Jolanda van Munster


  • West Mains Road, Kings Buildings

    EH9 3JG Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a microbiologist with a passion for carbohydrates and their role in biology; I am particularly interested in finding out how microbes degrade complex carbohydrates. I became fascinated by carbohydrate active enzymes while pursuing my PhD in microbial physiology at the University of Groningen. There I combined biochemistry with fungal genetics to study how enzymes degraded complex sugars in fungal cell walls. As postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nottingham I investigated how fungi regulate their gene expression and produce enzymes to degrade complex carbohydrates in plant cell wall lignocellulose. Funded by a BBSRC Fellowship, I then moved to the University of Manchester where I investigating how fungi, via their enzymes, affect the properties of plant material. I applied surface analysis tools to characterise changes in insoluble lignocellulose and combined this with detailed characterisation of the responsible enzyme activities. This work aimed to understand of how the fungal enzymatic machinery deconstructs plant biomass, a prerequisite for improving exploitation in sustainable biotechnology. At SRUC my research focusses on plant biomass degradation by anaerobic fungi that are part of the ruminant microbiome. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Groningen


Award Date: 22 Sep 2014

External positions

Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester

Aug 2020Aug 2021

Frontiers in fungal biology

Jun 2020 → …

Carbohydrate Research

Aug 2017 → …


  • Q Science (General)
  • microbiology
  • mycology
  • plant biomass degradation
  • QD Chemistry
  • carbohydrates
  • carbohydrate active enzymes
  • SF Animal culture
  • microbiome

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Research Output

Growing a circular economy with fungal biotechnology: a white paper

Meyer, V., Basenko, E. Y., Benz, J. P., Braus, G. H., Caddick, M. X., Csukai, M., de Vries, R. P., Endy, D., Frisvad, J. C., Gunde-Cimerman, N., Haarmann, T., Hadar, Y., Hansen, K., Johnson, R. I., Keller, N. P., Kraševec, N., Mortensen, U. H., Perez, R., Ram, A. F. J., Record, E. & 7 others, Ross, P., Shapaval, V., Steiniger, C., van den Brink, H., van Munster, J., Yarden, O. & Wösten, H. A. B., 2 Apr 2020, In : Fungal Biology and Biotechnology. 7, 1, p. 5 5.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    Succession of physiological stages hallmarks the transcriptomic response of the fungus Aspergillus niger to lignocellulose

    van Munster, J. M., Daly, P., Blythe, M. J., Ibbett, R., Kokolski, M., Gaddipati, S., Lindquist, E., Singan, V. R., Barry, K. W., Lipzen, A., Ngan, C. Y., Petzold, C. J., Chan, L. J. G., Arvas, M., Raulo, R., Pullan, S. T., Delmas, S., Tucker, G. A., Simmons, B. A. & Archer, D. B., 13 Apr 2020, In : Biotechnology for Biofuels. 13, 69.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Enzymatic synthesis of N-acetyllactosamine from lactose enabled by recombinant β1,4-galactosyltransferases

    Huang, K., Parmeggiani, F., Ledru, H., Hollingsworth, K., Mas Pons, J., Marchesi, A., Both, P., Mattey, A. P., Pallister, E., Bulmer, G. S., van Munster, J. M., Turnbull, W. B., Galan, M. C. & Flitsch, S. L., 30 May 2019, In : Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. 17, 24, p. 5920-5924 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Selective Oxidation of N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid Using an Engineered Galactose Oxidase Variant

    Mattey, A. P., Birmingham, W., Both, P., Kress, N., Huang, K., van Munster, JM., Bulmer, G. S., Parmeggiani, F., Voglmeir, J., Martinez, J., Turner, N. & Flitsch, S. L., 6 Sep 2019, In : ACS Catalysis. 9, 9, p. 8208–8212

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Application of carbohydrate arrays coupled with mass spectrometry to detect activity of plant-polysaccharide degradative enzymes from the fungus Aspergillus niger

    van Munster, J. M., Thomas, B., Riese, M., Davis, A. L., Gray, C. J., Archer, D. B. & Flitsch, S. L., 21 Feb 2017, In : Scientific Reports. 7, p. 43117

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)