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Can a superfood for bacteria be created by understanding its optimum diet?

Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

Prof K Wilson Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

PhD: funded for 33 months
Start date: October 2020
Entry requirements: 2:1 degree or above
Lancaster University - Lancaster Environment Centre

Get paid to do a PhD with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation ( at Lancaster University (

Funded PhD linked with Active Bacterial Solutions Limited Ref. No. LU003

• Get paid £1,455 per month tax-free until June 2023.
• Your UK/EU tuition fees are paid (international candidates will need to pay remaining fees).
• Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation ( within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led research. The Centre was declared “The outstanding knowledge exchange and commercialisation initiative in the UK”.
• This project is based at Lancaster University (, so you will gain your PhD from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020. You will also work alongside colleagues at partner institutions across the North West.
• Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

Active Bacterial Solutions is a waste-water company interested in the production of non-pathogenic bacteria-based products for waste-water treatment and remediation. The company aims to provide biological solutions for in situ treatment, reducing environmental damage caused by existing chemical and mechanical methods.

Biotechnology harnesses the versatility of microbes for industrial processes, from beverage production to waste treatment. Nutritional research in microbes currently only considers the surroundings in terms of individual elements (such as carbon and nitrogen) whereas animal research looks at macromolecules (such as proteins and fats). Recent studies suggest that the concentration and ratio of macromolecules (nutritional geometry) in animal nutrition is crucial for optimal performance, but little is known about this field in microbes. Therefore, this project aims to adapt current knowledge in nutritional geometry to investigate the effects of nutrient ratios and concentrations on bacterial performance and to create a framework that could be applied to any bacteria-reliant industry.

The successful candidate will have a 2:1 or first degree in microbiology, biochemistry or another relevant subject and have a strong microbiological or biochemical background. They will have a capability or a strong interest in ecological principles and statistical analysis as well as experience working in a laboratory.

This PhD will be supervised by Professor Kenneth Wilson whose research looks at host-pathogen interactions and agro-ecology and is based at the Lancaster Environment Centre (

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is subject to funding confirmation.

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