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Lucinda Robinson

Staff picture: Lucinda Robinson
Ecological Sciences
Ecological Sciences
Research Assistant
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK


Lucinda works in the Ecological Sciences department as a molecular microbiologist.  Lucinda joined the Institute in 2007 as a research assistant in the Molecular Microbiology lab. She initially worked in the Soils group preparing and analysing soil DNA for the National Soils Inventory of Scotland (NSIS), and then moved to the Ecological Sciences department in 2015.

Lucinda graduated in 1998 from Wye College University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Plant Sciences and worked in several commercial settings including novel fungicide testing (broadleaf crops), plant pathology field trials (cereals), and high throughput microsatellite selection of new wheat varieties.

Lucinda’s work predominantly covers semi-quantitative and qualitative assessment of the soil microbiome, utilising a variety of techniques such as real-time quantitative PCR (antimicrobial resistance genes and pathogen detection) and next generation sequencing (NGS) for metagenomic analysis. Other techniques used include multiplex terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analysis (m-TRFLP), microsatellite analysis, phospholipid fatty acid extract analysis (PLFA), and MicroResp™ (substrate-induced microbial respiration).  Lucinda also has expertise in the extraction of nucleic acids from a diverse range of samples including water, slurry, faeces, vegetative matter and animal tissue.

Alongside research activities, Lucinda assists with sales and technical support for the MicroResp™ kit.  More details about the kit and how to order it can be found on the MicroResp™ website:

Current research interests

  • JHI-D4-3 (RESAS): Scotland's biodiversity: people, data & monitoring.  Oceanic-Alpine biodiversity: Soil microbiome analysis of fungi, bacteria, and eukaryotes inhabiting Scotland’s Munros. Project utilises samples collected by Citizen Scientists. Further information about the project can be found here:
  • JHI-B6-1 (RESAS): ‘Flows of antimicrobial resistance and pathogens through the environment to the food chain’ 2022-2027
  • MRI-A2-2 (RESAS): ‘Role of transmission and pathogen components in virulence and disease pathogenesis for important endemic diseases of livestock in Scotland’ 2022-2027.
  • JHI-D4-3 (RESAS): Scotland's biodiversity: people, data & monitoring. Developing a method of genotyping Scotland’s Mountain hare population using microsatellite analysis.
  • MOT 4 Rivers (NERC): collaboration with the University of Stirling and other reseach partners.  Development of freshwater quality monitoring techniques using eDNA analysis.  Quality indicator organisms include aquatic communities of vertebrates (fish), bacteria, and invertebrates.

Past research

  • Preparation of the National Soils Inventory of Scotland DNA archive.
  • Development of molecular techniques for soil forensic analysis.
  • Development of a molecular test for detecting meat fraud.
  • SARS-CoV-19 detection in the environment.



  • Robertson, A.H.J.; Main, A.M.; Robinson, L.J.; Dawson, L.A. (2015) In situ FTIR analysis of soils for forensic applications., FT-IR Technology for Today's Spectroscopists, August 2015.

  • Dawson, L.A.; Miller, D.R.; Freitag, T.; Brewer, M.; Robinson, L.; Ross, J. (2014) MiSAFE project mid term review report., Mid-Term Report to the EU Review Panel for the MiSAFE Project. Uploaded to the EU website.
  • Miller, D.R.; Dawson, L.A.; Morrice, J.; Ross, J.; Freitag, T.; Robinson, L. (2013) Knowledge exchange and dissemination strategy., Deliverable D7.1 (Knowledge Exchange Strategy), EU MiSAFE Project.

  • Robertson, A.H.J.; Main, A.M.; Robinson, L.J.; Dawson, L.A. (2015) In situ FTIR analysis of forensic soil samples at a mock crime scene., Proceedings of the 4th Global Workshop on Proximal Soil Sensing in Hangzhou, China, 12-15 May 2015.
  • Dawson, L.A.; Freitag, T.; Ross, J.; Robinson, L.; Miller, D.R.; Pasternak, Z.; Habtom, H.J.C.; Robe, P.; Kahns, L.; Simonet, P.; Demaneche, S.; Gafny, R.; Cordero, J.C.; Jurkevitch, E. (2014) The development and validation of microbial soil Community analyses for forensic purposes (MiSAFE)., Forensics Geosciences Group, London, 2-4 December 2014. Proceedings.

  • Britton, A.; Ewan, K.; Whyte, A.; Freitag, T.; Robinson, L.; White, D.; Morton, I.; Taylor, A. (2022) Going underground unleashing the power of citizen cience and eDNA to explore alpine soil biodiversity, International Mountain Conference 2022, 11 - 15 September 2022, Innsbruck, Austria.
  • Taylor, A. F. S.; Fielding, D.; Freitag, T.; Oddi, L.; Robinson, L.; van Paassen, J.; White, D.; Britton, A. J. (2022) Spatial congruity across six kingdoms of alpine biodiversity, International Mountain Conference 2022, 11 - 15 September 2022, Innsbruck, Austria.
  • Britton, A.J.; Freitag, T.; Oddi, L.; Fielding, D.; van Paassen, J.; White, D.; Robinson, L.; Taylor, A.F.S. (2019) Topography drives heterogeneity in alpine soil function., International Mountain Conference 2019, Innsbruck, 8-12 September 2019. (Poster)
  • Black, H.I.J.; Cameron, C.; Campbell, C.D.; Chamberlain, P.; Creamer, R.; Harris, J.; Pawlett, M.; Robinson, L.; Singh, B.; Woods, C.; Ritz, K. (2012) Shifting dimensions - defining the ecological status of soils., EUROSOIL 2012 Soil Science for the Benefit of Mankind and Environment, 4th International Congress of the European Confederation of Soil Science Societies (ECSSS), Bari, Italy, 2-6 July 2012.
  • Black, H.I.J.; Cameron, C.M.; Campbell, C.D.; Chamberlain, P.M.; Creamer, R.E.; Harris, J.A.; Pawlett, M.; Ritz, K.; Robinson, L.; Singh, B.K. (2008) Scoping biological indicators of soil quality for national soil monitoring., Proceedings of the Annual BSSS Conference, Rothamstead, September 2008.
  • Towers, W.; Cameron, C.; Robinson, L. (2008) Resampling the National Soils Inventory in Scotland ¿the interface between traditional pedology and molecular biology., Proceedings of the Annual BSSS Conference, Rothamstead, September 2008.

Printed from /staff/lucinda-robinson on 28/02/24 11:28:41 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.