Dr. Bignell is a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland
Dr. Bignell received her B.Sc. in Biotechnology (Honours) at the University of Manitoba in 1998 and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biotechnology at the University of Alberta in 2003. Her Ph.D. thesis under the guidance of Dr. Brenda Leskiw focused on the regulation of specialized metabolism and morphological differentiation in the model species Streptomyces coelicolor. After a brief post doc in Dr. Leskiw's lab, she joined the lab of Dr. Eric Cundliffe in 2004 at the University of Leicester, UK, where she worked on the regulation of tylosin production by Streptomyces fradiae. Then in 2006, she moved to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she worked under the guidance of Dr. Rosemary Loria on plant pathogenic Streptomyces species causing common scab disease of potato.
In 2010, Dr. Bignell joined the Department of Biology at Memorial University as an Assistant Professor. Her research continues to focus on plant pathogenic Streptomyces and the virulence factors used to mediate host-pathogen interactions. She has taught three undergraduate courses in the department, Food Microbiology (BIOL/BIOC 3052), Microbiology for Nurses (BIOL 3053) and Fundamentals of Plant Pathology (BIOL 4052), and one graduate course, Research Topics in Microbiology (BIOL 6000). She is currently the acting Deputy Head (Graduate Studies) for the Department of Biology and serves on the Memorial University Institutitional Biosafety Committee. She is also a member of the Canadian Society of Microbiologists (CSM), the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) and the American Phytopathological Society (APS), and she is currently the co-chair of the CSM Career and Education committee, and an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology.