Professor Bill Grant

Emeritus Professor of Environmental Microbiology      Prof Bill Grant   

Contact details

Office: 238, MSB

Telephone:(+44) (0)116 252 2948



  • Since the late 1970s, Professor Grant has been interested in microbial biodiversity in extreme environments, particularly in East African saline and soda lakes. Professor Grant has also worked on the diversity of microbes in salt mines, ancient salt deposits and low level nuclear waste.
  • Professor Grant has held a considerable number of industrial contracts, ranging from the exploitation of the enzymatic of soda lake bacteria, to the analysis of chemical and microbial evolution in low-level nuclear wastes. His work on ancient halite (salt) deposits, demonstrates that such deposits harbour what appear to be ancient bacteria.
  • Because Mars is known to have salt deposits, this work has generated interest as a model system for the experimental detection of extraterrestrial life.
  • Current interests are mainly in the molecular analysis of microbes and microbial signatures in environments, and accessing microbial genetic resources without the need for culture.
  • Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Grant W. Memories of the Genetics Department at Leicester  In: Zaritsky A. (Ed). The Life of Professor Robert Hugh Pritchard: The Rise of Genetics at Leicester (2017). World Scientific Publishing Co. Ltd.  Singapore & London. pp. 31-35.

Grant WD. Jones B E.  Bacteria, Archaea and Viruses of Soda Lakes. In:  Schagerl M. (Ed). Soda Lakes of East Africa (2016). Springer, Switzerland. pp 97-148.

Jones D, Grant WD. Peter Henry Andrews Sneath. 17 November 1923—9 September 2011. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 2013 59 337-358

Silipo A, Di Lorenzo F, Fazio L, Paciello I, Sturiale L, Palmigiano A, Parrilli M, Grant WD, Garozzo D, Lanzetta R, Bernadini ML, Molinero A. Structure and immunological activity of the lipopolysaccharide isolated from the species Alkalimonas delamerensis. Eur J Org Chem 2013 13 2653-2665

Shimane Y, Tsuruwaka Y, Miyazaki M, Mori K, Minegishi H, Echigo A, Ohta Y, Maruyama T, Grant WD, Hatada Y.Salinisphaera japonica sp. nov., a novel moderately halophilic bacterium isolated from the body surface of a deep-sea fish Malacocottus gibber, and emended description of the genus Salinisphaera. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Nov 2. 63 2180-2185

Pagaling E, Grant WD, Cowan DA, Jones BE, Ma Y, Ventosa A, Heaphy S. Bacterial and archael diversity in two hot spring microbial mats from the geothermal region of Tengchong China. Extremophiles 2012;16(4):607-18

Shimane Y, Hatada Y, Minegashi H, Mizuke T, Nagaoka S, Miyusaka M, Ohta Y, Maruyama T, Usami R, Grant WD, Horikoshi K. Salarchaeum japonica gen. nov., sp. nov., an extremely halophilic member of the archaea isolated from commercial salt. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2011;61:2266-70

Marquez MC, Carrasco IJ, de la Haba RR, Jones BE, Grant WD, Ventosa A. Bacillus locisalis sp. nov., a new haloalkaliphilic species from hypersaline and alkaline lakes of China, Kenya and Tanzania. Syst Appl Microbiol 2011;34(6):424-8

Grant WD, Pagaling E, Márquez MC, Gutiérrez MC, Cowan DA, Ma Y, Jones BE, Ventosa A  & Heaphy S.  The Hypersaline Lakes of Inner Mongolia: The MGAtech Project. In: Halophiles and Hypersaline Environments: current research and future trends. Ventosa A, Oren, & Ma Y. (Eds) 2011. Springer,Tokyo, London, pp 65-109.

Grant WD, Sorokin DY. Distribution and diversity of soda lake alkaphiles. In: Horikoshi K, Antranikian G, Bull AT, Robb FT, Stetter KO (Eds), Extremophiles Handbook, Volume 1 (2011) Springer, Tokyo, pp 27-54

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