammonia oxidation, a critical step in the global nitrogen cycle and a pre-requisite for all life on Earth. 

Oxidation of ammonia to nitrite is carried out by distinct groups of ammonia oxidising archaea and bacteria. Diversity, abundance and activity of ammonia oxidising microbial communities are shaped by environmental factors, including pH and ammonium, but the reason underpinning this selection is not understood. My goal is to address this gap by linking the physiology and biochemistry of ammonia oxidising microorganisms in culture to their ecological niches in soil.

I am especially interested in the physiology of ammonia oxidising archaea. These archaea are among the most numerous living organisms on the planet, but poorly understood compared to bacterial ammonia oxidisers. Prior to my fellowship, I discovered representatives of two novel genera of ammonia oxidising archaea and isolated them in pure culture. These archaea, Nitrosotalea devanaterra, Nitrosotalea sinensis and Nitrosocosmicus franklandus, are now the model organisms in my laboratory.