Ms Patricia Dyal MPhil

Patricia Dyal
  • Researcher Assistant
  • Science Facilities department
  • Molecular Biology Laboratories
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment History

April 2004-Present

  • Molecular Biology Consultant Support Staff, Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum (NHM), London

May 1991-March 2004

  • Research Assistant to Dr.. Martin Embley, Division of Microbiology, Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum

Jan-April 1991

  •  Research Assistant Department of Microbiology, University of East London, Dagenham, London

Sept 1989- Dec 1990

  • Research Assistant, Academic Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, and Biochemistry Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Sept 1986- Aug 1987

  • Research MLSO National Collection of Type Cultures, Public Health Laboratories, Colindale, London


  • 1999 M.Phil University of East London & The Natural History Museum.   Thesis: The use of ribosomal RNA sequences for the phylogeny and identification of non-cultivatable Protozoa
  • 1988 BSc. (Hons) Applied Biology, University of East London
  • 1986 HND Applied Biology, Polytechnic of East London

Summary of duties:

Molecular Biology Consultant Support Staff

  • To provide a molecular biology consultancy service to Departmental researchers on the feasibility, both practical and conceptual, of using molecular techniques
  • Undertake methodological molecular research related to a variety of projects within the Departments of Botany, Entomology and Zoology, with emphasis on trouble-shooting problematic molecular projects and methodology development
  • Data generation for publications and pump –priming for grant applications
  • Maintain an appropriate level of awareness of current techniques and equipment to be able to fulfil the trouble-shooting role effectively and efficiently.
  • Manage a personal training programme in molecular research for PhD students (on a day to day basis), post-doctoral research staff and visiting scientists where necessary
  • Provide supervision and training in use of the molecular facilities and equipment, and molecular biology techniques and trouble-shooting, for all staff and visiting researchers in the molecular laboratories

Molecular Biology Expertise                                           

  • Over 25 years experience in molecular biology from both medical and academia
  • Proficient at all general practical laboratory molecular biology techniques, including protein work
  • Accomplished at trouble-shooting, teaching and supervision
  • Several peer reviewed publications in high quality journals (see Selected Publications)
  • Molecular biology consultant in the Zoology Department, NHM (from 2004), providing support for research staff including those who do not usually use molecular techniques
  • Molecular Biology Resources Board (Zoology Department): assessment of scientific merit, feasibility, budgeting and scheduling of molecular project bids
  • Abreast of continuously advancing technologies in molecular biology, and apply them wherever possible; network of researchers contacts. suppliers of cutting-edge molecular biology equipment. Regularly attend research seminars and relevant molecular biology courses and keep up with all literature relevant to current projects in molecular biology

Radiation Protection Supervisor duties

  • Zoology Department Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS)
  • Keeping abreast of current developments and any changes in the legislation with regards to working with ionizing radiation
  • Controlling Access to the facility, only by trained personnel. 
  • Responsible for Personal Work Registration documentation management for the Department Zoology including all staff and visitors working in the Radiography X-ray Suite
  • Responsible for documentation including: Local Rules upkeep; Work Registration and schemes of work for all experimental procedures carried out within the Radiation Laboratory
  • Responsible for all documentation of radioactive isotopes received into the facility and the safe disposal of radioactive waste.
  • Facilitating Health and Safety/HSE inspections, to ensure the laboratory is free of radioactive contamination.
  • Training and supervision of staff working with open source radio isotope

Professional Roles

Professional Roles

Health and Safety

  • Knowledge and experience of Health and Safety (H&S) throughout career. Always been fully aware of and trained in appropriate Health and Safety procedures and regulations to comply with Health and Safety law
  • Training of laboratory staff and visitors in appropriate H & S procedures.
  • Instrumental in helping develop and run the Health and Safety database for Zoology Department at the NHM, training other staff on how to use it. This now successfully processes and stores all departmental risk assessments, achieving HSE audit compliance.
  • Monitoring and updating of risk assessments relating to procedures in the Wolfson Wellcome Laboratories, NHM.
  • Monitoring that risks assessments have been completed for any new chemicals/kits coming into the molecular laboratories.
  • In my role as Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) responsible for the training of scientific staff and visitors to the museum working with open source radioactive isotopes and all relevant health and safety aspects of working with ionizing radiation.
  • Currently a member of the Radiation Safety Management Group at the museum


