Dr. Tareq Omairi

Contact Info

Faculty: Education

Department: General Sciences

Address: Soran University

Email: tareq.salman@soran.edu.iq

Phone Number:  +44 07 40 40 70 849


Academic title: Assistant Lecturer

Responsibility:  Teaching

General Expertise:  Microbiology

Specific Expertise: Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and Astrobiology

Research Interests: My main interest remains in the realm of bacterial survivability in extreme conditions analogous to the ones on potentially habitable planets and moons, also, experiments where bacterial cells and spores are exposed to outer space conditions.  My future research is to build on the foundations of my PhD and to use single-cell amplification techniques for the detection of DNA within limited samples. I am also considering investigating further the concept of cyanobacteria being shielded from harmful UV and surviving by the indirect light source, generated from fluorescent minerals exposed to UV, which might be present on planets of star systems in conditions similar to young Earth.  



- PhD – University of Sheffield UK

- MSc. Tikrit University - Iraq


Over 8 years of experience working and supporting learning in the Higher Education sector, spanning from managing award-winning leadership programs, public engagement projects, and creating new teams and collaboration links to promote interdisciplinary projects. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and currently a PhD Researcher in Astrobiology.

Experience in supporting international students through all stages of enrolment with Higher Education, from recruitment, teaching & learning, providing support for postgraduate researchers, and also after graduation through alumni engagement practices. With a particular focus in recruitment and prospect research on the MENA region.

Publications: (Books, researches)

§  Omairi, T., & Wainwright, M. (2015). Fluorescent minerals–A potential source of UV protection and visible light for the growth of green algae and cyanobacteria in extreme cosmic environments. Life sciences in space research, 6, 87-91.

§  Wainwright, M., Rose, C. E., Baker, A. J., Wickramasinghe, N. C., & Omairi, T. (2015). Biological Entities Isolated from Two Stratosphere Launches-Continued Evidence for a Space Origin. Astrobiol Outreach, 3(129), 2332-2519.

§  Wainwright, M., Wickramasinghe, N. C., Harris, M., & Omairi, T. (2015). Masses Staining Positive for DNA-Isolated from the Stratosphere at a Height of 41 km. Astrobiol Outreach, 3(130), 2332-2519.


Scientific Activities: (Conference, Workshop, Symposium..)

§  - Omairi, T., & Wainwright, M. (2015). A Fluorescent Mineral Shield: Protection and energy source for photosynthetic microbes against harmful ultraviolet radiations. AbReCon2015 Astrobiology Conference/ August 21-23rd/ University of Peradeniya- Sri Lanka. (Presentation).

§  Omairi, T., & Wainwright, M. (2014). Studies on Astrobiology with Particular Reference to Cometary Panspermia. The 14th European workshop on astrobiology, European Astrobiology Network Association/ EANA 14/Edinburgh/ UK. (Poster and Presentation).

§  Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS) since 2015

§  Member of the Astrobiology Society of Britain since 2015

§  Member of the European Astrobiology Network Association (EANA) since 2014


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) - (December 2016)

§  HEA fellowship recognition was awarded for proven, sustained track record in HE teaching.

§  Completed the Sheffield Teaching Assistant (STA) program: A professional development programme, for postgraduate students and early researchers who will be or are actively engaging with teaching.


Teaching Assistant/ Department of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (October 2015 – Present)

§  Assisting the course coordinators for the Practical Molecular Bioscience Module for year 2 students.

§  Emphasizing the integration of biochemistry, microbiology and genetics, aiming to develop a high-level of technical competence and theoretical understanding in students.

§  The module had three types of information-delivery learning environments: Laboratory sessions, Analysis sessions, and Computer laboratories.


Project Facilitator/ Health Challenge: Local Engagement Global Citizenship Module (December 2016 – March 2017):

§  Facilitating the work of a large group of undergraduates from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health to engage with local communities to understand determinants of health in a particular area of the city.

§  Assessing the students learning through the module, and marking their work and performance.

Project Facilitator / Breaking Boundaries Module (November 2015 – May 2016):

§  Leading eight large groups of first-year students in interdisciplinary teams to prepare for large group debates focused around contemporary topics in wide areas of science.

