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Catrin Williams

Dr Catrin Williams


School of Biosciences

+44 29208 74595
Sir Martin Evans Building, Room W/2.12, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Welsh speaking
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a microbiologist interested in innovative ways to detect and treat diseases. The main technological focus of my work is centred upon the biomedical application of microwaves: electromagnetic fields which are commonly used for industrial, scientific and biomedical applications. My goal is to better understand how microwaves interact with living systems so that we can design new approaches to tackle global public health issues, such as antimicrobial resistance. My team is based within the Microbiomes, Microbes and Informatics (MMI) group at Cardiff School of Biosciences.

I collaborate closely with researchers from across the STEM subjects and am passionate about public engagement. I enjoy communicating my research to diverse audiences, including through the medium of Welsh, and actively work towards inspiring the next generation of girls and women in science. I also feel privileged to have the opportunity to teach our talented students at the School of Biosciences as part of the BI1001, BI1003, BI2332 and BI3155 modules.

I am also the Careers and Employability lead for the School of Biosciences, keeping Bioscience students informed about employment and career opportunities and meeting with industry representatives to identify how Biosciences can incorporate vocational elements to strengthen undergraduate courses and increase student employability.

I am always interested to hear from potential collaborators or students who would like to work as part of my research group. For further information, please do get in touch.




















  • Biosensors and Diagnostics Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Hub (5 studentships), management team member with CHEMY (lead), ENGIN, PHARMY & MEDIC.
  • Sêr Cymru II Fellowship, from ERDF, Welsh Government and Cardiff University (£185,298), 2016
  • SWBio PhD Studentship (£70,000) awarded as co-applicant with Prof Joanne Cable (BIOSI), 2018
  • School of Engineering Small Equipment Research Fund (£16,933) awarded as a co-applicant with Prof. Adrian Porch to purchase a fluorescence microscope, 2015
  • School of Engineering Small Equipment Research Fund (£5,700) awarded to purchase cell culture facilities, 2017
  • Welsh Crucible Grant (£5,000) awarded as a co-applicant with Dr Jo Welton (Cardiff Metropolitan University) to facilitate this new collaboration, 2018
  • Fisheries Society of the British Isles Small Research Grant (£5,000) to facilitate a new collaboration with Dr Rachel Paterson (BIOSI), 2018
  • CITER MSc Student Bursary (£2500) to generate pilot data for a new Wellcome Trust Fellowship application, 2021
  • CUROP Summer Student (£2,000) to support the salary of an undergraduate project student, 2018, 2020

Conference travel:

  • Second Britton Chance Symposium Travel Fund ($1000) to attend the conference, June 2018
  • International Society for Protistologists - British Society for Protist Biology Meeting Travel Award for Students and Postdocs ($500) awarded to attend and present at the ISOP/BSPB joint meeting held at the University of Kent, Canterbury, 18-23 July 2010
  • Microbiology Society Scientific Meeting Travel Grant (£350) awarded to attend and present at the European Congress of Protistologists, Berlin, 25-29 July, 2011
  • Microbiology Society Conference Grant (£350) awarded to attend and present at the SGM Annual Conference, Birmingham, 30 March - 2 April, 2015
  • Microbiology Society Conference Grant (£270) awarded to attend and present at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 3-6 April, 2017

Visits to international laboratories:

  • The Journal of Experimental Biology Travelling Fellowship ($800) awarded for a research visit to the Medical University of Vienna, 2010
  • The Welsh Livery Guild Travel Scholarship (£500) awarded for scanning electron microscopy conducted at Cardiff University, 2010
  • The Charles Coles Travelling Scholarship (£400) awarded for a research visit to Johns Hopkins University, MD and Pace University, NY, 2011
  • Gillian Powell Memorial Travel Scholarship (£100) awarded for a research visit to the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University, 2010


  • Microbiology Society Outreach Grant (£1000) for activities at the National Eisteddfod, 2018
  • NRN Outreach Grant (£500) for activities at the National Eisteddfod, 2017


I am a Microbiology Lecturer teaching on the following modules:

  • BI1001 Skill for Science: Problem-solving in Biology and a practical on aseptic techniques
  • BI1003 Organisms and Environment: the microbiome and antimicrobial resistance.
  • BI2332 Concepts of Disease: the gut microbiome and a practical on infection outbreaks.
  • BI3155 Infection Biology and Epidemiology: bacterial virulence.

I have also guest lectured at Cardiff Metropolitan University, for the third year Health Care Science and MSc in Applied Pubic Health, as well as the Year 3 Medical Electronics module at Cardiff University, School of Engineering.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have supervised >20 undergraduate, postgraduate and summer placement students in their lab-based projects and I am also co-supervisor of three interdisciplinary PhD studentships (BBSRC SWBio, BIOSI-ENGIN; EPSRC IDTH in Biosensors and Diagnostics, ENGIN-CHEMY-BIOSI and CHEMY-BIOSI).


Lecturer in Microbiology, Cardiff School of Biosciences

September 2021-present

Sêr Cymru II Research Fellow, Cardiff School of Engineering

December 2016 – August 2021

Sêr Cymru (NRN) Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cardiff Schools of Bioscience & Engineering

December 2014 - November 2016

KTP Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cultech Ltd. & University of Reading

June 2013 - November 2014

PhD, Cardiff University

October 2009 - May 2013

Schools of Bioscience and Chemistry, Cardiff University & Neem Biotech Ltd. (EPSRC)

Supervisors: Dr Joanne Cable, Dr Michael Coogan, Prof David Lloyd & Dr David Williams

Honours and awards

  • Selected as one of the Telegraph’s Top 50 Women in Engineering, 2017
  • Selected as one of Wales Online’s 35 top young business and professional women under 35, 2017
  • Awarded 1st prize for poster/ oral presentations at the All Wales and South West Microbiology Forum, Swansea, 2012; NRN Distinguished Lecture, 2015; and Sêr Cymru Festival of Research, 2017
  • PhD thesis awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Zoological Society of London for the Thomas Henry Huxley award, 2013
  • City and Guilds Professional Development Award, 2009

Professional memberships

  • Society for General Microbiology (SGM), membership number: 1081390
  • Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM), membership number: 504010
  • Women’s Engineering Society
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), membership number: 93806199 (2018)

Committees and reviewing

  • Review Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology, 2015-present. Other journals include Nature Scientific Reports.
  • EPSRC Engineering Early Career Forum panel member, 2018-present.


I am currently supervising the following students

  • Božo Lugonja (School of Biosciences): Novel Water Treatments for the Waterborne Zoonotic Pathogen Cryptosporidium (PhD candidate)
  • Angharad Miles (School of Engineering): Fundamental interactions of cells with electromagnetic fields (PhD candidate)
  • Charlotte Morgan (School of Biosciences): Investigating the therapeutic potential of microwaves in wound healing (MRes)


STEM Ambassador (ID 211056). Examples of activities include co-presenting a BAFTA-nominated documentary on the life of Alfred Russel Wallace (S4C, November 2013), talks and demonstrations at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Museum Night, and Soapbox Science.

For more detail on some of my outreach work please read my blog, sponsered by the Microbiology Society. You can also view a short documentary which I directed and produced here.

I am a media commentator for BBC Futures, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and S4C.

I am also a bilingual science writer. My outreach articles have been published in The Conversation, The Independent, Golwg 365 and Wildlife Australia.