Kenneth Boyd


Senior Research Fellow

E-Mail Address

Phone Number

+44 (0)1847 889595

Job Description

I am currently a Senior Research Fellow of the Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College UHI in Thurso.


1995 – 1996: MSc Environmental Pollution Control Management – Heriot-Watt University


1988 – 1992: PhD Organic Chemistry – University of Edinburgh


1984 – 1988: BSc (Hons) Chemistry – University of Edinburgh


Freitag, S., Feldman, J., Raab, A., Crittenden, P.D., Hogan, E.J., Squier, A.H.,Boyd, K.G., & Thain, S. (2012) Metabolite profile shifts in the heathland lichen Cladonia portentosa in response to N deposition reveal novel biomarkers. Physiologia Plantarum. 146, pp 160-172.


Nebot, C., Gibb, S.W. & Boyd, K.G. (2007) Quantification of human pharmaceuticals in water samples by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta. 598, pp 87-94.


Nebot, C., Gibb, S.W. and Boyd, K. (2007) Quantification of human pharmaceuticals in water samples by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 598, pp 87-94, doi:10.1016/j.aca.2007.07.029


McDougall KE, Gibb SW, Boyd KG, Brown BE (2006) ‘Chlorophyll-like’ compounds as novel biomarkers of stress in corals Marine Ecology Progress Series, 35, 137-144


McDougall, K.E., Gibb, S.W., Boyd, K.G. & Brown, B.E. (2006) Chlorophyll-like compounds as novel biomarkers of stress in corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series 325, 137-144.


Yan, L., Boyd, K.G., Adams, D.R. & Burgess, J.G. (2003) Biofilm-Specific Cross-Species Induction of Antimicrobial Compounds in Bacilli. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69, 3719-3727


Diaz, M.-P., Boyd, K.G., Grigson, S.J.W. & Burgess, J.G. (2002) Biodegradation of crude oil across a wide range of salinities by an extremely-halotolerant bacterial consortium MPD-M, immobilised onto polypropylene fibres. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 79, 145-153


Yan, L., Boyd, K.G. & Burgess, J.G. (2002) The effect of a roller bottle tidal simulation cultivation method on the production of antimicrobial compounds by Marine Epibiotic Bacteria. Marine Biotechnology 4, 356-366.

Armstrong, E., Boyd, K.G. & Burgess, J.G. (2000) Prevention of marine biofouling using natural compounds from marine organisms. Biotechnology Annual Review 6, 221-241.


Jiang, Z., Barret, M., Boyd, K.G., Adams, D.R. & Burgess J.G. (2002) JM47, a cyclic tetrapeptide from a marine Fusarium species. Phytochemistry, 60, 33-38.


Armstrong, E., Yan, L., Boyd, K.G., Wright, P.C., & Burgess, J. G. (2001) The symbiotic role of marine microbes on living surfaces. Hydrobiologia, 461, 37-40.


Jiang, Z., Boyd, K.G., Mearns-Spragg, A., Wright, P.C., & Burgess, J. G. (2000) Two diketopiperazines and one halogenated phenol from cultures of the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonus luteoviolacea.Natural Products Letters, 14, 435-440.


Armstrong, E., Boyd, K.G., Pisacane, A., Peppiat, C.J. & Burgess, J. G. (2000) Marine microbial natural products in antifouling coatings. Biofouling, 16, 215-224.


Burgess, J. G , Boyd, K.G., Armstrong, E., Jiang, Z., Yan, L., Berggren, M., May, U., Pisacane, T., Granmo, A. & Adams, D. (2003) The development of a marine natural product-based antifouling paint. Biofouling 19 (Supplement), 197-205.


Prior to joining the ERI I worked at Heriot-Watt University and Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography (UCSD) where my research focused on the isolation and characterisation of novel bioactive metabolites from marine organisms, such as sponges, tunicates and nudibranchs as well as microorganisms. My current research interests centre on the presence, cycling and function of organic chemicals in the environment and is focused in three main areas – marine natural products, emerging contaminants and emissions from biomass based renewable energy systems.


Work on marine natural products is focused on the identification and characterisation of novel bioactive secondary metabolites from local seaweed species. We are interested in identifying compounds with a range of bioactivities including antimicrobial, antiviral and antioxidant activities. A related strand of research is involves understanding the role of such chemicals in the environment and how seaweeds benefit from producing antimicrobial compounds. The presence, in the environment, of compounds such as veterinary medicines, pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse (such as cocaine and tetrahydrocannabinol – the active compound found in cannabis) is a concern. Our research focuses on the development of methods to quantify these compounds in the environment and on the development of techniques to remove them from wastewater. Our early research focused on the veterinary medicine emamectin benzoate, which is used to treat sea-lice infestations in salmon farms. This work has been extended to look at commonly used pharmaceuticals, such as paracetamol and antibiotics, and drugs of abuse in both wastewaters from sewage treatment plants and river water. More recently we have been involved in identifying potential waste streams resulting from the implementation of biomass based renewable energy systems. Work here has focused on the waste streams resulting from the combustion of woody biomass and the anaerobic digestion of seaweeds and food waste.


I am the programme leader for two MSc courses, Renewable Energy Technologies and Developing Low Carbon Communities. These are new courses aimed and providing a skilled workforce for the emerging renewable energy sector and are fully online. I also teach part of the undergraduate degree in Environmental Science.