Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Southampton Featured PhD Programmes
Life Science Zurich Graduate School Featured PhD Programmes

Can we reduce methane emissions to the atmosphere using methane oxidising microbes found in urban environments?

   School of Environmental Sciences

About the Project


Methane is a greenhouse gas contributing significantly to climate change, with 86 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions is a priority concern, with microbial methane oxidation a promising solution. In this project, you will investigate methane oxidising microbes from urban waterways (rivers and canals), generating new insights into microbe-methane dynamics. Led by two of the UK’s leading Universities and in partnership with Shell, this project includes fieldwork opportunities in major cities across the globe including Amsterdam, Venice and Los Angeles. The results will be used to understand how microbes can be harnessed to clean up methane-contaminated environments, such as underground methane leaks from fossil fuel infrastructure.


·        Characterise methane oxidising microbes across a global set of urban waterways.

·        Determine how methane oxidising communities evolve under a range of experimental conditions.

·        Use gene/protein specific analyses to determine specific functioning within microbial communities.

Research team and training:

You will join a research team of two postdocs and another PhD, part of a £1.5m UKRI grant looking at methane dynamics in cities. Specific training will be provided in characterising microbial community composition and function through gene/protein specific analyses and laboratory evolution experiments. Additional training will come from interacting with policymakers, the supervisory team at the Universities of Liverpool (Dean, Hall) and Sheffield (Pandhal), and CASE partner Shell (Tsesmetzis). Shell will provide training and insight to apply the solutions explored in this project to tackle industry methane emissions, including exposure to state-of-the-art industrial R&D settings at Shell’s Technology Center in Houston, USA.

The training and the valuable opportunities for establishing global academic and industrial contacts provided by this project will place you in an outstanding position for future careers in academia, industry, or government.

Pre-application enquiries are encouraged, please get in touch by email if you have any questions about this project or your suitability for the position.


Notes and how to apply are available here:

Informal enquiries may be made to

Funding Notes

NERC ACCE DTP in Ecology and Evolution, programme starts October 2022.
UKRI provide the following funding for 3.5 years:
• Stipend (2021/22 UKRI rate £15,609)
• Tuition Fees at UK fee rate (2021/22 rate £4,500)
• Research support and training grant (RTSG)
Note - UKRI funding only covers UK (Home) fees (£4,500 at 2021/22 rate). A limited number of international fee bursaries will be awarded on a competitive basis. However, if selected International and EU fee rate candidates may need to cover the remaining amount of tuition fees by securing additional funding. International fees for 2021/22 entry were £24,250 per annum.


Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.