Will Boulton

Will Boulton


I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a MMath degree in 2016 and since then have been working in mathematical modelling and software engineering. Most recently I’ve been an intern at EMBL-EBI, working on projects about SARS-CoV-2 evolution and variant tracking through wastewater metagenomes (looking at sewage). I am interested in bioinformatics and metagenomics, and look forward to applying new techniques in these areas to study microbial communities, and make predictions about changes in their metabolism due to changing environmental conditions.

Will Boulton

Environmental Genomics and Microbiology

PhD title: Mapping the Functional Gene-scape of the Oceans under Conditions of Global Change

Microbes form the base of the ocean food web, and play a major role in biogeochemical processes, for example contributing roughly half of the oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere. Due to anthropogenic climate change, microbial communities are shifting rapidly. Recently, data from large ocean surveys such as Tara Oceans and the Global Ocean Survey have allowed us to characterise variations in taxonomy between geographic regions, and find correlations between environmental conditions and metabolic pathways. However, gene function within regions is not necessarily mirrored by variations of taxonomy within that region. One aim of this project will be to analyse how the composition of genes varies across the ocean, and so understand how the metabolic potential of microbial communities might be affected by changing environmental conditions.


  • SMBE 2021

Other information

Up until the pandemic I have been a volunteer maths teacher at a local school, preparing students for mathematics at university.