Speakers (A-Z)

Laure Boutrais from a company called Absorb holding a jar of fermented produce

Laure Boutrais

Laure Boutrais is the founder of Cardiff-based company Absorb, which produces a range of water kefir as well as sauer kraut and salt products. She qualified as a Naturopathic Nutrition Consultant in 2017 and focuses on the health benefits of fermented foods and drinks, particularly water kefir. In addition to making products using natural ingredients, Laure Boutrais provides workshops and individual coaching on nutrition and naturopathic health in Cardiff.
A profile picture of Dr David Bryant from Aberystwyth University

Dr David Bryant

Dr David Bryant is a senior research fellow in the Biomass Refining and Bioconversion Group at IBERS AU. With expertise in plant and microbial industrial biotechnology, his research focuses on precision fermentation, scale-up and downstream processing.  He has supervised and co-supervised 8 PhD students and led international industrially focussed research consortia in Europe (Climate-KIC BIOSUCCONNOVATE) and India (BBSRC BIOREVIEW).   The output of these projects has led to the commercialisation of his research on the fermentative manufacture of xylitol and the formation of the AU spin-out company ARCITEK-Bio Ltd, where he serves as a non-executive director. He leads the BBSRC FoodBioSystems project employing solid-state fermentation “Biorefining Protein from UK Grasslands – Can We Combine Novel Protein with Surplus Bread Crusts to Sustainably Feed Healthier Food to More People?” in association with Samworth Brothers Ltd. More recently, his research interests have centred on plant-based media production for the cultured meat industry, and he is a Co-Investigator on the BBSRC FoodBioSystems project, “Rethinking Cultured Meat (CM) Growth Medium: Can Grassland Plant-Derived Supplements Sustainably Support CM Production?”, in association with Cellular Agriculture Ltd. Furthermore, he is the IBERS lead in the BBSRC Engineering Biology Microbial Foods hub led by Imperial College London, providing expertise in the scale-up of fermented foods and also co-leads the UKSPF BEACON Mid-Wales project working with Powys-based companies active in the circular bioeconomy.

Professor Hazel Davey

Hazel Davey is a Professor in Biology at the Department of Life Sciences at Aberystwyth University. She is the scheme coordinator for the postgraduate MRes Biosciences (C190) and an elected member of the University’s Senate. A graduate of Aberystwyth University with a BSc in Zoology and Microbiology and a PhD on Flow Cytometry of Microorganisms, Professor Davey teaches biology and biochemistry to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research focuses on the Brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its response to stress. She is an elected fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.  

A head and shoulders photo of Dr Rhian Hayward, CEO of AberInnovation

Dr Rhian Hayward

Dr Hayward joined AberInnovation as Chief Executive Officer in January 2017 and has led the construction of the £40.5m Innovation Campus and the initiatives that support early-stage bioscience businesses to grow.  During this time Dr Hayward has acted as Vice Chair of the UK Science Park Association, Board member of the Welsh Industrial Development Board and the Food & Drink Industry Board and has became a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. Currently, Dr Hayward is a member of the Board of the Food Standards Agency. Her commitment to science and innovation continues from a series of roles in the commercialisation of life science technologies in the private and public sectors. She has a DPhil in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of Oxford and a first-class BSc from King’s College London. Dr Hayward was awarded the MBE for services to Entrepreneurship in Wales in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016.

A head and shoulders photo of Richard Wyn Huws

Professor Nigel Holt

Nigel Holt is a Professor of Psychology at Aberystwyth University. He has interests in a number of research areas but in terms of fermentation his interest stems from his work in ‘One Health’ –  an approach to health that has become the focus of a good deal of work globally. Animal health, human health and Environmental health are intrinsically linked and addressing one aspect of this can affect the others. His work with Kombucha and gut health and how this physical ‘intervention’ involves behaviour change and attention to psychology is an aspect of this work.

A head and shoulders photo of Richard Wyn Huws

Richard Wyn Huws

Richard Wyn Huws and his wife Iola bought Pant Du farm in 2003 when it was being used to raise sheep and cows. Their dream was to make wine. In 2007, they planted a vineyard and orchard on the slopes of their Eryri farm and in 2010 produced their first bottles of Pant Du wine. They also produce cider, apple juice and spring water. Richard, who is also a professional television camera man, is now working with researchers at Aberystwyth University to produce a fermented apple cider vinegar with health benefits.

Profile picture of Yr Athro | Professor Huw D Jones

Professor Huw D Jones

Huw D Jones is Professor of Translational Genomics for Plant Breeding at the Department of Life Sciences and the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University. His research applies biotechnology approaches to study functional genomics in plants with a current focus on gene editing. He also has interests in plant tissue culture, chloroplast transformation, RNAi and in validating promoters for targeting expression to pre-defined tissues. In addition to his research and teaching interests he has expertise policy development and in environmental risk assessment and food safety for regulation of biotechnology. He is a current member of the UK Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) ‘Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes’ and Defra’s ‘Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment’; he also served on the GMO panel of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2009-2018, the last two years as vice-chair. He has published over 110 research papers, books and other articles in plant molecular genetics and biotechnology. And has co-authored a further 160 scientific risk assessment opinions and guidance documents for EFSA or UK FSA.
Jamila La-Malfa Donaldson holding a small container of hemp seeds

Jamila La-Malfa Donaldson

Jamila La Malfa-Donaldson is founder of PROHEMPOTIC, an agri-food tech business dedicated to unearthing the potential of hemp seeds. Jamila has unique experience in industrial hemp testing, cultivation and processing from her PhD research with Aberystwyth University. Before taking up her PhD studies, she obtained her Masters in Chemical Engineering with Business from the University of Birmingham. After graduating, she then worked for several years as a Science Communicator, delivering hands-on STEM workshops to inspire students across the UK and abroad. Jamila launched her business in 2022 after winning the university’s InvEnterPrize competition. Whilst running her business, Jamila is finalising her PhD as well as providing technical support for collaborative R&D projects as Plant Product Management Associate with the new UK Agri-Tech Centre. Jamila is interested in modernising ancient techniques, such as fermentation, to create nutritious and delicious food and drinks from agricultural products and waste streams. She is also committed to championing diversity and inclusion in innovation and has received Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Award and Unlocking Potential Award. 

