The Team

Dr Luisa Orsini

Founder and scientific advisor

Dr Luisa Orsini is a Senior Lecturer in Biosystems and Environmental Change at the University of Birmingham (UoB). She uses multidisciplinary science to understand evolutionary processes and mechanisms that enable freshwater communities, responsible for delivering critical ecosystem services (e.g. clean water, nutrient cycling, food provisioning) to persist in the face of human impact. Evolution occurs on multidecadal time scales. To reconstruct long-term dynamics, Orsini applies high throughput sequencing technologies (genomics, transcriptomic, metabolomics, environmental DNA) to sedimentary archives of inland waters, which have the unique advantage of preserving biological and environmental signals temporally. These archives are the resource of ‘resurrected’ specimens of the keystone crustacean Daphnia magna (waterflea), the biological agent at the core of a novel engineering biology solution for wastewater decontamination. Orsini applies engineering biology to translate fundamental science discoveries into practical applications of wide impact. To this end, she develops biotechnologies towards process-scale surface and wastewater decontamination as well as novel tools for the cost-effective and high throughput quantification of biodiversity to guide environment agencies and policy makers in conservation strategies. By translating cutting-edge multidisciplinary science into practical applications, Orsini provides tools and processes for mitigation interventions that enable green growth and meet UN developmental goals. (

Mr Stephen Kissane

Wet lab manager

Mr Kissane was awarded a Bsc in biosciences from Birmingham University in 1999. Since then he has accumulated 18 years of experience in molecular biology, including in the specialised areas of microarrays technology, sequencing, quantitative PCR and automated sample processing

Dr Vignesh Dhandapani

Scientific Consultant

Dr Dahandapani is an experienced bioinformatician in the field of Life and Environmental Science. He specialises in the analysis of multidimensional data sets including genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics and ATAC sequencing. Dr Dahandapani developed methods for analysing high throughput sequencing data well beyond the state-of-the-art.  As a computational biologist, he has developed more than 7 databases and software’s and published 25 peer reviewed articles.