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The meeting was postponed from February to May 2022, due to the COVID situation. Delegates that have previously registered for the meeting will not be required to register again for the rescheduled dates. For those that are unable to attend the meeting on the rescheduled dates and would like to request a cancellation or would like to transfer their place to another delegate please email [email protected]

Microbes are the organisms primarily responsible for degrading, modifying and producing Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs), which are:

  • Responsible for altering the climate and atmosphere
  • Sources of energy, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur
  • Signalling molecules
  • Stress protectants
  • Biomarkers
  • Valuable for biotechnology

This meeting will address recent advances in the field of BVOC microbiology, e.g. their roles in global biogeochemical cycles, the discovery of new degradation pathways, the role of BVOCs in inter- and intra-species signalling, new techniques to explore the volatile metabolome and synthetic biology approaches to create novel BVOC biosynthetic pathways.

BVOCs to be discussed include terpenes, isoprene, methylated amines, dimethylsulfide, gaseous alkanes, alkenes, aromatics, halogenated methanes, acetaldehyde, acetone, propanol, methanol and related gases, such as carbon monoxide, which can react with VOCs to create ozone pollution. All of these volatiles have biogeochemical cycles, some of which are well known, while others are almost unexplored.

Key topics:

  • Biogeochemical cycling of BVOCs
  • Mechanisms of BVOC production and consumption by microbes
  • BVOCs in sustainable biotechnological processes
  • Microbial BVOCs as signalling molecules and metabolic fingerprints

Organising committee:

  • Professor J. Colin Murrell (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Dr Marcela Hernández (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Professor Terry J. McGenity (University of Essex, UK)
Further information will be announced in the build up to the meeting on our social media channels and you can follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc using the hashtag #VOCmicrobes22



Session View

Wednesday 25 May, Afternoon

Session 2: Biotechnology and signalling molecules

Lecture View

Wednesday 25 May, Morning

Wednesday 25 May, Afternoon

Thursday 26 May, Afternoon

Abstracts & posters

Abstract submission has now closed.

Presenters who have had their abstracts accepted can find some guidance on preparing for their presentations below.

Oral presenters

Please prepare your presentation in widescreen (16:9) format for PowerPoint and bring the file to the meeting on USB memory stick or ensure the file is accessible via cloud storage.

A Windows PC will be available. If you wish to present from a Mac, please bring your own device and cable to connect to the projector.

All offered paper presentations are either 12 minutes or 15 minutes in length. Please check the online programme to find the time that your presentation will be taking place.

For those delivering 15 minute presentations, please prepare a 12 minute presentation and allow 3 minutes for questions.

If delivering a 12 minute presentation, please prepare a 10 minute presentation and allow 3 minutes for questions.

We have produced a guide on how to give an oral presentation, which can be downloaded below:

How to...give an oral presentation

Flash Poster presenters 

Those delivering a flash poster presentation should prepare a 5 minute PowerPoint presentation and note the technical instructions provided for oral presenters.

Poster presenters

Those who are presenting a poster must ensure the work is presented as below. Incorrectly formatted posters might not be displayed.

  • Poster size: A0 size 841mm(w) x 1189mm(h) - your poster must not exceed these measurements. 
  • Poster layout: MUST BE portrait orientation. 
  • Posters will be displayed on poster boards measuring 1m(w) x 2m(h), one to a side. 
  • Posters can ONLY be fixed by Velcro (which will be provided at the meeting). 

We have produced a guide on how to give a poster presentation, which can be downloaded below:

How to...give a poster presentation

Microbiology 'Most Promising Science' Prize

Microbiology is pleased to provide the ‘Most Promising Science Prize’ to a scientific poster at the Microbial Cycling of Volatile Organic Compounds meeting. The winner selected by members of the organising committee will win a cash prize and be featured on the Microbe Post. All posters displayed at the meeting are automatically entered for the prize.


Registration is now open. 

Registration fees 

Members get heavily subsidised registration fees for Annual Conference, Focused Meetings and other Society events – both online and in-person. Join now to enjoy these discounts and many other opportunities that are designed for microbiologists at all stages of their career. 



Full member 


Concessionary member 


Student member 


Delegates that have previously registered for the meeting will not be required to register again for the rescheduled dates. For those that are unable to attend the meeting on the rescheduled dates and would like to request a cancellation or would like to transfer their place to another delegate please email [email protected]

What's included in your registration fee?

  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Drinks’ reception and dinner
  • Certificate of participation (upon request)

Registration confirmation 

Upon registration, you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact [email protected] if after 24 hours this has not been received. 

Payment information 

All registration fees must be paid in full before the start of the event. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before any joining instructions containing information on how to access the event are sent out. 

Grants and Professional Development


Society Conference Grants will be available to support eligible members wishing to attend this Focused Meeting.

Applications will open on 3 March 2022 and close on 20 March 2022. Full information is available on the Society Conference Grant page.

We are aware of ongoing uncertainty around event attendance as the pandemic continues. To find out more about our grant refund policies, please visit our Grant Rules page.

Members who are ineligible for the Society Conference Grant should apply to the Travel Grant scheme for support. Applications for events taking place between 1 April–30 June 2022 are now open and will close on 1 March 2022.

Please contact [email protected] for any questions.

Exhibition & Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this meeting.

Please download our exhibitor and sponsor pack to view our options, which suit varying budgets and help create the opportunities you need to connect with new and existing customers. If you have any questions about the packages please email [email protected].

Microbial Cycling of Volatile Organic Compounds 2022 Exhibitor and Sponsor Pack







This meeting will take place at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

Venue address

John Innes Centre,
Norwich Research Park,
Colney Lane,


Please note that accommodation is not included in the registration fees for this meeting; however, below we have provided some details of accommodation close to the venue should you need to book a place to stay:

Broadview Lodge, University of East Anglia

En-suite double, twin, family and accessible rooms available
Flexible rate of £55.00 single occupancy or £65.00 double occupancy (room only)
15 - 20 minute walk, 15 minute bus journey (number 511) or 5 minute drive to venue

Contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591918
Email: [email protected]
Further details on their website.

Premier Inn, Norwich West (Showground/A47)

En-suite double, twin, family and accessible rooms available
Advance and flexible rates available with optional breakfast
15 minute bus journey (number 4) or 5 - 10 minute drive to venue

Contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)333 321 1366
Further details on their website.

Travelodge, Norwich Cringleford

En-suite double, twin, family and accessible rooms available
Saver and flexible rates available with optional breakfast
25 minute bus journey (ask hotel for options) or 5 - 10 minute drive to venue

Contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)871 984 6205
Further details on their website.

Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich

En-suite double, twin and family rooms available
Saver and flexible rates available with optional breakfast
20 minute bus journey (number 21) or 10 minute drive

Contact details:
Tel: +44 (0)160 374 1161
Email: [email protected]
Further details on their website.

Chestnut Grove Bed & Breakfast

En-suite single and double rooms available
Single occupancy rates available with breakfast included
20 minute bus journey (ask hotel for options) or 5 - 10 minute drive to venue

Contact details:
Tel: +44 (01)603 451932
Further details on their website.


Below you will find more information about our invited speakers, who will present their work and research at Microbial Cycling of Volatile Organic Compounds: Biogeochemistry to Biotechnology.

  • Lucy Carpenter (University of York, UK)
  • Yin Chen (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Paolina Garbeva (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Netherlands)
  • Marcela Hernandez (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Marina Kalyuzhnaya (San Diego State University, USA)
  • Gary King (Louisiana State University, USA)
  • Raquel Lebrero (University of Valladolid, Spain)
  • Laura Meredith (University of Arizona, USA)
  • Colin Murrell (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Florin Musat (UFZ Leipzig, Germany)
  • Riikka Rinnan (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Michael Steinke (University of Essex, UK)
  • Jonathan Todd (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Stéphane Vuilleumier (University of Strasbourg, France)
Lucy Carpenter
© Lucy Carpenter
Lucy Carpenter

Lucy Carpenter, FRS is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York.  Her group studies the complex interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere, in particular the chemistry of reactive halogens, organic carbon, and reactive nitrogen.  She helped establish and is Director of the Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory.  She has been lead chapter author of two WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessments of Ozone Depletion and now serves on the Scientific Steering Committee.  She holds an ERC Advanced Grant to study air-sea interactions involving tropospheric ozone and has received a Philip Leverhulme Prize, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and Wolfson Merit Award, and a Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize. 

© Yin Chen

Yin Chen

Yin Chen is a Professor in microbiology at the University of Warwick, UK. He obtained a BSc/MSc in 2002/2005 from Tsinghua University, China, and a PhD in 2008 from the Department of Biological Sciences, Warwick. Current research in his group focuses on microbial diversity, genetics and biochemistry of microorganisms involved in the metabolism of methylamines, quaternary amines and lipids in the human body as well as a variety of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Twitter: @chen_group

Paolina Garbeva
© Paolina Garbeva
Paolina Garbeva

Dr Paolina Garbeva is microbiologist by training with strong affinity for Microbial Chemical Ecology. She received her PhD degree from the Leiden University (Netherlands) in 2005. At present she is a senior scientist and research group leader at the department of Microbial Ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW).

