Charlotte Beloe
Postgraduate Research Student

Charlotte Beloe

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

I use synthetic and empirical approaches to understand the ecotoxicological impacts of contaminants and microbes on habitat-formers.  By collaborating closely with colleagues at national and international institutions I have developed a strong interdisciplinary approach.  I use this approach to help the public, industry and government manage environmental problems.



Employment and Education

Present- 2019                   

Lead Microbiologist (Benign by Design Programme)

Ph.D. Researcher

University of New South Wales

(with Dr M.A. Browne, Prof. E.J. Johnston)


Technical Assistant

University of New South Wales (with Dr J. Welch)


B.Sc. (Adv, Hons) Biological Sciences and Microbiology

University of New South Wales


Research Internships

University of New South Wales

(with A/Prof. W. Cornwell and Dr B.P. Burns)


iGEM Synthetic Biology Competition

University of New South Wales

(with A/Prof. C. Marquis and Dr D. Winter)


Biological and microbiological skills from my undergraduate degree led to a strong interest in the ecology of habitat-formers and microbes.  Through a series of invited internships I learnt how to synthesise global data about vascular plants (Taseski, Beloe et al., 2019 Ecology) and to use molecular and microscopic techniques to characterise the structure and functions of microbial assemblages.  Using my molecular skills I entered an international competition (iGEM) in which my team and I won a gold medal engineering microorganisms to remediate the environment.

After my undergraduate degree, I was invited to manage the laboratories of the School of Biotechnical and Biomolecular Sciences at UNSW.  Here I developed skills in project management and worked closely with researchers investigating environmental contamination and disease.  This developed my interest in ecotoxicology and pathogenesis which I am exploring as part of my Ph.D. investigating the capacity for plastic litter to act as a vector for pathogens to habitat-formers. 

Now I use analysis, synthesis, structured surveys, manipulative experiments and modelling to assess the likelihood and severity of microplastic acting as vector for pathogens to major habitat-formers.  Through this interdisciplinary work, I lead the microbial component of the Benign by Design Programme which is supported by an ARC Linkage grant and contracts from industry and government.  Here I collaborate with a wide range of water and textile engineers (UNSW Water Research Laboratory), vibrational chemists (Sydney Analytical at University of Sydney), policymakers (NSW EPA, Melbourne Water, South Australia Water Corporation) and companies (Parley for the Oceans, Icebreaker) to help them understand and mitigate pollution.

Grants and Prizes

2019 Ph.D. Scholarship ($223K)

Outstanding Presentation (UNSW Marine Science Post-graduate Forum

2016 iGEM ($6K)

iGEM Gold medal


BABS1201 (Demonstrator)



Desk 4.82, Level 4 EastBiological Sciences South (E26)UNSW, Kensington 2052