About UOB

The University of Birmingham -UOB- (est.1900) was the UK’s first civic university. The School of Biosciences has around 60 members of academic staff and hosts a community of 900 undergraduates, 250 postgraduates and 300 part time students. Research includes human, animal, plant, microbial, cell and molecular biology. The School has major facilities for research in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural biology and optical imaging.

Two UOB research groups are involved in SOLUTIONS, those of Prof Mark Viant and Prof John Colbourne.


B15 2TT Birmingham,
United Kingdom

Role in the SOLUTIONS project

  • Contributors to WP11, WP12, WP19

Main scientific contributions

  • Daphnia acute toxicity tests
  • Daphnia chronic toxicity tests
  • Daphnia transcriptomics

Member portraits

Tim Williams

Tim Williams is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham School of Biosciences. In SOLUTIONS he is responsible for Daphnia toxicity testing and transcriptomics to determine molecular toxicity pathways relevant for organisms that are exposed to chemicals occurring in environmental mixtures. He has extensive experience of toxicogenomics using both laboratory-maintained and environmentally-sampled organisms and has participated in EU (GENIPOL), NERC, Defra, DSTL and BBSRC funded research.

Mark Viant

Mark Viant is one Principal Investigator for SOLUTIONS research at UOB. His group www.biosciences-labs.bham.ac.uk/viant focuses primarily on using metabolomics and transcriptomics to characterise the molecular responses of aquatic animals, in particular invertebrates, to environmental pollutants. As well as molecular mechanisms, his research focuses on the utility of transcriptomics, metabolomics and targeted metabolite analyses as diagnostic tools for both environmental monitoring and chemical risk assessment in a range of organisms, including marine mussels, water fleas (Daphnia magna) and several fish species.

John Colbourne

John Colbourne is one Principal Investigator for SOLUTIONS research at UOB. His group www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/biosciences/colbourne-john.aspx aims to develop Daphnia into a super-model organism to advance Environmental Genomics. This encompasses investigations on (i) the functional mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, including environmental sex determination and cyclomorphosis, (ii) the genetic basis of evolutionary adaptation within natural populations, and (iii) the potential of aquatic organisms to counter chemical threats (pollution) in the environment. This work is carried out in conjunction with the Daphnia Genomics Consortium.