During the last ten years, she gained experience in the fields of plant-microbe interactions, chemical ecology, molecular microbiology, comparative genomics and metabolomics. The focus of her research group is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of microbe-microbe and plant-microbe communication and interactions with particular attention to the role of microbial volatiles. 

Next to fundamental scientific aspects, her research programme also contributes to applied science through the discovery of novel bioactive compounds important for sustainable agriculture and crop production.

Marcela Hernandez
© Marcela Hernandez
Marcela Hernandez

Dr Hernández is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK and a visiting professor at the Institute of Soil Science, CAS, China. She obtained her PhD in 2010 from the Universidad de La Frontera, Chile. After finishing her PhD, she received an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to perform her postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Germany. In the UK, she has worked as a research associate at the University of Southampton and the UEA. Dr Hernández studies the process of soil formation by investigating the role of microbes in volcanic soils, specifically characterising CO-oxidising microbes. Her research focuses on soil bacteria involved in atmospheric trace gas metabolism in volcanic soils of varying ages and their importance for plant survival and growth. Dr. Hernández is a Senior Editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, and a trustee of the Society for Applied Microbiology.

© Marina Kalyuzhnaya

Marina Kalyuzhnaya

Dr Kalyuzhnaya graduated with honours from the Dnepropetrovsk National University, Department of Microbiology, Ukraine, in 1994. She earned her PhD in Microbiology in 2000 from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Center for Microbiology and Biotechnology & the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms (Pushchino). Since 2001 Dr Kalyuzhnaya has lived and worked in the United States. She is currently a faculty member in the Department of Biology and the Viral Information Institute at San Diego State University. She is also an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Her research interests are focused on improving the knowledge of microbial cycling of single-carbon compounds in nature and bioengineering of novel systems for sustainable production of biofuels, chemicals, and biodegradable materials.  Her unique expertise includes microbial genomics and physiology, systems biology, and metabolic engineering. She is an author of more than 100 scientific publications, book chapters, and numerous patents related to microbial single-carbon conversion.


Gary King
© Gary King
Gary King

Gary M King is a microbial biologist and ecologist with wide-ranging interests in the functional roles of microbes in diverse systems. His research has included the marine water column and seafloor, marine and freshwater wetlands, managed and unmanaged soils in forests and agricultural settings, and extreme environments such as hypersaline brines, deserts and volcanoes. Methane, carbon monoxide and other trace gases have formed a focal point for research with goals of understanding how the microbes involved in trace gas utilization interact with the atmosphere. King obtained a PhD in microbiology from the University of Georgia, completed a postdoc at Michigan State University, and held faculty positions at Århus University and the University of Maine before assuming his current position as a Professor of Microbial Biology at Louisiana State University.

Raquel Lebrero
© Raquel Lebrero

Raquel Lebrero

Associated professor at the Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology Department at the University of Valladolid and senior researcher at the Institute of Sustainable Processes. Raquel Lebrero completed her PhD Thesis on biotechnologies for odour abatement in 2013. To date, she has published more than 90 research articles in international journals (h index 26) and co-authored 14 international book chapters. She has directed 4 PhD Thesis, with 12 Thesis under supervision. Dr Lebrero has been principal investigator of several national and international research projects (INCOVER or URBIOFIN) and has led numerous R&D contracts with national and international companies (Nestle, Naturgy, Plasfich Iberica, Tholander, etc.). Over the past 10 years, Raquel has presented 65 contributions in international conferences. Her research work is focused on the field of biological waste gas treatment and valorization (odours, volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases), biogas and wastewater treatment and valorization through microalgae technology and indoor air treatment.

Laura Meredith
© Laura Meredith
Laura Meredith

Dr Laura Meredith is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona (UA) where she leads a research team focused on microbial trace gas metabolism, methods for sensing trace gases in soil, and scaling microbial processes driving biosphere-atmosphere exchange. Dr. Meredith received her PhD in 2013 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where her dissertation centered on the overwhelming soil microbial sink for H2. As a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University she investigated the genomic underpinnings of microbial uptake of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide (OCS)—a promising carbon cycle tracer. Dr. Meredith joined the faculty of the UA in 2017 and has since built a research program supported by grants including the prestigious NSF CAREER award. As the Tropical Rainforest Science Director at Biosphere 2, she recently co-led the Water, Atmosphere, and Life Dynamics (WALD) campaign, a controlled ecosystem drought and rewet experiment focusing on VOC cycling.


