Professor Nia White

Dean of School

School Graduate School

Department Central School

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8254

Biography

I am Head of the new pan-University Graduate School (launched in September 2014) and was previously Head of the School of Science, Engineering & Technology at Abertay University. The Graduate School is an essential component of our new R-LINCS (Research-Led Innovation Nodes for Contemporary Society) Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy, to grow our RKE capacity and research excellence. All Postgraduate students, both taught and research, as well as research and academic staff, have access to the Graduate School which provides a comprehensive training programme within a central physical location of flexible working spaces, open to the entire research community, to promote integration and inculcation of an inter-disciplinary ethos.

I graduated from University College Cardiff in 1987 (BSc Hons Microbiology) and the University of Wales College of Cardiff (PhD SERC/CASE ICI Biological Products) in 1992, with a thesis entitled the ‘Biotechnological implications of the ecology and developmental biology of selected higher fungi’. I have over 20 years of research experience in Microbiology and Mycology, particularly on Serpula lacrymans, aspects of the ecology and biology of other wood and soil fungi, and on modelling the growth and interactions of filamentous fungi. I am driven by curiosity and the joy of working collaboratively.

I am particularly passionate about multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and was involved in the development of SIMBIOS at Abertay – an environmental sciences research group with an interest in complex systems and the use of modelling methodologies, to gain a better understanding of these systems applied across a wide range of discipline areas (from epidemiology to soil microbiology and everything in between). Our new University Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy R-LINCS is an extended, accelerated and enhanced expression of this approach.

I am Chair of the Self Assessment Team that led the Abertay University application for Athena SWAN bronze award.The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in employment in academia.

My research work related to the Environmental Control of Serpula lacrymans the Dry-Rot Fungus, has received considerable attention from architects as well as conservation groups and specialists. As well as receiving Postgraduate studentship funding and contract work, I have published widely in practitioner journals, books and featured press articles and have given invited talks and lectures to numerous building conservation and ecological building architects, practitioners and organisations, preservation trusts and to students studying at Edinburgh University School of Architecture. I am a Steering Group Committee member for the AHRC funded Health Effects of Modern Airtight Construction (HEMAC) Network (https://hemacnetwork.com).

More recently I have been involved in innovation and knowledge exchange projects for the food and drink industry.

Walker, G. M. & White, N. A. (2005) Introduction to fungal physiology. In: Fungi: biology and applications. Kavanagh, K. (ed.). p. 1-34. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Article PDF | Research Portal

White, N. A. (2003) The importance of wood-decay fungi in forest ecosystems. In: Fungal biotechnology in agricultural, food, and environmental applications. Arora, D. (ed.), Bridge, P. (ed.), Bhatnagar, D. (ed.). p. 375-392. New York: Marcel Dekker Inc..
Article PDF | Research Portal

Falconer, R. E., Otten, W. & White, N. A. (2015) Toward modeling the resistance and resilience of "below-ground" fungal communities. In: Advances in applied microbiology. Sariaslani, S. (ed.), Gadd, G. (ed.). p. 1-44. . Academic Press.
Article PDF | Research Portal

Sturrock, C. J., Ritz, K., Samson, W. B., Bown, J. L., Staines, H. J., Palfreyman, J. W., Crawford, J. W. & White, N. A. (2002) The effects of fungal inoculum arrangement (scale and context) on emergent community development in an agar model system. . . p. 9-16. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Falconer, R. E., Bown, J. L., White, N. A. & Crawford, J. W. (2005) Biomass recycling and the origin of phenotype in fungal mycelia. . . p. 1727-1734. .
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Falconer, R. E., Bown, J. L., White, N. A. & Crawford, J. W. (2007) Biomass recycling. . . p. 1558-1568. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Falconer, R. E., Bown, J. L., White, N. A. & Crawford, J. W. (2008) Modelling interactions in fungi. . . p. 603-615. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Falconer, R. E., Bown, J. L., McAdam, E. V., Perez-Reche, P., Sampson, A. T., van den Bulcke, J., White, N. A. & Perez-Reche, F. J. (2010) Modelling fungal colonies and communities. . . p. 155-159. .
Article PDF (Repository) | Article PDF (External) | Research Portal

Abdullahi, Y. A., Akunna, J. C., White, N. A., Hallett, P. D. & Wheatley, R. (2008) Investigating the effects of anaerobic and aerobic post-treatment on quality and stability of organic fraction of municipal solid waste as soil amendment. . . p. 8631-8636. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Falconer, R. E., Bown, J. L., White, N. A. & Crawford, J. W. (2011) Linking individual behaviour to community scale patterns in fungi. . . p. 76-82. .
Article PDF (Repository) | Article PDF | Research Portal

