Dr. Bronwyn Kirby-McCullough

Position: Senior Lecturer/Manager of Next Generation Sequencing Facility

Contact: bkirby@uwc.ac.za\bronniek23@gmail.com

Research Project: My main role is running the sequencing facility, however I also conduct research focusing on members of the class Actinobacteria

Who am I: I obtained my PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town in 2007. My thesis was entitled ‘The characterisation of actinomycetes isolated from diverse South African sources, with emphasis on the genus Kribbella’. I joined IMBM in July 2011 as a post doctoral researcher working on a water research funded investigating the role of constructed wetlands in the treatment of winery waste water. I subsequently changed projects and went back to my favourite organism, actinobacteria, studying their diversity in extreme habitats including the Antarctic Dry Valleys and Ethiopian Rift Valley soda lakes. In July 2011 I said goodbye to being on the bench full time as I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biotechnology and manage the Next Generation Sequencing Facility. While my main role within the department is running the sequencing facility, I have developed my own research group focusing on actinobacteria and I am particularly interested in studying actinobacteria-plant interactions, pathogenic actinobacteria and novel gene discovery.


Kirby BM, Le Roes M and Meyers PR (2006). Kribbella karoonensis sp. nov. and Kribbella swartbergensis sp. nov., isolated from soil from the Western Cape, South Africa. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 56, 1097-1101.

Wood SA, Kirby BM, Goodwin CM, Le Roes M. and Meyers PR (2007). PCR screening reveals unexpected antibiotic biosynthetic potential in Amycolatopsis sp. strain UM16. Journal of Applied Microbiology 102: 245-253

Kirby BM and Meyers PR (2009). Micromonospora tulbaghiae sp. nov., isolated from the leaves of wild garlic, Tulbaghia violacea. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol; DOI 10.1099/ijs.0.013243-0

Babalola OO, Kirby BM, Le Roes-Hill M., Cook AE, Cary SC, Burton SG and Cowan DA (2009). Phylogenetic analysis of actinobacterial populations associated with Antarctic Dry Valley mineral soils. Environ Microbiol 11, 566–576.

Kirby BM, Everest GJ and Meyers PR (2010). Phylogenetic analysis of the genus Kribbella based on the gyrB gene: proposal of a gyrB -sequence threshold for species delineation in the genus Kribbella. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 97, 131-142.

Kirby, BM., Vengadajellum C J, Burton SG and Cowan DA (2010). Coal, Coal Mines and Spoil Heaps. In: Timmis, Kenneth N. (Ed.) Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology, Springer Heidelberg, Vol 3 , pp. 2277-2292

Kirby BM, Le Roes-Hill M, Cary SC, Burton SG, Tuffin IM. and Cowan DA.  (2011). Actinobacterial diversity associated with Antarctic Dry Valley mineral soils. In: De Bruijn, Frans J. (Ed). Handbook of Molecular Microbial Ecology II: Metagenomics in Different Habitats. Wiley-Blackwell.

Cowan DA, Kirby BM, Meiring TL, Ferrer M, Guazzaroni M–E, Golyshina OV and Golyshin PN. (2010). Enzymes from Extreme Environments In: Baltz Richard H, Davies Julian E. and Demain, AL. (Eds) Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 3rd Edition.

Kirby BM, Barnard D, Tuffin IM and Cowan DA. (2010). Ecological distribution of microorganisms in terrestrial, psychrophilic habitats. In: Horikoshi K (Ed) Extremophiles Handbook. In Press.

Kirby BM, Easton S, Tuffin IM and Cowan DA. Bacterial Diversity in Polar Habitats. In: Polar and Sub-Polar Microbiology. Edited by RV Miller and LG Whyte. In Press.


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