Teach basic practical and theoretical molecular biology at workshops and courses:

  • July 2010: Zoology Department, Molecular Biology Facility Workshop; “A Basic Introduction To Standard Molecular Biology Techniques”. A two week practical and theory course on molecular biology techniques.
  • Jan 2006: Zoology Department Molecular Biology Workshop, one week practical and theory course for 20+ Zoology Department staff; DNA extraction, PCR, sequencing methodologies and data analysis, Jan 06.
  • June 1994: Teaching molecular methods as applied to microbial ecology on the workshop: “Exploration of the Microbial Diversity in a Freshwater Lake”. Organised by Drs. T. M. Embley and B. J. Finlay. Windermere, UK (EC Concerted Action –Exploration of Microbial Diversity).


Reid, D. G., Dyal, P. and Williams, S. T. (2010). Global diversifiction of mangrove fauna: a molecular phylogeny of Littoraria (Gastropoda: Littorinidae). Molecular Phylogenetics ad Evolution 55, 185-201  

Bray, R. A., Waeschenbach, A., Cribb, T. H., Weedall, G. D., P. Dyal and Littlewood, D. T. J. (2009). The phylogeny of the Lepocreadioidea (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial genes: implications for their systematics and evolution. Acta Parasitologica 54, 310-329.

Mercedes Martín-Cereceda., Roberts Emily C., Wootton Emma C., Bonaccorso Elisa, Dyal  Patricia, Almudena Guinea, Rogers Dale, Wright Chris J. and Novarino Gianfranco (2009) Morphology, Ultrastructure, and Small Subunit rDNA Phylogeny of the Marine Heterotrophic Flagellate Goniomonas aff. Amphinema. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 57 (2) 159-170

Bass David, Brown David, Mackenzie-Dodds Jackie, Dyal  Patricia, Nierzwickbauer Sandra,A., Vepritsky, Alexey, A. and Richards  Thomas, A. (2009) A Molecular Perspective on Ecological Differentiation and Biogeography of Cyclotrichiid Ciliates. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 56 (6) 559-567
DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2009.00434.x

Pfandl, Karin., Chatzinotas, Antonis, Dyal, Patricia and Boenigk Jens. (2009). SSU rRNA gene variation resolves population heterogeneity and ecophysiological
differentiation within a morphospecies (Stramenopiles,Chrysophyceae).
Limnology and Oceanography, 54 (1) 171-181-January 2009

Mincks, S. L., Dyal, P. L., Paterson, G. L. J., Smith, C. R. and Glover, A. G. (2008). A new species of Aurospio (Polychaeta, Spionidae) from the Antarctic shelf, with analysis of its ecology, reproductive biology and evolutionary history. Marine Ecology, 1-17  (C).
DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.2008.00265.x

Reid, D. G., Dyal, P., Lozouet, P., Glaubrecht, M. and Williams, S. T. (2008). Mudwhelks and mangroves: the evolutionary history of an ecological association (Gastropoda: Potamididae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47: 680-699.

Mercedes,  Martín-Cereceda., Almudena, Guinea., Bonaccorso, Elisa ., Dyal Patricia., Novarino, Gianfranco and Wilhelm Foissner (2007) Classification of the peritrich ciliate Opisthonecta matiensis (Martín-Cereceda et al. 1999) as Telotrochidium matiense nov. comb., based on new observations and SSU rDNA phylogeny. European Journal of Protistology Vol: 43 (4) 265-279

Taylor, J. D., Williams, S.T., Glover, E. A. and Dyal, P. (2007) A Molecular phylogeney of heterodont bivalves (Mollusca:Bivalvia:Heterodonta):new analyses of 18S and 28S rRNA genes. Zoologica Scripta, 36:6: 587-606.