Feeney, D. S., Hallett, P. D., Rodger, S., Bengough, A. G., White, N. A. & Young, I. M. (2006) Impact of fungal and bacterial biocides on microbial induced water repellency in arable soil. . . p. 72-80. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Palfreyman, J. W., Gartland, J. S., Sturrock, C. J., Lester, D. H., White, N. A., Low, G. A., Bech-Andersen, J. & Cooke, D. E. L. (2003) The relationship between ‘wild’ and ‘building’ isolates of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. . . p. 281-286. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

White, N. A., Hallett, P. D., Feeney, D. S., Palfreyman, J. W. & Ritz, K. (2000) Changes to water repellence of soil caused by the growth of white-rot fungi. . . p. 73-77. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Hallett, P. D., White, N. A. & Ritz, K. (2006) Impact of basidiomycete fungi on the wettability of soil contaminated with a hydrophobic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. . . p. S334-S338. .
Article PDF (Repository) | Article PDF | Research Portal

Palfreyman, J. W. & White, N. A. (2003) Everything you wanted to know about the dry-rot fungus but were afraid to ask. . . p. 107-109. .
Article PDF (External) | Research Portal

White, N. A., Sturrock, C. J., Ritz, K., Samson, W. B., Bown, J. L., Staines, H. J., Palfreyman, J. W. & Crawford, J. W. (1998) Interspecific fungal interactions in spatially heterogeneous systems. . . p. 21-32. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

White, N. A., Low, G. A., Singh, J., Staines, H. J. & Palfreyman, J. W. (1997) Isolation and environmental study of ‘wild’ Serpula lacrymans and Serpula himantioides from the Himalayan forests. . . p. 580-584. .
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White, N. A. & Boddy, L. (1992) Differential extracellular enzyme production in colonies of Coriolus versicolor, Phlebia radiata and Phlebia rufa. . . p. 2589-2598. .
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Palfreyman, J. W., White, N. A., Buultjens, T. E. J. & Glancy, H. (1995) The impact of current research on the treatment of infestations by the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. . . p. 369-395. .
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Bown, J. L., Sturrock, C. J., Samson, W. B., Staines, H. J., Palfreyman, J. W., White, N. A., Ritz, K. & Crawford, J. W. (1999) Evidence for emergent behaviour in the community-scale dynamics of a fungal microcosm. . . p. 1947-1952. .
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White, N. A. & Boddy, L. (1992) Extracellular enzyme localization during interspecific fungal interactions. . . p. 75-79. .
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Score, A. J., Palfreyman, J. W. & White, N. A. (1997) Extracellular phenoloxidase and peroxidase enzyme production during interspecific fungal interactions. . . p. 225-233. .
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Sienkiewicz, N., Buultjens, T. E. J., White, N. A. & Palfreyman, J. W. (1997) Serpula lacrymans and the heat-shock response. . . p. 217-224. .
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White, N. A., Buultjens, T. E. J. & Palfreyman, J. W. (1995) Induction of transient thermotolerance in Serpula lacrymans and S. himantioides following exposure to supraoptimal (sublethal) temperatures. . . p. 1055-1058. .
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White, N. A., Dehal, P. K., Duncan, J. M., Williams, N. A., Gartland, J. S., Palfreyman, J. W. & Cooke, D. E. L. (2001) Molecular analysis of intraspecific variation between building and ‘wild’ isolates of Serpula lacrymans and their relatedness to S. himantioides. . . p. 447-452. .
Article PDF | Research Portal

Walker, G. M. & White, N. A. (2017) Introduction to fungal physiology. In: Fungi: biology and applications. Kavanagh, K. (ed.). 3rd ed., p. 1-36. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Article PDF (Repository) | Article PDF | Research Portal

More Information

Funding

Most notable funding:
Leverhulme Research Studentship; Karl Meyer Foundation; Historic Scotland (PhD Research Studentship); EU; Carnegie Trust; SET market research; BBSRC Research Grant (2003) ‘Plant root and microbial influences on soil water relations and structural stability’; BBSRC Research Committee Enhanced Studentship (2003) ‘Biophysical fingerprinting of soil to forecast the impact of land management change’; SEPA, Catchment Ltd, and Angus Council.Joint studentship (co-applicant with Dr David Blackwood); Food & Drink Interface award with Macphie (Masters Studentship).

Knowledge Exchange

My research work related to the Environmental Control of Serpula lacrymans the Dry-Rot Fungus, has received considerable attention from architects as well as conservation groups and specialists. As well as receiving Postgraduate studentship funding and contract work, I have published widely in practitioner journals, books and featured press articles and have given invited talks and lectures to numerous building conservation and ecological building architects, practitioners and organisations, preservation trusts and to students studying at Edinburgh University School of Architecture. I am a Steering Group Committee member for the AHRC funded Health Effects of Modern Airtight Construction (HEMAC) Network (https://hemacnetwork.com).

More recently I have been involved in innovation and knowledge exchange projects for the food and drink industry.