Dr Nasmille Larke-Mejia

Research Scientist

Contact via email

Listeria and other invasive pathogens



I am an Environmental Microbiologist with a PhD from the School of Environmental Sciences at University of East Anglia (2018). Before coming to the UK, I studied a BSc in Biology, a BSc in Microbiology and a MSc in Environmental Microbiology at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia).

During my first studies, under the supervision of Dr Jenny Dussan, I isolated and characterised bacteria thriving on burnt oils and the explosive ANFO, both prevalent in the daily mining operations of Cerrejón, a northern Colombian open-pit coal mine (where I grew up). During my doctoral studies, under the supervision of Professor J Colin Murrell, I characterised novel soil and phyllosphere microorganisms that use isoprene as their sole source of C using techniques including stable isotope probing (SIP), amplicon sequencing and metagenome analysis.

Post PhD, I have focused on using metagenomics to investigate low-abundance microorganisms. My first postdoctoral placement was at Earlham Institute, working for the GROW Colombia project, where I studied the soils affected by different agricultural practices in Colombian sugarcane plantations and a fungal pathogen for coffee plants.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher with Dr  Matthew Gilmour at the Quadram Institute, UK, specializing in metagenomics and pathogen identification using short- and long-read sequencing.

Key Publications

Larke-Mejía, N.L, Carrión, O. ,Crombie, A.T. , McGenity, T.J. and Murrell, J. C. Sphingopyxis sp. strain OPL5, an isoprene-degrading bacterium from the Sphingomonadaceae family isolated from oil palm leaves. Microorganisms. Submitted Sept 2, 2020. Resubmitted Sept 29, 2020.

Larke-Mejía NL, Crombie AT, Pratscher J, McGenity TJ and Murrell JC (2019) Novel Isoprene Degrading Proteobacteria From Soil and Leaves Identified by Cultivation and Metagenomics Analysis of Stable Isotope Probing Experiments. Front. Microbiol. 10:2700. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02700

Carrión, O., Larke-Mejía, N.L., Gibson, L. et al. Gene probing reveals the widespread distribution, diversity and abundance of isoprene-degrading bacteria in the environment. Microbiome 6, 219 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0607-0

Crombie, A.T., Larke-Mejia, N.L., Emery, H., Dawson, R., Pratscher, J., Murphy, G.P., McGenity, T.J. and Murrell, J.C. (2018) Poplar phyllosphere harbors disparate isoprene-degrading bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA), 115(51), 13081-13086. doi:10.1073/pnas.1812668115

Rachael E. Antwis, Sarah M. Griffiths, Xavier A. Harrison, Paz Aranega-Bou, Andres Arce, Aimee S. Bettridge, Francesca L. Brailsford, Alexandre de Menezes, Andrew Devaynes,Kristian M. Forbes, Ellen L. Fry, Ian Goodhead, Erin Haskell, Chloe Heys, Chloe James, Sarah R. Johnston, Gillian R. Lewis, Zenobia Lewis, Michael C. Macey, Alan McCarthy, James E. McDonald, Nasmille L. Mejia-Florez, David O’Brien, Chlo´e Orland, Marco Pautasso, William D. K. Reid, Heather A. Robinson,Kenneth Wilson and William J. Sutherland. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 2017, Vol. 93, No. 5