Colin Murrell
© Colin Murrell

Colin Murrell

Colin Murrell researches the bacterial metabolism of methane and other one-carbon compounds and the microbiology of the climate-active gas isoprene. He has pioneered work on the physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and ecology of methanotrophs, and the development of molecular ecology techniques such as functional gene probing and DNA Stable Isotope Probing, resulting in ~350 publications and six edited books. He has graduated around 60 PhD students.  Murrell was President of ISME from 2016-2018 and currently serves on their Executive Advisory Board. He has chaired Gordon Research Conferences on C1 Metabolism and Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  Elected Member of EMBO in 2014 and Member of the European Academy of Microbiology in 2015. He is an ERC Advanced Grant holder, member of the SAB of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, and the Governing Council of the John Innes Centre.  

Lab web page

Florin Musat
© Florin Musat
Florin Musat

Florin Musat is a research scientist in Microbiology and Anaerobic Processes at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Germany. He studied Biology and Genetics at the University of Bucharest, Romania, and conducted his doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Marine Microbiology, Germany. He obtained his PhD in Microbiology in 2005 from the University of Bremen. He held researcher positions at the University of Bucharest, MPI, UFZ, and associate researcher at the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. During his stay at the UFZ he discovered novel lineages of archaea that oxidize higher alkanes, which is currently his major research topic. The group is now investigating the physiology and biochemistry of such archaea, and the way they shuttle electrons to sulfate-reducing bacteria. Other research interests include iron corrosion by methanogens, oxidation of hydrocarbons by anaerobes, microbial physiology, interspecies interactions, and the ecophysiology of hydrocarbon-oxidizing microbes.


Riikka Rinna
© Riikka Rinna

Riikka Rinna

Riikka Rinna is a professor in Ecosystem-Atmosphere interactions and head of the Terrestrial Ecology Section at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her PhD focused on peatland vegetation responses to environmental changes and their effects on CO2 and methane fluxes. After finishing her PhD at the University of Eastern Finland in 2003, her post doc period moved her into soil microbial ecology in projects at Lund University and the University of Copenhagen. At the same time, she started parallel projects in the biogeochemistry of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Rinnan’s current research focuses on the abiotic and biotic controls of VOC exchange in plants, soils, and ecosystems – especially in the Arctic. She holds an ERC consolidator grant and has received the Elite Research Award from the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

Twitter: @Riikka_Rinnan

Michael Steinke
© Michael Steinke

Michael Steinke

I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the University of Essex in Colchester. My research addresses fundamental questions on the role of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) in the physiology and ecology of aquatic organisms. Many of the BVOCs I study transfer into the atmosphere where they contribute to the biogeochemical cycling of important elements and affect atmospheric processing, particle formation and climate.

Twitter: @oxyrrhis


Jonathan Todd
© Jonathan Todd

Jonathan Todd

Professor J. Todd is an environmental microbiologist at the University of East Anglia, UK and Ocean University of China. His research group combines molecular genetics with environmental microbiology to investigate microbial biogeochemical cycling, with specific aims to elucidate the mechanisms used to synthesise and regulate the cycling of abundant biomolecules, including important climate active gases. For example, he is at the forefront of organosulfur cycling research and has made significant contributions in this field. Working with many inter/national collaborators, he identified a novel pathway and the mechanism by which diverse bacteria produce dimethyl sulfide (DMS) from methanethiol. His group also uncovered large biodiversity in marine dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) synthesis and lysis; characterised the pathways, the enzyme structures, their biochemical mechanisms; the global distribution of the genes, their environmental transcript levels and regulation; and uncovered overlooked hotspot environments for organosulfur cycling. His publications are influencing research on e.g. sulfur cycling and are providing key molecular tools for environmental applications.

Twitter: @ToddLabUEA

Stéphane Vuilleumier
© Stéphane Vuilleumier

Stéphane Vuilleumier

Stéphane Vuilleumier studied Natural Sciences at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and obtained his PhD in chemistry at the University of Basel. After post-doctoral fellowships in Cambridge (UK) and at ETH Zürich, he became group leader at the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zürich. He has been Professor of microbiology in Strasbourg (France) since 2002 and leads the team “Adaptations et interactions microbiennes dans l’environnement” of the CNRS research unit Génétique Moléculaire, Génomique, Microbiologie (UMR 7156 CNRS). He chaired the Gordon Research Conference “Molecular Basis of Microbial One Carbon Metabolism” in 2016 and coordinated the Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research for Strasbourg (2016-2018). He shares responsibility for the Master Chemistry, Biology and Drug Design at the University of Strasbourg, and participates in the animation of the EcotoxicoMic microbial ecotoxicology network, and of the Strasbourg Research Initiative in Sustainability and the Environment.