Task included organizing learning sessions for students, managing suitable times for all the students in the groups, providing advice and support on projects, assessing and marking performance, reporting progress to the program coordinators, and managing large scale debate events

Doctoral Academy Intern/ Research and Innovation services (January – June 2017)

International Office Ambassador/ International Office (November 2015- Present)

Prospect Research Support Assistant/ Development, Alumni Relations & Events (October 2015- Present)


Best Academic Led Activity (Leadership Development Program) – 2017 Academic Awards - University of Sheffield Students' Union – The University of Sheffield (September 2016 – March 2017):

§  I recognized the absence of a dedicated leadership program for postgraduate researchers; therefore, I developed a full-day event program comprised of a series of workshops delivered by expert staff and academics from different services at the University.

§  Managed a large team and ran two events in the program until now.

§  I was offered more funding from the University to expand on the program, and carry future events.

Santander Research Mobility Award:

§  A research grant awarded by Santander Universities Division, to visit the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina for research collaboration, January - 2016.




Visiting Researcher – University of Alberta - Worldwide Universities Network Award:

§  Research Mobility Grant to visit the University of Alberta in Canada to create institutional and departmental research collaboration links, December - 2015.

§  collaborating with Prof. Kurt Konhauser on the Integration of molecular biology techniques into Geomicrobiological studies relating to Astrobiological themes.


Student European Astrobiology Network Award:

§  Research travel grant awarded by the University of Edinburgh to enable participation in the 14th European conference on astrobiology, October -2014.


Fully funded PhD Scholarship from the Higher Committee for Education Development (HCED), 2013

§  For undertaking PhD research in the UK.

Award for Distinction from the Ministry of Higher Education, 2008:

§  For graduating the first on the University of Tikrit in the Science faculty for the year 2008.



Event Manager/ Pint of Science Festival (November 2016 – May 2017):

§  Responsible for organising, managing, and running the “Atoms to Galaxies” events as part of the 2017 International Scientific Festival “Pint of Science” in the Sheffield Area.

§  Responsibilities included: Finding and securing the venue; Recruiting and managing a team of volunteers; Communicating with speakers to assist them with the process of talk preparation; Liaising with other team members to ensure a smooth running of the project and meeting specific deadlines.


PhD Tutor/ The Brilliant Club (September 2016 – February 2017):

§  A placement in a non-selective state schools and sixth form colleges serving low participation communities to deliver programs of University-style tutorials to small groups of outstanding pupils.

§  I worked with students in Sheffield to form mentoring relationships and raise young people's aspirations.

§  Delivering courses related to my area of work to promote student's future engagement with Higher Education.

STEM Ambassador/ Sheffield City area (2015 – Present):

§  Working with local schools to help widening participation through different events.

Science Communicator/ University of Sheffield:

§  PubhD (June 2017): Speaker, communicating with members of the public about my research.

§  Pint of Science (May 2016): Delivering a talk on my research to a public audience in a traditional pub in Sheffield.

§  Krebs festival project (January – November 2015): Working with a local school on a year-long project to develop a video on my research, in collaboration with a Sheffield local artist, the video was later projected on the wall of Firth Court (Main University’s building) on the event’s final night.

§  The Mobile University (September 2015): Delivered a talk about my research on a vintage bus in Sheffield as part of the Festival of the Mind 2015 Activities.


2015- 2016:

§  Elected as the Staff/Casual workers’ representative, Sheffield Student's Union Post Graduate Students Committee. Actively promoting issues relating to teaching responsibilities, raised by the doctoral student community within the University.

2014- 2015:

§  Elected as the Inclusions officer, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology PhD Society, The University of Sheffield. Active member of the Committee, helping to organise various events for Doctoral students in the Department.



§  The Sheffield Teaching Assistant – attended six workshops from large group teaching to assessment and feedback.

§  Successful completion of the PGR Leadership coaching program (July – October 2015): Advanced leadership development sessions.

Completed GRADschool (May 2015): A residential course focusing on skills relating to team working, interpersonal. leadership, and negotiation strategies relevant