Photo of Graeme Walker

Graeme M. Walker

Professor - Zymology

  • 1834 Citations
  • 25 h-Index
1978 …2019
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Personal profile

Personal profile

I’m a Professor of Zymology and Director of the Abertay Yeast Research Group.

My PhD (1978) was in Yeast Physiology and I have over 40 years of research experience in microbiology and biotechnology.  I also act as consultant for international biotechnology companies.

My current research interests involve yeast physiology and biotechnology, with a particular focus involving optimising fermentations for alcoholic beverages, distilled spirits and sustainable biofuels. 

I have held academic positions and conducted research in the UK, Denmark, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and the US. 

To date, I have published over 200 articles and authored several textbooks, including Yeast Physiology & BiotechnologyBioethanol and The Alcohol Textbook.


Lecturing duties in Microbiology and Biotechnology: Prof Walker acts as Module tutor and co-deliverer of modules in BSc and MSc programmes, covering topics such as Yeast Biotechnology, Fermentation/Bioprocess Technology, Food Biotechnology, Industrial & Biomedical Biotechnology, and Renewable Energy Technologies. He also supervises Research Projects (BSc Hons, MSc, MProf and PhD).


Research funding for the Abertay Yeast Research Group has been forthcoming from research councils (e.g. BBSRC), European Commission (e.g. Framework 6 Programme), industry (e.g. BP Chemicals, Glaxo, Heineken, Diageo), charities (e.g. Carnegie Trust), professional bodies (e.g. Institute of Brewing & Distilling) and governmental organisations (e.g. Technology Strategy Board, Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre).


External academic activities

1984 - present

74 PhD Examinerships: Universities of Oslo (N), Toulouse (F), New England (AUS), Victoria (AUS)x2, Southern Queensland (AUS), Witwatersrand (SA)x2, Saskatchewan (CAN), Stellenbosch (SA), Dublin (I), Danish Technical University (DK)x4, Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala (S)x4, Ballarat University (AUS), University of New South Wales (AUS), University of the West Indies (Jamaica),  Delft University of Technology (NL), Heriot-Watt (UK)x9, Aberdeen (UK)x3, Abertay (UK)x15, Strathclyde (UK)x6, Nottingham (UK)x8, also MRes x2),  Bath (UK), Edinburgh Napier (UK), University College London (UK), National University of Ireland (I), Oxford-Brookes University (UK)x3, St Andrews University (UK), University of the Highlands & Islands (UK)

 1989 - 1991

MSc Examiner, National University of Ireland

1988 - 1990

SCOTVEC Biotechnology Examiner

1995 – 2000

External Verifier, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (Applied Sciences)


Chair, Scottish Qualifications Agency (HND Biotechnology)


Expert Evaluator, European Commission, Brussels (FP6 proposals)


Expert Reviewer (Professoriate Appointments), Universities of Parma, Italy,

(2000), Southern Queensland, Australia (2006)), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden (2009), Heriot-Watt University (2012)


BioDundee Steering Group committee member


External Examiner, Napier University (School of Life Sciences)


Committee member, British Science Association [Tayside & Fife Branch]

1988 - present

Research Grant Referee/Expert Evaluator for:

NERC and BBSRC (UK), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), South African National Research Foundation, Australian Research Council Office of Science & Technology, Slovenian Ministry of Education & Science, Australian Research Council College of Experts, National Science Fund of Bulgaria, Danish Council for Strategic Research, Industrial Research Fund (K.U. Leuven, Belgium), Latvian Council of Sciences


Scientific Committee member of Polish Fermentation School


Scientific Director of Ethanol Technology Institute

Scientific Advisory Board member BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (Nottingham University)


External MSc Validator University of Ulster, Coleraine, N Ireland

External Research Assessor, Heriot-Watt University


Accredited Trainer for Institute of Brewing & Distilling

2013 -present

External Examiner, BSc and MSc Brewing & Distilling, Heriot-Watt University


1978 – 1980

Royal Society/NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, Copenhagen


EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship


Molson 2000 Lecturer, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

2008 & 2009

Royal Society of Chemistry plenary speaker at International biofuels symposia: San Juan, Puerto Rico (2008) and IUPAC, Glasgow (2009)


Elected Fellow of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (FIBD)


Elected UK Commissioner for International Commission on Yeasts and Yeast-like Organisms of the International Union of Microbiological Societies

Non-Academic (sporting) awards:  Winner’s medals: for Nordic Cup (Denmark 1980: rugby); Methven’s League champions (New Zealand 1982: football); Civil Service League champions (Ireland 1985: football); Abertay University Champion (Dundee 2002 and Tayport 2010: golf); BioDundee winner (St Andrews 2009: golf); Edinburgh Festival (2013: stand-up comedian)

Refereeships/Editorial work

1988 - present

Journal Referee for:

Journal of General Microbiology, Process Biochemistry, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Enzyme & Microbial Technology, Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry, Biotechnology Progress, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, FEMS Letters, FEMS Yeast Research, European Journal of Biochemistry, Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology, Biological Trace Element Research, Journal of Industrial Microbiology, International Journal of Food Microbiology, Mycological Research, Microbiology (UK), Microbiology Today, Process Biochemistry, Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology, Journal of Biotechnology, Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, International Journal of Wine Research, Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Magnesium Research, Mycological Research, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Animal Feed Science & Technology, Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, Scientia Agricola, Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, BioEngineered Bugs, Applied Energy, Journal of Molecular Microbiology & Biotechnology, Microbial Cell Factories, Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Book Reviewer for:
Oxford University Press, Chapman & Hall, Cambridge University Press, Harwood Academic Publishers, Gordon & Broach Science Publishers, J. Wiley & Sons, Society for General Microbiology, Elsevier Science Publishers.

Book Reviewer for:

Oxford University Press, Chapman & Hall, Cambridge University Press, Harwood Academic Publishers, Gordon & Broach Science Publishers, J. Wiley & Sons, Society for General Microbiology, Elsevier Science Publishers.

2000 - 2008

Member of Editorial Board, FEMS Yeast Research

2005 - present

Managing Editor, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of Microbiology

2008 - present

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, International Journal of Wine Research

2010 - present

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of the Institute of Brewing

Society memberships/external committees/conference organisation

1974 - present

Institute of Brewing, Member (Scottish Section Committee, 1997-2001)


Irish Yeast Group (Founder)


Society for General Microbiology (Scottish Branch Committee, 1991-94)

1995 - present

American Society of Brewing Chemists, Member

1994 - present

Convenor (1994-2000) and Committee Member (2000-present)

Scottish Microbiology Society

2003 - present

FEMS Council Delegate (for Scottish Microbiology Society)

1983 - present

Conference organisation:

Irish & Scottish Yeast Group meetings

Society for General Microbiology meetings (Scottish Section)

Scottish Microbiology Society symposia

FEMS Council meeting (Edinburgh 2009)

International Symposium on Yeasts (ISSY18 Committee)

Int. Conferences on Yeast Genetics & Mol Biol (Finance & Policy Committee)

Institute of Brewing & Distilling Scottish Section meetings

Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference (Prog Chair 2008: Committee 2011)

British Science Association (Tayside & Fife committee member)

BioDundee Steering Group committee member

International Commission on Yeasts (ISSY & ICY Symposia)

The Alcohol Schools (Toulouse, Omaha and Montreal)

Invited plenary lectures

Invited lectures, including keynote/plenary presentations, have been presented at universities, industries and scientific symposia/conferences in Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and USA.

Knowledge Exchange

Prof Walker is involved on a consultancy basis with several international companies in the biotechnology and bioenergy fields. He has also acted as a co-supervisor for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate, in partnership with Diageo Plc.


Graeme Walker is regularly invited to speak to various clubs and societies. (e.g. Probus Clubs, Rotary Clubs, University Women's Association, Cafe Science, Edinburgh Science Festival, Bright Clubs, Edinburgh Festival Fringe (stand-up comedy) etc).

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Graeme M. Walker is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Yeasts Medicine & Life Sciences
yeasts Agriculture & Biology
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Medicine & Life Sciences
Magnesium Medicine & Life Sciences
fermentation Agriculture & Biology
Fermentation Medicine & Life Sciences
Schizosaccharomyces Medicine & Life Sciences
yeast Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1978 2019

Advances in yeast alcoholic fermentations for the production of bioethanol, beer and wine

Eliodório, K. P., Cunha, G. C. D. G. E., Müller, C., Lucaroni, A. C., Giudici, R., Walker, G. M., Alves, S. L. & Basso, T. O., 25 Oct 2019, Advances in applied microbiology. Gadd, G. M. & Sariaslani, S. (eds.). London: Academic Press Inc., p. 61-119 59 p. (Advances in Applied Microbiology; vol. 109).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Food and Beverages
1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Data for life cycle assessment of legume biorefining for alcohol

Leinhardt, T., Black, K., Saget, S., Porto Costa, M., Chadwick, D., Rees, R. M., Williams, M., Spillane, C., Iannetta, P., Walker, G. M. & Styles, D., 31 Aug 2019, In : Data in Brief. 25, 7 p., 104242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
life cycle assessment

Duty calls: the financial importance of accurate ABV measurement

Maskell, P. D., Walker, G. M. & Maskell, D. L., 12 Mar 2019, Brewer and Distiller International, 15, 3, p. 40-42 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article

13 Downloads (Pure)

Faba bean as a novel brewing adjunct: consumer evaluation

Black, K., Barnett, A., Tzioula-Clarke, A., White, P., Iannetta, P. & Walker, G. M., 10 May 2019, In : Journal of the Institute of Brewing. 125, 3, p. 310-314 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Vicia faba
faba beans
1 Citation (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

Just the tonic! Legume biorefining for alcohol has the potential to reduce Europe’s protein deficit and mitigate climate change

Leinhardt, T., Black, K., Saget, S., Porto Costa, M., Chadwick, D., Rees, R. M., Williams, M., Spillane, C., Iannetta, P., Walker, G. M. & Styles, D., Sep 2019, In : Environment International. 130, 11 p., 104870.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
climate change


Anti-Candida activity of killer toxins from the yeast Williopsis mrakii

Author: Hodgson, V., Aug 1993

Supervisor: M. Walker, G. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Influence of sodium chloride on wine yeast physiology and fermentation performance

Author: Logothetis, S., May 2009

Supervisor: Walker, G. M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Interaction of zinc with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Author: De Nicola, R., Mar 2006

Supervisor: Walker, G. M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Killer yeasts as antifungal biocontrol agents

Author: Carrotte, A., Nov 2001

Supervisor: Walker, G. M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Role of metal ions in fermentative metabolism of yeast

Author: Chandrasena, G., Sep 1996

Supervisor: M. Walker, G. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis