Projects per year
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
Key Research Interests and Expertise
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.
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1/10/20 → 30/09/21
1/02/20 → 31/01/25
31/03/18 → 31/03/23
1/12/17 → 30/09/22
1/04/17 → 11/08/22
Soil, senescence and exudate utilisation: characterisation of the Paragon var. spring bread wheat root microbiomePrudence, S. M. M., Newitt, J. T., Worsley, S. F., Macey, M. C., Murrell, J. C., Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E. & Hutchings, M. I., 21 Jun 2021, In : Environmental Microbiome. 16, 1
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen Access
Wright, C. L., Schatteman, A., Crombie, A. T., Murrell, J. C. & Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., 1 May 2020, In : Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 86, 9, e02388.
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen AccessFile9 Citations (Scopus)19 Downloads (Pure)
Novel insights into the Thaumarchaeota in the deepest oceans: their metabolism and potential adaptation mechanismsZhong, H., Lehtovirta-Morley, L., Liu, J., Zheng, Y., Lin, H., Song, D., Todd, J., Tian, J. & Zhang, X-H., 1 Jun 2020, In : Microbiome. 8, 1, 16 p., 78.
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen AccessFile8 Citations (Scopus)23 Downloads (Pure)
Genome Sequence of “Candidatus Nitrosocosmicus franklandus” C13, a Terrestrial Ammonia-Oxidizing ArchaeonNicol, G. W., Hink, L., Gubry-Rangin, C., Prosser, J. I. & Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., 3 Oct 2019, In : Microbiology Resource Announcements. 8, 40
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen AccessFile2 Citations (Scopus)11 Downloads (Pure)
Lehtovirta-Morley, L. E., 1 May 2018, In : FEMS Microbiology Letters. fny058.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review articleOpen AccessFile50 Citations (Scopus)15 Downloads (Pure)