Dr Gerard Fleming (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Contact Details

Email: ger.fleming@nuigalway.ie
Phone: 353 91 49 3562


Recipient of the President's Award for Teaching Excellence 2011/2012

"The University recognises Dr. Fleming for his outstanding commitment to teaching and the student experience.  Dr. Fleming was nominated for his passion about the learning and teaching experience, his range of teaching and assessment methods, and his collegiality and support for fellow staff members.  Students highlight his enthusiasm as a teacher, describing him as inspiring, motivating and very approachable."

Professor Tom Sherry, Dean, College of Science at the presentation of the 2011/2012 President's Award for Teaching Excellence to Dr. Gerard Fleming, 25th October 2012


Contact Information

  • Email:  ger.flemingnuigalway.ie
  • Telephone:  + 353 (0) 91 493562 (ext. 3562)
  • DI:  + 353 (0) 91 512394

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D. (University College, Galway)
B.Sc. (University College, Galway)
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NUI, Galway)
National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry (Regional Technical College, Carlow)
National Certificate in Applied Biology (Regional Technical College, Carlow)
City and Guilds Certificate in Quality Control (London Institute)

Research Interests

The Marine Oceanography Research Unit MORU currently hosts the following research personnel:

1.    Aileen Gill:  Ph.D. (Microbial Communities of  the Deep Mediterranean Sea)
2.    Gary McCoy:  Ph.D. (Phytoplankton Detection) co-supervised by Dr. Raine (Ryan Institute)
3.    Sarah Cosgrove:  Ph.D. (Monitoring of Alexandrium Blooms), co-supervised by Dr. Raine (Ryan Institute)
4.    Sylvia Soldatou:  Ph.D.  (Marine Biodiscovery), co-supervised with Prof. Deniz Tasdemir (Chemistry)
5.    Donal McGee:  Ph.D. (Marine Biodiscovery), co-supervised with Dr. Nicholas Touzet, (Sligo Institute of Technology)
6.    Lillit Tonoyon:  Ph.D. (Antimicrobials), co-supervised with Prof. Vincent O'Flaherty (Microbiology)
7.    Olivia Duignan:  Ph.D. (Antimicrobials), co-supervised with Dr. Cyril Carroll, (Microbiology)

The research focus in the MORU can be broadly divided into three themes:

Theme 1:  Marine Microbiology

  • Characterizataion of the distribution of the domain bacteria using T-RFLP/DGGE on samples taken from deep Ocean Sites in the Atlantic, Southern Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
  • Characterization of deep-sea piezophilic bacteria after culture under conditions of in situ pressure and temperature
  • Biodiscovery of novel antimicrobials from microorganisms derived from deep-sea sediments
  • Biodiscovery of novel antimicrobials from marine algae
  • Development of microarrays for monitoring toxic algae in Irish coastal waters
  • Monitoring of blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium in Cork Harbour

Theme 2:  Antimicrobial Resistance

  • Development of antibiotic and disinfectant co-resistance among human pathogens as studied by means of enrichment chemostat cultures
  • Competitiveness of human pathogens (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Campylobacter jejuni) grown in chemostat culture

Theme 3:  Research Support of Indigenous Industry and Regulatory Bodies

  • Development of novel antimicrobials and biocide efficacy testing
  • Assessment of exposure to health hazards of workers in the agricultural animal sector
  • The laboratory also undertakes short-term projects with SMEs relating to microbial assessment of facilities, disinfection efficacy assessment and product development.



Book Chapters

Fleming, G. T. and J. W. Patching (2008) 'The Fermenter in Research and Development' In: McNeil, B.; Harvey, L.M (eds). Practical Fermentation Technology. UK: John Wiley and Sons LTD. PP. 347- 376

Patching, J. W. & Fleming, G. T. A. (2003) 'Industrial biofilms: formation, problems and control' In: Lens, P.; Moran, A.P.; Mahony, T.; Stoodley, P.; O'Flaherty, V (eds). Biofilms in Medicine, Industry and Environmental Biotechnology:characteristics, analysis and control. UK: IWA Publishing, London;UK. PP. 568-590

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Papers


Staunton, J., Williams, C.D., Mc Donnell, R.J., Fleming, G.T., Henry, T. & Gormally, M.J. (2014) 'Challenges in assessing ecological impacts of construction and demolition waste on wetlands: A case study'. Applied Ecology And Environmental Research, 12. (In Press)

McCoy, G. R., McNamee, S., Campbell, K., Elliott,C. T.,  Fleming,  G.T.A. & Raine R. (2014) 'Monitoring a toxic bloom of Alexandrium minutum using novel microarray and multiplex surface plasmon resonance biosensor technology'. Harmful Algae, 32: 40-48.

McCoy, G.R., Kegel, J. U., Touzet, N., Fleming, G.T.A., Medlin, L. K. & Raine, R. (2014) 'An assessment of RNA content in Prymnesium parvum, Prymnesium polylepis, cf. Chattonella sp. and Karlodinium veneficum under varying environmental conditions for calibrating an RNA microarray for species detection'. Fems Microbiology Ecology, 48 (1): 140-159

McCoy, G.R., Touzet, N., Fleming, G.T.A. & Raine, R. (2013) 'An evaluation of the applicability of microarrays for monitoring toxic algae in Irish coastal waters'. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 20: 6751-6761.

Touzet, N; McCarthy, D. and Fleming, G.T. (2013) 'Molecular fingerprinting of lacustrian cyanobacterial communities: regional patterns in summer diversity'. Fems Microbiology Ecology, 86 (3): 444-457

McCarthy, D. M., Pearce, D. A., Patching, J.W. & Fleming, G.T.A. (2013) 'Contrasting Responses to Nutrient Enrichment of Prokaryotic Communities Collected from Deep Sea Sites in the Southern Ocean'. Biology, 2 (3): 1165-1188.

Coggins, M., Hogan, V., Fleming, G., Tynan, T., Kelly, M., Roberts, N. & Thorne, P.S. (2012) 'Workplace exposure to bioaerosols in podiatry clinics'. Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 56 (6):746-753.

Egan, S.T., McCarthy, D.M., Patching, J.W. & Fleming, G.T.A. (2012) 'An investigation of the physiology and potential role of components of the deep ocean bacterial community (of the NE Atlantic) by enrichments carried out under minimal environmental change'. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 61: 11-20.

Mc Cay, P.H., Ocampo-Sosa, A.A. & Fleming, G.T.A. (2010) 'Effect of subinhibitory concentrations of benzalkonlum chloride on the competitiveness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa grown in continuous culture'. Microbiology, 156: 30-38.

Ryan, P., Forbes, C., McHugh, S., O'Reilly, C., Fleming, G.T.A. & Colleran, E. (2010) 'Enrichment of acetogenic bacteria in high rate anaerobic reactors under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions'. Water Research, 44: 4261-4269.

McDonnell, P.E., Coggins, M., Hogan, V. & Fleming, G. (2008) 'Exposure Assessment of Airborne Contaminants in the Indoor Environment of Irish Swine Farms'. Annals Of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 15: 323-326.

Smith, P., Fleming, G.T.A. & Carroll, C. (2008) 'Reducing inter-operator variation in disc diffusion assays by the inclusion of internal controls in a standard susceptibility test protocol'. Aquaculture, 285: 273-276.

Smith, P., Ruane, N.M., Douglas, I., Carroll, C., Kronvall, G. & Fleming, G.T.A. (2007) 'Impact of inter-lab variation on the estimation of epidemiological cut-off values for disc diffusion susceptibility test data for Aeromonas salmonicida'. Aquaculture, 272: 168-179.

Ruane, N.M., Douglas, I., Geary, M., Carroll, C., Fleming, G.T.A. & Smith, P (2007) 'Application of normalised resistance interpretation to disc diffusion data on the susceptibility of Aeromonas salmonicida to three quinolone agents'. Aquaculture, 272: 156-167.

Duignan, O., Fleming, G. T. A. and Carroll, C. V. (2007) 'A Study of the Adaptations Campylobacter jejuni to Antibiotic Selection Pressures in Chemostat Culture'. Zoonoses And Public Health, 54 (1): 39-39.

Douglas, I.,  Ruane, N.M., Geary, M., Carroll, C., Fleming, G.T.A. ,McMurray, J. & Smith, P (2007) 'The advantages of the use of discs containing single agents in disc diffusion testing of the susceptibility of Aeromonas salmonicida to potentiated sulphonamides'. Aquaculture, 272: 118-125.

Douglas, I., Smith, P. & Fleming, G. T. A. (2006) 'The effect of NaCl on measures of the antimicrobial agent susceptibility of Aeromonas salmonicida in standard disc diffusion assays'. Bull Eur Assoc Fish Pathol., 26: 232-235.

Curtin, J., Cormican, M., Fleming, G., Keelehan, J. & Colleran, E. (2003) 'Linezolid compared with eperezolid, vancomycin, and gentamicin in an in vitro model of antimicrobial lock therapy for Staphylococcus epidermidis central venous catheter-related biofilm infections'. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 47: 3145-3148.

Fleming, G.T., McCarthy, D.M., Colombet, N. & Patching, J.W. (2002) 'The effect of levofloxacin concentration on the development and maintenance of antibiotic-resistant clones of Escherichia coli in chemostat culture'. Journal Of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 29: 155-162.

Fleming, G.T. & Patching J.W. (1994) 'Plasmid instability in an industrial strain of Bacillus subtilis grown in continuous culture'. Journal of Industrial Microbiology, 13: 106-111.

Fleming, G. , Dawson, M.T. Patching, J.W. (1988) 'The isolation of strains of  Bacillus subtilis showing improved plasmid stability characteristics by means of selective chemostat culture'. Journal of General Microbiology, 134: 2095-2101. 


Published Reports

Mc Donnell, P., Coggins, M., Hogan, V., Fleming, G. (2007) ’ Exposure Assessment to airborne contaminants in the indoor environment of Irish Swine Farms’. Health and Safety Authority Research Series. HSA, Dublin.