Engineering Microbial Communities for Biotechnology and Bioremediation
Microbial biotechnology is usually undertaken by a single species in a fermenter. However, some processes are metabolically challenging for a single species and therefore more suited to communities of microbes. However, the molecular tools to engineer these communities are sparse and the processes are usually controlled at only the process level (fermenter conditions like temperature and nutrient inputs) rather than the cellular level. The interspecies dynamics in these communities are largely considered a black box.
In the last decade there have been rapid advances in molecular tools to interrogate the interactions between microbes and model the process parameters and efficiencies.
This project aims to develop these tools and generate a paradigm shift in engineering microbial communities to be more efficient and productive. It will require transferring of knowledge from pure culture manipulations to multiple species and set a precedent for better knowledge of these processes. Techniques in forward and inverse metabolic engineering will be applied to synthetic microbial communities with the opportunity to present these to industries where biomanufacturing or bioremediation are a core focus.
Applicants should have a First Class Honors degree in biological/chemical engineering, molecular biology, microbiology or biology.
If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) certificate with an average of 6.5 or above and at least 6.0 in each component.