Harnessing the power of novel microorganisms for landfill leachate treatment (LEHTOVIRTAMORLEY_U18ICASE2)
- Research Area Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
- Partner The University of East Anglia (UEA)
Dr Laura Lehtovirta-Morley -
- Application Deadline 12/03/2018
Landfill sites in the UK produce annually 5 million tonnes of leachate with a high ammonium concentration. Although ammonium is a naturally occurring nitrogen compound, it is extremely detrimental to the environment and climate change when present in high concentrations. The aim of this studentship is to develop novel, efficient ways to remove ammonium from landfill leachate using the microbial anammox (anaerobic ammonium oxidation) reactions.
This project explores an exciting and novel microbial process in a previously underexplored ecosystem, the constructed wetland. The student will characterise and manipulate nitrogen cycling microbial communities in constructed wetlands at the landfill site in Norfolk. Over the course of the project, the student will 1. Identify the environmental factors driving the abundance of nitrogen cycling microorganisms, 2. Quantify the contribution of different processes (anammox, denitrification) to nitrogen turnover in the wetlands, and 3. Optimise the ammonium removal process by enriching and seeding wetlands with novel nitrogen cycling microorganisms from the landfill site.
The student will receive training in a broad range of cutting-edge techniques in microbiology, molecular biology (qPCR, RT-qPCR, DNA fingerprinting), isotope analysis and gas chromatography. This is a CASE studentship between the UEA and Norfolk County Council, with an exciting opportunity to experience both basic and applied aspects of science, and includes a 3-month placement with the project partner.
This project is suited to candidates with a BSc or MSc degree in a Microbiology-related discipline.
This project comes with a £1500 per annum enhancement to the RCUK level stipend from the Industrial Partner.