Andersson, J. O.,  Sjogren, A. M., Horner, D. S., Murphy, C. A., Dyal P. L., Svard S. G., Logsdon, J. M., Ragan, M. A., Hirt, R. P., Roger, A. J. (2007). A genomic survey of the fish parasite Spironucleus salmonicida indicates genomic plasticity among diplomonads  and significant lateral gene transfer in eukaryote genome evolution BMC Genomics, 8: 51

Dacks, J. B., Dyal, P. L., Embley, T. M. and van der Giezen. 2006. Hydrogenosomal, succinyl-Co A synthetase from the rumen –dwelling fungus Neocallimastix patriciarum; an energy –producing enzyme of mitochondrial origin. Gene 373: 75-82.doi:10.1016/j.gene.2006.01.012

Hampl V, Horner DS, Dyal P, Kulda J, Flegr J, Foster PG, Embley TM. 2005 Inference of the phylogenetic position of oxymonads based on nine genes: support for metamonada and excavata. Mol Biol Evol. 22 (12):2508-18.

Embley, T. M., van der Giezen, M., Horner, D. S., Dyal, P., and Foster, P. 2003. Hydrogenosomes, mitochondria and early eukaryotic evolution. IUBMB Life 55 (7): 387-95.

van der Giezen M, Birdsey GM, Horner DS, Lucocq J, Dyal PL, Benchimol M, Danpure CJ, Embley TM. 2003. Fungal hydrogenosomes contain mitochondrial heat-shock proteins. Molecularl Biology Evolution 20 (7): 1051-61.
DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msg103
Embley TM, van der Giezen M, Horner DS, Dyal PL, Foster P. (2003) Mitochondria and hydrogenosomes are two forms of the same fundamental organelle. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2003 Jan 29;358(1429):191-201; discussion 201-2. Review.

van der Giezen M, Slotboom DJ, Horner DS, Dyal PL, Harding M, Xue GP, Embley TM, Kunji ER.(2002). Conserved properties of hydrogenosomal and mitochondrial ADP/ATP carriers: a common origin for both organelles. EMBO J. 21(4):572-9.

Embley TM, Finlay BJ, Dyal PL, Hirt RP, Wilkinson M, Williams AG. (1995)
Multiple origins of anaerobic ciliates with hydrogenosomes within the radiation of aerobic ciliates. Proceedings: Biological Sciences 262 (1363):87-93.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.1995.0180

Dyal PL, Hope S, Roberts DM, Embley TM. (1995) Use of the PCR and fluorescent probes to recover SSU rRNA gene sequences from single cells of the ciliate protozoon Spathidium. Mol Ecol. 4(4):499-503.

Hirt R. P., Dyal PL, Wilkinson M, Finlay BJ, Roberts DM, Embley TM.(1995)
Phylogenetic relationships among karyorelictids and heterotrichs inferred from small subunit rRNA sequences: resolution at the base of the ciliate tree.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 4 (1):77-87.

Embley T. M., Dyal P., Kilvington S. (1992) A group I intron in the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene from Naegleria andersoni ssp. andersoni strain PPMFB-6.
Nucleic Acids Research. 20 (23): 6411.

Embley T. M., Finlay B.J, Thomas RH, Dyal PL. (1992)The use of rRNA sequences and fluorescent probes to investigate the phylogenetic positions of the anaerobic ciliate Metopus palaeformis and its archaeobacterial endosymbiont.. Journal Gen Microbiology 138 (7): 1479-87.
DOI  10.1099/00221287-138-7-1479

Owen, D., Pitcher, D., Dyal, P. and Beck, A. 1988 Detection of genomic variation in Providencia stuartii clinical isolates by analysis of DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms containing RNA cistrons. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 26: 261-2166.

Owen, D., Pitcher, D., Dyal, P. and Beck, A. 1987. Synthesis of a biotinylated DNA probe to detect ribosomal RNA cistrons in Providencia stuartii. FEMS Microbiology Letters 48: 283-287.