Joseph Carroll

ERC-funded Research Technician

Ammonia oxidation is the first step in the process of nitrification, which plays a crucial role in the global biogeochemical nitrogen cycle. However, nitrification also results in nitrate leaching, which can act as an environmental pollutant. Nitrification also leads to the production of the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide. There are a multitude of microorganisms, from a wide range of environments, responsible for the nitrification process. Among those are the ammonia oxidisers, such as ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) and ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA), which are responsible for the initial stage involving the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite under aerobic conditions. Various environmental driving factors can have a large impact on the environmental role of these microorganisms and their relative contribution to nitrification, including pH and ammonia concentration.


Having recently joined the Lehtovirta-Morley lab, my project primarily focuses on ammonia oxidation in soil ecosystems. The aim of my research is to find out which microorganisms have the greatest impact on soil nitrification, the physiological traits responsible for each microorganisms relative contribution to nitrification, and to understand the influence that different environmental driving factors can have on the success of different ammonia oxidising microorganisms.


Prior to starting this project, I completed a BSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield. Following this I undertook an MSc in Biochemistry at the University of Kent, where I studied a family of ubiquitously expressed integral membrane proteins which are believed to play a crucial role in conferring antimicrobial resistance in a wide range of bacteria.


Joseph Carroll

School of Biological Sciences

University of East Anglia

Norwich Research Park

Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK