School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Dr Eric May

Dr Eric May

  • Qualifications: PhD
  • Role Title: Reader in Microbiology
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2025
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am active in environmental research, particularly pollution control by wastewater treatment and the microbiology of historic buildings. My research involves collaboration with the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (Dr John Williams) through the Environmental Engineering Research Group, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers. By cooperation with Southern Water plc, I helped establish laboratories at the University's Centre for Environmental Technology (Petersfield, Hampshire).

PhD research at the University of Dundee on nitrogen cycling in freshwater lochs led to a long-term interest in understanding how microbes can be used to purify wastewater, notably using reed-beds in constructed wetlands. Protection of the environment from road-runoff using purpose-built wetlands (on the A34 Newbury by-pass) has recently extended this interest. Other on-going research is directed at concerns about phthalate pollution from plastics and the behaviour of the diarrhoeal bug Cryptosporidium in wastewater during treatment. I have also worked on wastewater projects with partners in Egypt, Colombia and Greece.

Teaching Responsibilities

I have extensive experience of postgraduate research supervision at MSc and PhD levels. My undergraduate teaching interests range from microbial and cell diversity at Level One, introductory microbiology at Level Two to environmental and applied microbiology at Level Three. I am pathway leader for BSc (Hons) Applied Microbiology and an Admissions tutor for the pathway scheme in biological sciences. I have acted as external examiner for BSc and BEd courses.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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