Academic Year 2022-2023
Institution Queen's University, Belfast


Phonetic spelling of name: Dia-na

Pronouns: she/her

School of Biological Sciences

Project: Next generation biosensing for environmental management

Supervisors: Professor Katrina Campbell, Dr Lenka Mbadugha & Dr Sarah Helyar

Undergraduate Education: BSc in Biotechnology, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain

Postgraduate Education: MSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Queen’s University Belfast

Research: My research will focus on the design and implementation of a novel bioanalytical tool that could be used easily by novice end users to determine multiple environmental contaminants and pathogens. Currently, chemical contaminants found in the environment are monitored and tested for separately using a diverse range of expensive and labour-intensive methodologies that require highly skilled laboratory technicians. On top of that, data obtained from these analytical approaches is often reviewed in isolation, whereby any related synergistic or antagonistic effects in the natural environment may go unnoticed. Firstly, this research aims to improve the current situation by compiling for the first time all historical environmental monitoring data in order to identify the gaps in knowledge required for future environmental surveillance to better shape and support local aquaculture in Northern Ireland. Secondly, this project will focus in depth on the development and validation of a novel multiplex assay to identify key chemical contaminants and pathogens. Finally, we will evaluate the model biological system lab on a chip biosensor against collated data and aim for the construction of a roadmap of historical monitoring data to understand the environment holistically for enhanced management practices in aquaculture production.