Dr Ben Temperton
Lecturer in Bioinformatics
Geoffrey Pope 323
Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter , Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD, UK
I am a microbial ecologist, specializing in bioinformatic analyses of ‘big data’ (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics) to better understand how interactions within microbial communities enable functional diversity and efficiency that is greater than the sum of its parts. As a former professional software developer, I am interested in combining high-performance computing with multivariate statistical analyses to identify putative drivers of function and diversity in complex communities. Importantly, these hypotheses are then tested in the laboratory using model systems. During my postdoc with Prof. Steve Giovannoni at Oregon State University, I was involved in the discovery of (probably) the most abundant virus on Earth, and my current research continues to explore the fascinating biology of this system.
Broad research specialisms:
Marine microbial ecology, bioinformatics, host-phage interaction, community dynamics, single-cell genomics.
PhD. Microbiology, Queens University Belfast, 2009-2011
MSc Information Technology (Software Engineering), University of Nottingham, 1998-1999
BSc Chemistry (2:i), University Of Birmingham, 1995-1998
My research focuses on the systems biology of marine microbial communities, particularly members like the ubiquitous SAR11 clade which take advantage of communal resources to streamline their genomes to maximize efficiency in oligotrophic environments. This streamlining has an impact on ecotypic specialisation, viral infectivity and defence and community connectedness. Ultimately, co-evolution of streamlined organisms and their communities (particularly their associated viruses) underpins the efficacy of biogeochemical cycling. My research combines bioinformatic analysis of meta 'omics and single-cell genomics with experimental validation of emergent hypotheses in cultured model organisms. I am a strong proponent of open science and founder of the
to improve the quality of bioinformatics via codebase peer-review.
Development of sequencing technology for field-based long-read sequencing of marine viruses (NERC)
Microbial Mechanisms of marine carbon flux in the Sargasso Sea (BIOS-SCOPE)
Development of an algal crop protection program through vaccination by novel viruses. (Phyconet)
Using flow cytometry and genomics to characterise and optimise microalgal-bacterial consortia cultivated on Wastewater to produce biomass for Biofuel (BBSRC)
- 2018: A War of Tiny Giants - Do viruses impact Pelagibacterales genotype dynamics in the Western English Channel (£798k, NERC)
- 2016: Developing methods for long-read marine viral metagenomics (£39k, NERC)
- 2016: Developing Nanopore MinION as a platform for long read viral metagenomics and in-situ screening of viral threats (£10k, Royal Society)
- 2015: BIOS-SCOPE Fellowship to investigate carbon biogeochemistry in the Sargasso Sea (£90k, Simons Foundation International)
- 2015: Sea-DNA Development and application of eDNA tools to assess the structure and function of coastal sea ecosystems (£369k, NERC)
- 2015: Development of an algal crop protection program through vaccination by novel viruses (£70k, Phyconet, BBSRC)
- 2014: Environmental Single Cell Genomics Instrumentation
(£495,954, NERC Strategic Environmental Science Capital Call)
- 2014: AVaRICE: Algal Valorisation & Remediation of metal Ion Contaminated Effluents
(£70k, GW4+ Funding Panel)
- 2015: UK Centre of Excellence for Environmental Single Cell Genomics (eSCG)
(£500,000, Wolfson Foundation
Publications by category
Publications by year
Member of the International Organizing Committee for the Aquatic Virus Workshop (AVG)
Editor for the journal Biomolecular Detection and Quantification
2014: NERC workshop on ‘Omics Miniaturisation, Oxford
2012: Panel discussion on Openness of Standards and Standards of Openness at the 13th Annual Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC), Long Beach, CA.
2012: Metabolic reconstruction in marine bacterial communities: from parts list to pathways. Bioinformatics Special Interest Group, Gordon and Betty More Foundation Investigator Symposium.
I teach both bioinformatics and marine microbial ecology to second and third year students. I combine lecture material with online courses via DataCamp.
BIO2092 - Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics
BIO3092 - Bioinformatics
BIO3097 - Living in a Microbial World
- Holger Buchholz
- Anthony Messer Anthony's MRes is focused on evaluating currently available metagenomic bioinformatic pipelines against a known microbial community to determine biases in taxonomic and functional annotation. He is based at DSTL.
- Joanna Warwick-Dugdale Jo's PhD is aimed at investigating the role of the benthic-pelagic boundary layer (sometimes called the 'fluff' layer) in the remineralization of dissolved organic carbon from phytoplankton blooms by microbial communities in the Western English Channel