News and Events

The MeMBrane project is dedicated to communication and dissemination of the research.
Watch this space for upcoming events to learn about our work and give your feedback to the team!

News: Introducing biotechnology lesson plan

This lesson plan introduces biotechnology for Key Stage 3. It includes a practical that enables a class to take part in the SuperYeast citizen science project (please contact us on for sampling kits).

Download the lesson plan here.

News: Mr Climate Change and the Beastly Yeast!

Our super talented scientists Naomi Wilkinson and Sarah Routledge have written and illustrated a children's book about the SuperYeast citizen science project.  Meet Mr Climate Change and find out how Dr Goddard is looking for the Beastly Yeast to save Planet Earth.

News: Winter 2021 Newsletter

Find out the latest from the MeMBrane project in our latest newsletter here.

News: Using Biology

We have teamed up with folk duo Megson and animator ScribbleStache to produce this music video about Biotechnology. It helps to explain what Biotechnology is and how we can benefit from it. The track also inspires students to learn more about biology. It is free to use, please let us know if you do!

News: Visors for Frontline Staff in York

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MeMBrane project manager, Joyce Bennett, managed a community effort to supply visors to frontline staff in and around York. 10,000 visors were given out for free to the NHS, careworkers, delivery staff, and more. The project raised £7,400 for Cavell Nurses Trust and today the team was awarded a blue plaque by York Civic Trust as part of the #YorkHeros initiative.

News: Want to be a biochemist?

Are you interested in becoming a biochemist? In this article, Dr Alan Goddard talks about the aims of the MeMBrane project, his interest in biochemistry and how he became a biochemist. To any budding biochemists, find out how to launch your career in biochemistry here!

This article was produced by Futurum, a magazine and online platform aimed at inspiring young people to follow a career in the sciences, research and technology. For more information, teaching resources, and course and career guides, see

News: Autumn 2019 Newsletter

Click here to see all the latest news from the MeMBrane project.

News: The Beast of the Yeast!

The MeMBrane project is pleased to announce the launch of a citizen science project to crowd source yeast! Whether it's from home brewing, baking, or the dregs of your real ale, you can enter your yeast samples in a competition to see which is most tolerant to alcohol. Email us at to request a kit to send your yeast sample, it's all free of charge.The leader board will be posted here, watch this space! There'll be prizes for the most tolerant yeast, and you'll be helping us learn how microbes cope with stresses like ethanol, which is critical to addressing the issues of climate change.

Update: we received funding to expand this project to include testing for sugar tolerance as well as alcohol tolerance and were just on the point of launching when COVID-19 struck. Apologies for not being able to progress this further at this stage. We're planning some alternative outreach activities from isolation!

Event: Biotech in Action Photo Competition Winners

Congratulations to our Biotech in Action photo competition winners! Dr Sarah Routledge of Aston University won the public vote and first prize with her image 'Atomic force microscopy paints a picture of ethanol damaging membranes'. Second prize is awarded by the MeMBrane management committee and goes to Dr Alexandra Lanot from the University of York and Dr Miriam Ribul from the Royal College of Art for their entry 'Wheat straw transformation with Acetobacter to produce bacterial cellulose'. The winning images and their descriptions can be seen here.

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition and to those who voted.

News: Festival of Ideas: Marvellous Microbes!

The Thomas lab presented Marvellous Microbes at the Biology Department, University of York for the Festival of Ideas 2019. Children from two local schools and members of the public were invited for a hands on experience in discovering their microbiome, solving the mysterious disease outbreak, racing bug powered boats and seeing lego-based technology in action.

You can see their agar art and what was growing on their hands & around the lab here.

Event: MeMBrane Photo Competition

Our photo competition 'Biotechnology in Action' launches in British Science Week. Send your photo to before 1st Sept 2019 and follow us on Twitter @CoBioMeMBrane to see the results.

MeMBrane Photo Competition 2019

News: Spring 2019 Newsletter

Please take a look at our first newsletter here!

News: MemTrain

Dr Alan Goddard, Prof. Roslyn Bill, Prof. Corinne Spickett, Prof. Andy Pitt and Dr Alice Rothnie, along with Prof. David Poyner and Prof. Brian Tighe from Aston University have been awarded a H2020 MSCA COFUND award to train 12 PhD students in intersectoral projects highlighting the importance of biological membranes. If you are interested in applying, please contact Alan at

News: Valencia MeMBrane Meeting

The MeMBrane consortium gathered in Valencia on 29th January not just for wonderful tapas and paella but for a fantastic scientific discussion. We saw synergies building between different areas of the consortium and made plans for how to use our first exciting results. We also discussed our dissemination plans and look forward to these events over the coming months. Thanks to IATA for their fabulous hospitality!

News: MeMBrane dissemination material

Click here to see our MeMBrane project pamphlet.

News: Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Dr Alan Goddard and Dr Alice Rothnie at Aston University have been awarded a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership from Innovate UK in association with Meritics Ltd.  This project will focus on the analysis of biological nanoparticles and the improved processes will directly benefit the analysis being performed in MeMBrane.

News: Microstrike fact files

Want to learn more about the Microstrike characters? Download the fact files here.

Contact us for a free Microstrike board game for your school.

News: YorNight

Researchers from York gathered at Kings Manor on 17th Nov 2018 to tell the public about their research. The event was aimed at getting young people interested in STEM subjects and many of the exhibits were interactive and family oriented. MeMBrane was represented on the Marvellous Microbes stand with the first outing of Microstrike, the bug based board game, and 'Ask a scientist', an opportunity for the public to ask any questions to research scientists. Answers to questions from the public are answered on The public had the opportunity to swab their own microbiome and see what grew here: We also raced bug powered boats, using butanol to exemplify a biofuel that can be made in bacteria and demonstrated how we can target specific molecules created by bacteria to prevent body odour.

The event was a great success and the Thomas lab researchers were kept busy for hours exhibiting the powers of Marvellous Microbes.

Event: Marvellous Microbes

17th November 2018, YorNight, Kings Manor, York
Come and meet York Researchers; find out about the Marvellous Microbes we work with and how we can use them to work for us!

Event: Microbial Factories

13 February 2019, 7.30pm, Garrick Studio Theatre, Lichfield
This lecture will explore how we can manipulate microbes to make high-value chemicals from simple molecules, paving the way to a greener economy!

News: FREE Microstrike board game!

Please contact us for your free copy of Microstrike, the board game where microbes do battle for territory. Learn their special strengths to attack and defend to rule the board!

Educational institutions are invited to request the game. Hard copies will be issued while stocks last, after which printable versions will be made available.