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PhD Research Project

Metagenomics and Physicochemistry of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion

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Institution Location

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University of Brighton
Doctoral College
Dr M Smith
Dr J Caplin
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

This project will investigate the occurrence of accelerated low water corrosion (ALWC) associated bacteria within the natural environment. Accelerated low water corrosion is a relatively recently identified phenomenon involving the rapid, microbially mediated, corrosion of steel piles in the marine environment at or close to the low water mark. The proposed project will investigate the impact of biogeochemical processes above and below the sediment-water interface on the development of AWLC.

Collected samples will be subject to a range of microbiological and mineralogical analytical techniques, both on site and in the laboratory. The key techniques include microbiological analysis by culture and genomic methods including RAPD and/or rep-APD for classification and discrimination of recovered isolates and 16S rDNA gene sequencing to identify ALWC populations and to estimate microbial community diversity and numbers. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy will be used for mineralogical analysis, (ambient sediment mineralogy; mineralogical structure of ALWC blisters), alongside a range of techniques for marine and pore-water chemical analysis. The project will test the hypothesis that sediment movement may play a role in the spread of AWLC, as well as providing new constraints on the microbial populations and geochemical conditions that influence its development.

As this project is a multi-disciplinary applicants must have a good working understanding of microbiology, geochemistry and sedimentological implications of this area of work.

Funding Notes:

This studentship comprises fees for 3 years (home/EU students) and a stipend worth approximately £14,590 p.a. for 3 years. Applicants should hold a first or 2 (i) honours (or equivalent) degree, in the related discipline. Ideally candidates will have completed or be completing a relevant Masters level qualification but this is not essential.

Applications can be made online. Further details of which are available from Sarah Longstaff in the Doctoral College on +0044(0)1273 641105 or Your application should be supported with 2 references.

This project is funded by an independent company.


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