James McEvoy

James McEvoy


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

I am the current Head of Department of Biological Sciences. In this role I provide academic leadership to the Department in the context of the College's mission, delivering effective planning, resource allocation and management to ensure innovation and excellence in research, teaching and learning, student experience and outcomes.


As a teaching-focused academic, much of my time is spent in teaching undergraduates. I use innovative teaching methods and publish in the pedagogical literature, as well as in my discipline. My main teaching responsibility in the School of Biological Sciences is running the large 1st year biological chemistry modules (BS1031 and BS1032). I design and teach the whole of these modules, which include a large practical component. As well as giving traditional lectures I use Pearson’s Learning Catalytics to run in-class problem-solving sessions, which improve engagement and feedback, and I deliver course content online in a blended, semi-flipped approach. I have won several Royal Holloway awards for my teaching in this course, most recently a College Excellence Teaching Commendation in 2020.

I also supervise 3rd-year undergraduate research projects (Independent Research Project, BS3010). Some of these projects are in the areas described below, while others are in different fields, such as smartphone spectrometry, the biological uses of nanoparticles, and environmental chemistry.

Research interests

Bacterial biofilms

I am interested in the growth of bacteria on surfaces, particularly in the context of biofilm-focused infections. Along with Dr Shobana Dissanayeke (RHUL), Dr Arshad Khaleel (St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey) and various Masters students we are investigating biofilm growth and antibiotic resistance on different orthopaedic materials, with a view to reducing clinical infection rates.

Elli Amanatidou’s PhD project on antibiotic resistance in E. coli biofilms, funded by the Charles Sykes Trust and run in collaboration with Dr Ben Raymond, used a combination of microbiological, chemical and evolutionary ecology techniques to analyze the interaction of antibiotics with in vivo biofilms. We are particularly interested in the social aspects of resistance, e.g. the extent to which β-lactamase-producing cells can protect neighbouring cells within a biofilm.

Biological electrochemistry

We use electrochemical methods to probe biologically important redox reactions. Chronocoulometry may be used to measure the concentrations of redox-active antibiotics, for instance, and we use cyclic voltammetry to investigate the interactions between model membranes and the mitochondrial protein cytochrome c. In collaboration with Prof Surendra Mahapatro we are investigating the redox chemistry of substituted aryldiazonium salts, which have important uses in chemical biology.


I am interested in active learning techniques in the biosciences, the use of technology in teaching and the development of novel teaching laboratory activities in biological chemistry. As well as publishing in these areas I regularly present my work on these topics, both within Royal Holloway and at national meetings. In the 2022-23 academic year I co-led the PEMENTOS peer-mentoring scheme for undergraduates in the School of Life Sciences and the Environment.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

External Examiner, Biology and Biochemistry UG courses, University of Hull

1 Oct 20221 Oct 2025


  • redox
  • biochemistry
  • enzyme
  • electrochemistry
  • biofilms
  • antibiotic resistance