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Laura Rushton

Dr Laura Rushton

Senior Technician (Wastewater Testing)

School of Biosciences

Sir Martin Evans Building, Room West 2.11, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


Research Overview

My research interests are within the interdisciplinary theme of Industrial microbiology and antimicrobial resistance. I work collaboratively with global manufacturers of non-sterile preserved industrial products (Home, Beauty and Personal Care) to understand the risk, species diversity, and antimicrobial resistance of problematic bacterial contaminants.

Microbiomes, Microbes and Informatics (MMI)

I am a member of the Mahenthiralingam lab which is part of the MMI working group within the Organisms and Environment Division of the Cardiff School of Biosciences at Cardiff University.










Collaborative Projects

I enjoy collaborative projects and especially relish the opportunity for inter-disciplinary research that may broaden my skill set and experience. I recently collaborated with researchers at the Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University to investigate the activity of proprietary agents against priority bacterial pathogens.

Academic Research Projects

  • May 2020 – present: a Sêr Cymru Industrial funded Fellowship at Cardiff University (BIOSI) in collaboration with Unilever R&D (Port Sunlight, UK) 'Characterising the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria as key risk industrial contaminants.'
  • Oct 2019 – Mar 2020: Postdoctoral researcher on a project at Cardiff University (BIOSI) funded by Procarta Biosystems Ltd. (UK), ' Investigating the' Efficacy and mode of action of Procarta antimicrobial formulations on Burkholderia bacteria.
  • Mar 2019 – Oct 2019: Senior Research Technician role at the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London (Funder) and BIOSI Cardiff University, 'Investigating the effects of gastric bypass surgery on the human gut microbiota.'
  • Jun 2017 – Oct 2018: Postdoctoral Researcher working on a collaboration funded by L'Oréal R&D, (Paris, France), at Cardiff University (BIOSI) and Cardiff School of Pharmaceutical sciences 'Mapping the mechanisms of susceptibility and resistance of Burkholderia to a proprietary preservative.'
  • Nov 2011- Mar 2014: Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate Researcher, at Cardiff University (BIOSI) and Unilever R&D (Port Sunlight, UK), an Innovate UK & Unilever funded project 'To develop novel preservative systems that target bacterial resistance mechanisms and set new industrial standards for using cultivation independent microbial analysis in preservative challenge testing.'
  • Oct 2007 – Sept 2011; BBSRC-case sponsored PhD Student at BIOSI Cardiff University in partnership with Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, Wirral, UK, investigating 'The molecular basis for preservative resistance in Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria.


  • Co-investigator, Welsh Government Innovation for All Public Engagement Funding(2021): 'Engaging the public with antimicrobial resistance using blended arts and science events.'
  • MAGPIE: Sêr Cymru II Industrial Fellowship Award (2020): 'Characterising the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria as key risk industrial contaminants.'


Education and Qualifications

  • Research Team Leadership AdvanceHE Endorsed Certificate (2018); Cardiff University
  • City & Guilds 7300 qualification in Trainer skills (2013): Cardiff, UK
  • CMI Endorsed Certificate in Management (2011); Ashorne Hill Management College, UK
  • PhD in Microbiology (2007-2011)
  • B.Sc. (hons) Microbiology ( 2002-2005); Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University


  • Sêr Cymru Industrial Fellow (May 2020 – present), Cardiff School of Biosciences (BIOSI), Cardiff University, Wales, UK and Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, Wirral UK
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Oct 2019 – Mar 2020), BIOSI Cardiff University and Procarta Biosystems
  • Senior Research Technician (Mar 2019 – Oct 2019), Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London and Honorary Research Associate of BIOSI Cardiff University
  • Postdoctoral Researcher (Jun 2017 – Oct 2018), Cardiff University BIOSI and L'Oréal R&D, Paris, France
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate Researcher (Nov 2011- Mar 2014), BIOSI Cardiff University and Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, Wirral, UK
  • BBSRC case sponsored PhD Student (Oct 2007 – Sep 2011), BIOSI Cardiff University and Unilever R&D Port Sunlight, Wirral, UK
  • Research & Development Scientist (Nov 2005 – Sep 2007), British Biocell International, UK

Professional memberships

  • Microbiology Society (2002 onwards)
  • Society for Applied Microbiology (2007 onwards)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2007 onwards


School outreach

  • As part of the 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness week I engaged primary school children (key stage 2) with a virtual tour of the laboratory, introducing them to microbes and the challenges of antimicrobial resistance.
  • As a member of  MicroScientists, a Wellcome Trust ISSF funded program at Cardiff University(2019), I took part in school engagement activities to promote microbiology and STEM subjects.

Industrial engagement

After returning to academia from industry I have enjoyed working collaboratively with industrial partners to generate translational research. I have worked with Unilever R&D (Port Sunlight) on multiple projects since my PhD, investigating the species diversity and preservative resistance mechanisms of Gram-negative bacterial contaminants. I have also had the opportunity to work collaboratively with another global manufacturer, L’Oréal Paris France, to determine the efficacy and mode of action of a new preservative against problematic Burkholderia contaminants.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) engagement

Co-Investigator of 'ART LAB' : an Innovation for All Public Engagement grant, made possible by the Higher Education Council Funding Wales. ART LAB is a collaboration between researchers and staff at Cardiff University, the Creative Cardiff Network and arts and community hubs including Chapter Arts Centre. ART LAB was formed to explore and promote awareness of scientific topics through the mediums of art and film. The first topic we are focusing on is antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

Member of the GW4 Antimicrobial Resistance Alliancea One Health AMR research consortium at the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter to tackle the global threat of antimicrobial resistance.