Dr Amanda J Lloyd

Dr Amanda J Lloyd is a Senior Researcher with the Food, Diet and Health Research Group at Aberystwyth University’s Department of Life Sciences, which studies the effect of diet and physical activity on health and disease. She has been working with food and drink companies across Wales to investigate the next generation of fermented and functional foods and beverages. Dr Lloyd is currently working on four Innovate UK research projects looking at the creation of ‘Better’ foods, alongside OIRC Food Innovation hub projects. Dr Lloyd has been the lead innovator for her research group in collaborations with prestigious academic teams in the UK, Spain, France, Portugal and Canada, and is Programme manager of the 5-year MRC project looking at emerging technologies to generate a Standardised and Objective Dietary Intake Assessment Tool (SODIAT). 

A profile picture of Dr Lindsey Male from Aber Instruments

Dr Lindsey Male

Dr Lindsey Male is a Product Manager at Aber Instruments, where she oversees the management of the company’s brewing product suite. This technology allows breweries and distilleries across the world to monitor their yeast, ensuring quality and consistency in every fermentation. In 2019, she completed a PhD at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), researching yeast management and the ability to predict fermentation performance using machine learning. Aber Instruments was established in January 1988 as one of the University’s first spin-out companies and supplies fermentation monitoring systems world-wide for the fast and accurate measurement of biomass concentration, using technology developed from Aberystwyth University research.

Yr Athro / Professor Darren Oatley-Radcliffe

Professor Darren Oatley-Radcliffe

Professor Darren Oatley-Radcliffe is a Chemical and Biological Process Engineer and is a Fellow of the IChemE and HEA. He spent a decade working in the pharmaceutical industries where his experience covers both cGMP batch and continuous production of pharmaceuticals, design and development of new chemical entities, and safety/risk assessment. During his industrial career he was given lead engineer status on the development of several pharmaceuticals (e.g. GW685698X – Veramyst, allergic rhinitis and GW856553 – Losmapimod, cardiovascular disease and COPD) and was a key figure in the development of a novel continuous primary production facility. Having successfully completed inaugural campaigns in this landmark facility, he was awarded the title of ‘Vanguard’ at the GSK CEO Sustainability Awards 2009. In the spring of 2010, Darren accepted an academic position and moved to Swansea University where he currently resides. His research interests include circular economy and climate mitigation technologies which focus on algae technology and membrane separations. This includes the design and development of novel membranes and membrane processes, algae production and downstream processing, and water technologies for waste clean-up, recycling and drinking water production. Since joining the team at Swansea University he has led several research projects including the design, construction and commissioning of a new pilot photo-bioreactor and is also leading efforts in downstream processing of microalgae and membrane research. He holds several patents, has written multiple books and chapters, has published around 50+ articles in international peer reviewed journals. He is currently the External Examiner for Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, has a h-index of 24, and has been cited over 4000 times. In 2012 he spun out the company Membranology Limited and in 2019 created APEX Water Solutions. He is currently developing products and technologies in partnership with Algae Products International

Mark Pavey of Conwy Kombucha Ltd standing at a stall displaying bottles of Blighty Booch kombucha drink.

Mark Pavey

Mark Pavey is a Director at Conwy Kombucha, founded in 2018 to produce Blighty Booch kombucha – a naturally sparkling fermented tea brewed traditionally in small batches using single estate China Teas. Mark is responsible for overseeing the production, distribution and promotion of the company’s products, as well as developing new flavours, partnerships, and opportunities. He is the main commercial partner on a research project funded by Innovate UK at Aberystwyth University to explore and test the health and wellbeing benefits of kombucha.

A head and shoulders photo of Natalie Rouse from BIC Innovation

Natalie Rouse

Natalie Rouse is a Registered Associate Nutritionist with over eighteen years’ experience working within human nutrition, nutritional research, consultancy, clinical nutrition, and health intervention, at academic institutions, UK special forces, and commercial nutrition consultancy (both nationally and internationally), covering all sectors across the food, beverage, supplement and novel ingredient sectors. She joined BIC Innovation in 2019 as a Nutritionist, Nutritional Research Scientist, Horizon Scanner, and Markets and Technologies Researcher supporting the Future Foods project, alongside additional projects such as Welsh Government Community Food Initiatives, NutriWales, ValuSect and AHFES, providing insights, and hosting presentations/webinars combining academia and commercial development.

A head and shoulders photo of Dr Alexander Taylor

Dr Alexander Taylor

Dr Alexander Taylor is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychology Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Reading, a MSc honours degree in Neuroscience from the University of Manchester, and a first-class BSc honours degree in Human Biology and Psychology from Staffordshire University. A lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Aberystwyth University, Dr Taylor has experience and expertise in research of, as well as clinical and teaching experience in the following areas: affective neuroscience, cognition, ageing, Alzheimer’s, mental health, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, immune markers, neuropsychology and research methods. The main themes of his research are focused on older adults emotional and physical health in the context of emotional and cognition interactions in relation to psychological and neural models and theories