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Dr Steven Fish

Dr Steve Fish
Dr Steven Fish

Head of Business Partnerships and Enterprise

Tel: +44 (0)1524 510784

Career History


I was awarded my Ph.D. from Dundee University where I was investigating the biology and biotechnology of cyanobacteria from extreme environments. From there I moved to Leicester Universities Biochemistry Department working on antibiotic production in Streptomyces. I then moved into Leicester Universities Microbiology Department focusing on using extreme alkaliphiles as cell factories and then I worked on extreme halophiles, specifically the isolation of ancient DNA from fluid inclusion.


  • S. A. Fish and G. A. Codd (1994).  Analysis of culture conditions controlling the yield of bioactive material produced by the thermotolerant cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) Phormidium.  European Journal of Phycology.  Vol 29, p 261-266.
  • S. A. Fish and G. A. Codd (1994).  Bioactive compound production by thermophilic and thermotolerant cyanobacteria (blue green algae).  (1994). World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.  Vol 10, No 3, p 338-341.
  • S. A. Fish and G. A. Codd (1994).  Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity produced by an isolate of the thermotolerant cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) Phormidium sp.  (1994). Biotechnology Techniques.  Vol 8, No 5, p 351-356.
  • J-L. Pernodet, S. A. Fish, M-L. Blondelet-Rouault and E. Cundliffe.  The macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance phenotypes characterised by using a specifically deleted antibiotic-sensitive strain of Streptomyces lividans.  (1996). Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.  Vol 40, No 3, p 581-585.
  • S. A. Fish and E. Cundliffe.  Structure-activity studies of tylosin-related macrolides.  (1996). Journal of Antibiotics.  Vol 49, No 10, p 1044-1048.
  • S. A. Fish and E. Cundliffe.  Stimulation of polyketide metabolism in Streptomyces fradiae by tylosin and its precursors.  (1997). Microbiology.  Vol 143, p 3871-3876.
  • E. Cundliffe, S. A. Fish, V. T. W. Wilson, A. R. Gandecha and S. L. Large.  Glycosyl transfer during tylosin production in Streptomyces.  (1997). In Genetics and Molecular Biology of Industrial Microorganisms, p. 176-186.  Edited by R. H. Baltz, G. D. Hegeman & P. L. Skatrud.  Fairfax, VA: Society for Industrial Microbiology.
  • S. A. Fish, A. W. Duckworth and W. D. Grant (1999).  Novel plasmids from alkaliphilic halomonads. Plasmid.  Vol 41, p 268-273.
  • E. Cundliffe, N. Bate, A. Butler, S. A. Fish, A. Gandecha and L. Merson-Davies.  (2001). The tylosin-biosynthetic genes of Streptomyces fradiae.  Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek.  Vol 79, p 229-234.
  • S. A. Fish, T.J. Shepherd, T. J. McGenity and W. D. Grant (2002).  Recovery of 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragments from ancient halite. Nature.  Vol 417, p 432-436.

Commercial Sector

I then spent several years working for a small biotechnology company based in New Zealand.  There I had three roles as a senior staff scientist: Initially I managed a team of 24 young scientists who provided support for the company in the areas of cloning, sequencing and the construction of gene libraries; I then worked as part of a team to develop the use of microarrays as a tool for investigating wood quality; and I finally developed systems for the expression and purification of ryegrass antifreeze proteins (AFPs) in bacteria and yeast.


  • K. D. Kumble, J. Demmer, S. Fish et al (2008). Characterization of a family of ice-active proteins from the Ryegrass Lolium perenne. Cryobiology Vol 57, issue 3, p263-268
  • Antifreeze proteins isolated from forage grasses and methods for their use.  Patent number US7968767 B2. Filing date 2006 and publication date 2011

Business Development

I began work at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) in early 2005 as the Aberystwyth Bio-Centre CETIC manager.  This post focused on establishing and then developing links and new projects with companies within Wales.  This was a varied business development post that included: developing new projects; liaising with funding bodies e.g. BBSRC, DEFRA, TSB and the Welsh Government; the production of promotional material, including capability statements and attending conferences and trade-shows to promote the centres activities. My work integrated within the larger IGER business office activities that included support for events, contracts and project management.

In 2007 I became the IGER Intellectual Property manager focusing on identifying and then developing IP in collaboration with Plant Bioscience Ltd (PBL) based in Norwich.  A number of technologies with commercial potential where identified and some of these are still being developed. One of the highlights during this period was working with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) based in the North East of England and the resulting ‘spin in’ company Bio-Source Wales.

In 2008 IGER merged with the Institute of Biological Sciences and the Institute or Rural Sciences and became the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), based within Aberystwyth University.  At this time I became the business development manager for one of the main pillars within IBERS, Biorenewables and Environmental Change. Over the next two years I worked with a variety of colleagues to develop and then consolidate a new area of science and technology for the Institute, Biorefining an area of integrated scientific research that attempts to produce commercially important molecules from sustainable biomass.

In Early 2010 I was appointed as the Research and Strategic Funding manager at IBERS, leading a team focused on generating new funding opportunities for the Institute.  The team had a variety of success including the BBSRC Advanced Training Partnership Award (ATP), a raft of successful TSB projects and the Biorefining Centre of Excellence Wales (BEACON), an ERDF funded project valued in excess of £20M. In 2011 I became the deputy director of BEACON and was primarily responsible for its strategic development across the UK and Europe. I also became the Director of Enterprise at IBERS and in addition to my duties associated with BEACON I had additional responsibilities associated with Climate KIC (UK), developing strategy associated with phenomics and plant breeding, excellence with impact, sparking impact, acting as departmental lead within the Knowledge Based Bio Economy (KBBE) and I was project director of the Low Carbon Energy and the Environment network in Wales.


  • D. Bryant, S. Morris, D. Leemans, S. Fish et al. (2011). Modelling real-time simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of lignocellulose biomass and organic accumulation using dielectric spectroscopy. Bioresource Technology 102, p 9675-9682
  • S. Fish et al (2010). Fuel from biomass. IBERS Innovations p17-21
  • A. Charlton, R. Elias, S. Fish et al (2009). The biorefining opportunities in Wales: Understanding the scope for building a sustainable, biorenewable economy using plant biomass. Chemical Engineering Research and Design. Vol 87, p1147-1161
  • S. Fish (2009). Taking the fossil out of fuel. IBERS Innovations, p11-14
  • S. Fish (2009). Ryegrass: a new option for biofuel. Advances Wales, p14-15
  • S. Fish (2007). The biorefining of biorenewables. IBERS Innovations, p50-55