Professor of Biochemistry, Head of Bioenergy Research, Director of Biomed Online Learning
Training and work experience
Professor Patricia Harvey holds a BSc in Plant Biocehmistry and a PhD from Durham University. She spent two years working in business development at Genzyme Biochemicals before leaving the company to conduct research into the biochemistry of lignin breakdown for 10 years at Imperial College, and then Greenwich University.
- Board member of the newly-founded European Algal Biomass Association
- Served on the management committee for the European COST 859 Action, Phytotechnologies to promote sustainable land use and improve food safety (2004–09)
- Governor of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust (2008 to date)
- ReMade South East Steering committee: ReMade works with businesses, public organisations and community groups in the South East region to find practical solutions to challenging waste issues and minimise the region's environmental footprint by saving natural resources and reducing CO2 emissions (2006 to date)
- Editorial board member for the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters (2004 to date)
- Scientific board member for the Association of Chemistry and the Environment (2004 to date)
- Steering Committee for European Conferences on e-learning (2002 to date)
Successfully completed the supervision of 16 students for their PhD degrees:
- Examined 29 PhD candidates, nationally and internationally (Canada and Switzerland)
- 96 publications, 37 in refereed journals, four in preparation
- Project bidding value since Jan 2009 = £21.2m
- Value of successful projects since 2007 = £2.632m.
Invited speaker engagements in 2010
- January 2010: South Africa. ACP Science and Technology Programme Conference. Talk: Sustainable non-food bio-oil and biogas supply chains.
- February 2010: Germany. EU Alps Space Programme – Environmental Biotechnologies to improve human health and quality of life. Talk: Bioenergy options: biodiesel, bio-alcohol, bio-methane?
- February 2010: Ghana. International workshop on Climate Friendly Ecosystems ClimSys2010 to Valley View University, Accra, Ghana. Talk: Sustainable low carbon ecosystems
- May 2010: Paris. Invited participant to Microalgae: Challenges and Opportunities at The British Embassy in Paris, in collaboration with the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the French competitiveness cluster Industry and Agro-Resources (IAR)
- May 2010: London. Biomass to Bioliquid, Algal options for Biomass to Bioliquids
- June 2010: London. SMi’s inaugural Biogas conference, Algae as a biogas resource
- June 2010: Namibia University. SANUMARC ACP Science and Technology Programme Conference. Talk: Sustainable non-food bio-oil and biogas supply chains
- October 2010: Accra, Ghana. ACP Science and Technology Programme Conference. Talk: Sustainable non-food bio-oil and biogas supply chains.
Research summary statement
Unravelling the nature and mechanisms of catalysis of the enzymes deployed by white-rot fungi to trigger lignin breakdown in lignocellulosic materials led on to applications in treating lignocellulosic waste streams and hydrocarbon decontamination, and fundamental research into the plant and fungal oxidative metabolic pathways associated with production of oxidative catalysts and secondary metabolites.
Renewable energy, biofuels and the use of algal and non-food plant systems for CO2 capture and the synthesis of novel chemicals are now a major focus of my research, which includes expertise in analysis, extraction and catalysis of plant and microalgal energy reserves, and researching solutions for food and plant-based ‘wastes’ for energy extraction; plant growth in contaminated / degraded environments, and the whole issue of establishing global plant-based supply chains to meet future needs. Overseas project work includes capacity-building in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana to create sustainable, non-food bio-oil and microalgal supply chains for providing CHP electricity, and in the future, the chemical feedstocks needed to replace fossil fuels (funded by the EU-ACP S&T).
Current research projects
- BioMed Online Learning. Partners: 11 NHS hospital trusts; the Health Protection Agency.
- Capacity building in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana to create sustainable, non-food bio-oil supply chains. Partners: University of Greenwich (Lead); eight partners.
- Zerowise Sustainable Food Waste Solutions. Partners: eight partners; Remade South East (Lead)
- An integrated process for the production of biodiesel from oilseed rape. Partners: University of Greenwich (Lead); 12 partners.
PhD studentship: Catalysts for production of plant fatty acid methyl esters